NERSCPowering Scientific Discovery Since 1974


Description and Overview

Grace is a WYSIWYG tool to make two-dimensional plots of numerical data. It runs under various (if not all) flavors of Unix with X11 and M*tif (LessTif or Motif). It also runs under VMS, OS/2, and Windows (95/98/NT/2000/XP). Its capabilities are roughly similar to GUI-based programs like Sigmaplot or Microcal Origin plus script-based tools like Gnuplot or Genplot. Its strength lies in the fact that it combines the convenience of a graphical user interface with the power of a scripting language. The combination allows grace to perform sophisticated calculations or to perform automated tasks.



  • WYSIWYG operation.
  • Convenient point-and-click graphical user interface.
  • Precise control of graph features.
  • True publication quality.
  • Graphs refresh almost instantly.

Export Options

  • Exports high-resolution graphics to (E)PS, PDF, MIF, and SVG formats.
  • Supports cross-platform PNM, JPEG and PNG formats.
  • Device-independent Type1 font rastering, including anti-aliasing, ligatures and kerning.

Graphing Flexibility

  • Unlimited number of graphs.
  • Unlimited number of curves on a graph.
  • Up to 256 customizable colors.
  • 9 dashed line styles.
  • 32 fill patterns.
  • 10 built-in marker symbols; plus, any character glyph from any font can be used as a marker.
  • Color/fill markers.
  • Text annotations with subscripts, superscripts, mixed fonts, styles and colors and more complex typesetting.

Curve Fitting

  • Linear and nonlinear least-squares.
  • Calculation and display of residuals.
  • Arbitrarily complex user-defined fitting functions, including dynamically loadable C/Fortran/... modules.
  • Fitting with constraints.
  • Region restrictions.
  • Fitting with arbitrary weight functions.

Analysis Capability

  • FFT.
  • Integration and differentiation.
  • Histograms.
  • Splines, including Akima splines.
  • Interpolation and smoothing.
  • Convolution, correlation, and covariation.
  • Sorting.

Data Formats

  • Unlimited data size; up to six dimensions plus an optional array of strings.
  • Reads text data input files.
  • Reads 1D netCDF files.


  • Built-in programming language.
  • Math functions manipulate entire array.
  • Variables, including arrays (1D).
  • User-definable functions via loadable modules.
  • All aspects of plot outlook can be programmed.
  • Controllable by external programs.


  • Dynamic module loading - write your own C/Fortran/... modules.
  • User-defined colors.
  • User-supplied fonts and encodings.

Accessing Grace

  • For NERSC machines do:
    module load grace
  • To execute the program do:

Additional Resources

Availability at NERSC

PackagePlatformCategoryVersionModuleInstall DateDate Made Default
Grace carver applications/ visualization 5.1.22 grace/5.1.22 2010-05-26 2012-01-13
Grace carver_sl6 applications/ visualization 5.1.22 grace/5.1.22 2014-08-14 2014-08-14
Grace edison applications/ visualization 5.1.25 grace/5.1.25 2015-06-12 2015-06-12
Grace hopper_cle52 applications/ visualization 5.1.25 grace/5.1.25 2015-03-01 2015-03-01
Grace hopper_cle52 applications/ visualization 5.1.25-netcdf grace/5.1.25-netcdf 2015-06-08