Professionals usually make use of specialized or custom software when working in their given field, because most of the generic software available just doesn’t cut it. This is specially true in the scientific and mathematical professions, where there are no generic software to begin with. One such area where specialized software is needed is in plotting graphs of mathematical functions are any sort of data. Luckily, there is a lot of graph plotting software available, specially on the Linux and Unix platforms which are commonly used where heavy resource usage is needed without sacrificing stability and uptime.

Grace, which stands for **GR**aphing, **A**dvanced **C**omputation and **E**xploration of data, is a WYSIWYG program that lets users use the common point and click or drag and drop movements to create publication-quality graphs. It can also be scripted to be able to generate or acquire data without direct user intervention.

KmPlot is another graph plotting program that is more focused on creating graphs of mathematical functions. It features a powerful mathematical parser that can generate graphs based on an equation from the user. It also allows building multiple functions simultaneously and then combine them to form new functions.

One of the most powerful, and probably most difficult to use, is gnuplot. Unlike the previous two mentioned, gnuplot doesn’t have a graphical interface. It is a command-line program where the user types in the function and data. It is capable of generating output in a number of different formats, including LaTeX, which is a favorite when it comes to creating documents with complicated formulae. gnuplot’s power comes from its ability to be controlled using scripts and bindings with programming languages, making it possible to be used as the graphing engine of other easy to use graphing software, such as GNU Octave and Maxima.