Vernacular Figure Description Documentation Status

VFD (Vernacular Figure Description) is a JSON-based description system for plots. It aims to describe what needs to be plotted, while how it is done is decided when the files are opened. This allows to generate a set of files describing the plots, which can latter be batch-processed to produce a consistent set of figures.

Also check for tools to use it from other applications.


  • Describe and plot:
    • Scatter plots
    • Error bars
    • Color maps (from arrays of 2D data)
    • Multiple plots in one file
    • Two x or y axes in the same plot
  • GUI, CLI and python package to plot the files with matplotlib.
  • API mimicking matplotlib’s to generate files without changing your code.
  • File format will be always backward-compatible. While version < 1.0.0, CLI and API might change.


To install the latest release, assuming you have a Python distribution with pip:

$ pip install vfd

Windows users with no interest in Python might use the deployed installer instead.

If you want to enable bash autocompletion add eval "$(_VFD_COMPLETE=source vfd)" to your .bashrc file.