I have a table where the data has the following format:

| x    | y    | dydx  |
| x1   | y1   | dydx1 |
| x2   | y2   | dydx2 |
| x3   | y3   | dydx3 |

I want to create a plot with multiple linear lines with the following expression: y(x_sub) = y_i + dydx_i * (x_sub-x_i)

where, i is the row number in the table and x_sub is the range [x_i - a, x_i + a], where a is some specified value. So, each line will be centered at x_i. I have attached a plot (generated with Matlab) that shows the green and black lines centered at x_i and use the y and dydx values in the table.

I am using pgfplot to create my plots. I would greatly appreciate any guidance on this. Thanks!

enter image description here

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! It's not clear to me what you want. What do you mean by x_sub = x_i +/- 10%? Also why the lines should be centered by this is not clear to me. Could you provide an example plot or be more precise please?
    – nox
    Jul 5, 2018 at 21:49
  • Sorry about the ambiguity. I have modified the post and added a figure to make it more descriptive. I hope this will be more specific. Thanks!
    – user6593
    Jul 5, 2018 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


If I understood you correctly, this might be something like what you're after.

enter image description here

%% the following only for example
% the filecontents environment writes its content to the specified file
x y dydx
0 2 1
1 1 -1
2 3 0.5

% get number of rows in table
% subtract 1 because row indexing starts at zero



\pgfplotsinvokeforeach{0,...,\NumRows}{ % loop over rows

  % extract the data from the table
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{#1}{x}\of\mydata % x is column name

  % calculate start and end of domain for line

  % plot
  \addplot +[domain=\DomainStart:\DomainEnd,mark=none,thick] {\Y + \DYDX * (x-\X)};

  • Awesome! A couple of questions: I will have several such plots in my document and the data for each plot is in an independent file. So, can I modify the \pgfplotstableread command to read the data files and move it between the \begin{tikzpicture} ... \end{tikzpicture}? Thanks!
    – user6593
    Jul 5, 2018 at 22:30
  • One more question: If I use \begin{axis} [xmin=0.1,xmax=0.2] ... code ... \end{axis}, is there an equivalent of \pgfmathsetmacro{\AxRange}{\XMax-\XMin} to get the value of \AxRange from xmin and xmax?
    – user6593
    Jul 5, 2018 at 22:38
  • 1
    @user6593 \pgfplotstableread{filename}\mydata. Assuming the columns are white-space delimited. And \pgfmathsetmacro{\AxRange}{\pgfkeysvalueof{/pgfplots/xmax}-\pgfkeysvalueof{/pgfplots/xmin}} inside the axis. Jul 6, 2018 at 5:54
  • @user6593 I edited the code accordingly. Jul 6, 2018 at 5:58
  • Thanks! I get the following error while compiling this source. ./a.tex:52: Undefined control sequence. \sa@placebox ->\newpage \global \pdfpagewidth =\wd \sa@box \global \pdfpageh... l.52 \end{document} ./a.tex:52: You can't use a prefix with the character =. <to be read again> = l.52 \end{document} ./a.tex:52: Missing number, treated as zero. <to be read again> \global l.52 \end{document} I am using MacTex 2017 with pgfplots 1.14. Could this be the issue?
    – user6593
    Jul 6, 2018 at 11:12

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