Thunderplot User's Manual

Data Sources

«Text file» Data Source

To load your data from a text file, click the button and select «Text File»

After selecting this option, a new window and tab will appear. Note that each data file has its own tab. You can remove a data source by clicking [x] button in its tab.

If the "Any non-numeric" field separator used, Thunderplot extracts all numbers from the input file.

For example, the following line: "pts: 5002, brightness: 23 (12%)" will be parsed as: "5002 | 23 | 12"

Reloading your Data Source

If you modify your data file (e.g. add or delete rows, change numbers, etc.), you need to reload the data source in Thunderplot. To do so, you go Data Source > Reload or use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+R.

«Editor» Data Source

You can type your data in «Editor» data source — it can be useful if you need to copy and paste text from a Terminal window or a Web page. Additionally, it eliminates the extra steps of having to create a separate data file.

To input your data into the integrated text editor, click the button and select «Editor».

Start inputting your data on the left side of the page, where each carriage return (i.e. click the «Enter» button) signifies the end of a line and, thus, starts a new row. The «Editor» data source parses manually-entered text the same way as the «Text File» data source does. Non-numeric characters are recognized as delimiters between data columns.

Creating a Plot

Creating and Deleting Curves

To create a new curve, click the «Plot Area» tab on the right side of the screen, and then click the icon in the lower left corner of the window. Note that a «curve» represents ONE data graph in the plot area. You can plot multiple curves by clicking the icon again, or delete a curve by clicking the icon at the top of the curve’s dialog box.

Curve Parameters

Curve Expressions

You can also write expressions for a curve’s X and Y coordinates. To input an expression, click the icon next to either the X or Y combo-box. The combo-box will then be replaced by a text field, so that you can input the expression.

Following operators can be used in expressions: +, -, *, /, ^ (power). 0x means hex number (e.g. 0×1ef0), # means binary number.

The following variables recognized by Thunderplot:

Also the following functions are available: Date/time functions: All date/time functions work in current time zone.


You can change axis type in Plot Inspector (Cmd+I). There are three available types:


Title of plot and axis can be specified in Plot Inspector (Cmd+I):

If a plot or axis title is not empty, it will be shown automatically.


The legend can be enabled/disabled in Plot Inspector (Cmd+I). The legend shows curves with user-defined names only (it doesn't make sense to show a curve with a machine-generated name like «Green curve»).

(Note, the first «Light gray curve» doesn't appear in the legend.

Navigating the Plot Area

Thunderplot features several convenient modes for panning, zooming and measuring your data.

Panning and Zooming

You can pan across the plot area dragging your mouse across the screen (while holding down the left mouse button). To zoom into or out of the plot area, you can use mouse wheel. Also Shift + mouse wheel is used to zoom by the Y-Axis and Option + mouse wheel to zoom by the X-Axis.

Cmd+D fits all the data in the plot window (or you can select View > Fit to Data).

Axis titles and plot header

You can add titles for axis and whole plot area in plot inspector (press Cmd+I to show/hide):

The Ruler

By clicking the «Ruler» the plot area gets switched to «Ruler» mode. Width and height appears at the corresponding axis; distance appears at the line that connects start point and mouse cursor (if X and Y are the same and word «distance» does have sense):

Taking Snapshots

— Saves snapshot to a file. This is the same as going to View > Make Snapshot to File.

Option + — Opens snapshots folder in Finder.

Ctrl + — Copies snapshot to your clipboard. This is the same as going to View > Make Snapshot to Clipboard.

The default snapshots folder is ~/Pictures (or Thunderplot’s sandbox folder in MacAppStore version).

By default, snapshots are saved as PNG files. You can change snapshots folder and file type in Thunderplot Preferences.

Automatic Checking for Updates

To automatically check our servers for Thunderplot updates, go to Thunderplot > Preferences and ensure that Check Automatically is enabled.

You can help the project by allowing updater to send anonymized information about your system, such as: