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2.14 labels

The labels style reads coordinates and text from a data file and places the text string at the corresponding 2D or 3D position. 3 or 4 input columns of basic data are required. Additional input columns may be used to provide information such as variable font size or text color (see ‘rgbcolor variable‘).

     3 columns:  x  y  string    # 2D version
     4 columns:  x  y  z  string # 3D version

The font, color, rotation angle and other properties of the printed text may be specified as additional command options (see ‘set label‘). The example below generates a 2D plot with text labels constructed from the city whose name is taken from column 1 of the input file, and whose geographic coordinates are in columns 4 and 5. The font size is calculated from the value in column 3, in this case the population.

  CityName(String,Size) = sprintf("{/=%d %s}", Scale(Size), String)
  plot 'cities.dat' using 5:4:(CityName(stringcolumn(1),$3)) with labels

If we did not want to adjust the font size to a different size for each city name, the command would be much simpler:

  plot 'cities.dat' using 5:4:1 with labels font "Times,8"

The labels style can also be used in 3D plots. In this case four input column specifiers are required, corresponding to X Y Z and text.

  splot 'datafile' using 1:2:3:4 with labels

See also ‘datastrings‘, ‘set style data‘.


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