I have time-series data (daily values for a few years in CSV) that I want to plot for personal, casual use. I want to pan around, zoom in/out, and quickly check individual values with one or more cursors, much like what one would do with an oscilloscope.

Currently I'm making do with spreadsheet software and their plots, but they rather generate static, nice-looking graphs for a few hundred data points at most, and get awkward with bigger data sets and hardly allow any exploration. Google spreadsheets are slightly better than LibreOffice, Apple Numbers or Excel, but still is barely adequate.

Trading charts get close to what I would like regarding the exploration freedom (see https://iguanacharts.com/ ) , though I wouldn't need the crazy analysis/graphing extras.

Open source / free software for a Mac desktop would be best. Linux acceptable too. Preferably no programming, but if needed I have experience with Matlab, Python and CLI tools, and could try Javascript/browser offline options.

1 Answer 1


The combination of Python/Jupyter/Pandas and graphing suites such as HoloViz should give you what you need with minimal coding and good interactivity. You can get the full installation in a few simple steps:

  1. Install Anaconda or Miniconda if you don't have it already
  2. Open the conda prompt and
  3. conda create -n holoviz python=3.7
  4. conda activate holoviz
  5. conda install -c pyviz holoviz

You can get and test the examples with:

  1. Create and change directory to a suitable directory, e.g. holoviz_tutorial
  2. holoviz examples
  3. jupyter notebook

Pay particular attention to the DataShader examples such as OSM (which visualizes 2.7 billion points), OSM-1 Billion & HVPlot.

This solution is:

  • Free, Gratis & Open Source
  • Linux, Mac & Windows

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