I am looking for a graphing tool that can generate Cartesian (or polar, etc.) plots by the user actually clicking on the graph itself. For example, I am presented with a blank x-y graph. I click on an empty space, and a point is created there.

The purpose of this is to create simple graphs that illustrate a relationship of different types (linear, asymptotic, etc.). I don't care that the points wouldn't be 'exact'; a bit of scatter would actually be advantageous for my purposes. As output, I'd like a vector graphics file, but raster will work in a pinch.

As an edit, here's a quick run-down of some features I'd like.

  • No need to manually create axes; they're just there. (Required)
  • Easily adjust look or shape of the points. (Required)
  • Connect the points by a smooth line if I so wish. (Not required)
  • Export as vector graphics. (Not required)
  • Ability to snap the points to a grid. (Not required)

Either OS X or Windows would be fine.

2 Answers 2


You can use GeoGebra:

  • Free (+ portable version available)
  • Works with Windows/Mac/Linux (even Android/iPhone/Windows Phone as well as in Google Chrome)
  • Click on an empty space, and a point is created there.

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FYI: List of information graphics software


What about Gimp ?

It's a free drawing software (www.gimp.com).

It has everything you want, you just have to create empty models and then you can do about everything. You can even get the coordinates of your mouse on the canvas. You can join your points with segments or bezier curves.

As your question suggests, your aren't looking for mathematically exact representation of function but more for illustration, something didactic. Using Gimp seems to be an efficient way of doing that.

I have been using it as my main tool to add illustration in tutorial and its very good at it !

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