PrestoPlot® is a simple and user-friendly tool for plotting time-based data (telemetry, simulation results, experimental records, etc.). Initiated in 2003 to plot satellite telemetry parameters, it has evolved into a general-purpose plotting tool for time-based data, suitable in numerous industrial domains.

PrestoPlot lets the user plot graphs simply through its graphical interface, without relying on yet another command language. It offers advanced features such as multiple axes and side-by-side plotting of numerical and labelled data.

Its high usability makes it a valuable tool for data analysis, and brings to the table elegant solutions to common problems encountered when plotting time-based data (correlation of data sets from separate sources, repeatability of processing, etc.).

As a pledge of maturity, PrestoPlot® is used in many CNES control centres, as well as by a growing number of users at CNES and its industrial partners.

In action

A series of video tutorials realized by CNES is available.

Other tutorials and videos can be found on the Connect By CNES YouTube playlist.

Current version

The current version is PrestoPlot® 24.06b.

Next version

The next version of PrestoPlot is not yet planned.


Here is a list of some PrestoPlot features

  • Powerful 2D plotting

    PrestoPlot® facilitates the graphical representation of dated information, such as telemetry, experimental recordings or even simulation results. It has been optimized to manipulate millions of points, which can be viewed on any number of categories and ordinates.

    PrestoPlot® compensates for the shortcomings of some commonly used software to visualize this kind of data. At last, you can fully devote yourself to data analysis !

  • Easily accessible features

    With PrestoPlot®, the addition or deletion of a set of data on an already existing chart is possible by simple drag & drop. Model files let you manage various representations (colours, layers, symbols, labels, etc.) for the various types of data you need to handle.

  • Advanced analysis features

    With PrestoPlot® you can create new data sets from formulas applied to the source data. It is thus possible to trace e.g. the difference between two data sets. The flexibility of the software also allows the comparison of data recorded on disjoint time slots, or at different sampling instants.

  • Simple and generic file formats loading

    You can load data files in any CSV-like file formats, whatever column or decimal separator they use ; date format will also be automatically detected. Even Excel files can be loaded, as well as data files contained in ZIP. Finally, data can be loaded by a simple copy-paste from any application containing CSV-like data.

  • Fully extensible

    PrestoPlot® can be extended through plugins for additional file loading capabilities, new calculator functions, or even completely custom new features !

    Also, through plugins, PrestoPlot® interfaces with CNES' VTS visualisation toolkit and can provide its advanced plotting capabilities during VTS visualisations.

  • Embedded documentation

    PrestoPlot® includes a comprehensive user manual that is directly accessible from the software interface !

  • ...

Frequently Asked Questions

Which operating systems does PrestoPlot® run on ?

PrestoPlot® targets the following operating systems:

Operating Systems32 bits64 bits
Windows 7, 10, 11
RedHat/CentOS 7, 8, 9
RedHat/CentOS 5

PrestoPlot® should also run fine on other Windows and Linux versions.

Why can't I run PrestoPlot® on a headless Linux machine if I'm only using batch mode ?

Since PrestoPlot® uses Tk, it requires the X11 libraries to run, and a working X11 display. This is still the case even in batch mode.

On a headless machine, you may use Xvfb to provide PrestoPlot® with a virtual X11 display. This can be done as follows:

 # Start the virtual X server
 Xvfb :1 &
 # Keep the process ID
 # Run PrestoPlot® on the new virtual display
 ./<binary-name.lnx> -display :1 -commandfile <your-command-file> -noshow -exit
 # Stop the virtual display
 kill $XPID

To install Xvfb on your system if it is not already available, please contact your system administrator.