This is where I will put various things that I have found that make my life easier in some way or other. They may be things I have developed myself, or things I have found by other people. Most of what is here has been garnered from numerous internet forums and guides - I have only distilled it into forms that suit my purpose.

Making gnuplot plots more attractive

Unfortunately the standard output of gnuplot is often not quite at the level you would want for putting in a publication. It does offer the epslatex terminal, but this is a bit unwieldy to use, and often journals demand fully encapsulated figures and wont accept the two-file output that epslatex produces. To save my time I wrote a script that would produce a single eps figure from the output of the epslatex. One of the most useful features is the ability to use user defined latex macros in the plot labels. You can use it really easily by putting the following line at the end of your gnuplot script (assuming you have copied epslatextex2eps to a directory in your PATH)

!epslatex2eps <plot filename> {<file containing macros>}

Download epslatex2eps as well as an example gnuplot script used to make an example eps figure. It requires you have ghostscript, latex, dvips, ps2epsi installed on your system.

The default dashes that gnuplot creates in postscript are not really ideal. The betterdashes.sh script does a find/replace on a gnuplot created postscript to improve them. Use as:

betterdashes.sh <[e]ps file>

Sometimes you want to change the colour of a line in a plot. Sometimes it's easier to edit the postscript rather than do it through gnuplot's standard method. The adjustColour.sh script can do this for you:

adjustColour.sh <colour ID> <red(0-1)> <green(0-1)> <blue(0-1)> <file name>

where colour ID is the gnuplot colour number minus 1, e.g. to change a line plotted with linecolor 1, color ID is 0.

I have made some examples of publication quality plots and the scripts I used to generate them here

Spell checking LaTeX with emacs

Spell checking a latex document using ispell in emacs can be extrmely irritating when it flags up citation keys and math statements. You may find this tip may be useful.