Graphs and Exporting Data

While visualizations in the terminal are ParaView's strength, it also includes tools to plot data for different types of visualizations.

Creating Graphs In Paraview

For this, I’m going to use the same example as the introductory tutorial. The first thing you want to do is select the source you want to work with. Next, from the toolbar select Filters → Data Analysis then select whichever plot works best for you. For this example, I’m going to select Plot Data Over Time. For some options, a warning will pop up stating that it could take a long time to plot the data. This is certainly the case for large data sets but if you're using the example, it should take only a second. Click apply in the properties tab and an indicator in the bottom right should appear as your data gets processed.

Once your data is fully processed, a graph should appear, splitting the viewport in two. Keep in mind that what is visible is view specific so selecting the 3D viewport will cause an eye to appear next to the base source in the pipeline (indicating that it is what's being shown in this view), and likewise selecting the graph view will remove the eye on the source and put it on the new graph filter.

To demonstrate, compare the two images above. In the first, I clicked on the viewport giving it a blue border to indicate it's selected and also placing the eye icon on can.ex2 in the pipeline (because it's what's being shown in the viewport). Then in the second image, once I click on the graph, the blue border changes and the eye icon moves to PlotDataOverTime1.

From this point, you can use the properties menu to modify the values of the graph as you see fit, making sure to have the graph selected in the Pipeline Browser. After changes are made, many will require you to press Apply at the top of the properties menu for them to take effect.

Exporting Data To A Spreadsheet

While ParaView does have many data management tools and graphs, it's certainly not as many as other data analysis software. To use the data in other programs, you'll need to export it to a format of your choice, probably the most simple of which is a CSV (a standard format for spreadsheets).

Select your source whose data you'd like to export, then, from the toolbar, go to Extractors → Data → CSV. Make the desired changes in the properties tab, press Apply, then go to File → Save Extracts. At this point select where you would like to save the data and it should generate CSVs in the specified folder.

Common Issues

If your data has outliers or null values, many plotting functions have difficulties correctly reading the data. If this is the case, apply a Threshold filter (Filters → Common → Threshold), scale the data to whatever range you want, then apply the graph to the new threshold filter. Note that you'll have to remove the old graph, add the threshold, then re-add the graph to the threshold.

For example (before and after adding Threshold):