A Julia package for creating live-style plots during calculations.
Author williamjsdavis
24 Stars
Updated Last
10 Months Ago
Started In
March 2020


SmoothLivePlot.jl is a Julia package for creating live-style plots during calculations.


Updating the Juno plot plane during calculations creates new plots on top of the old ones. This produces a flickering effect e.g.:

To smoothly update of plots, I generalised a solution found by user ckneale. It uses Observables.jl and WebIO.jl so that the plot can listen to changes in its elements.

Currently, I have tested the following capabilities:

  • Modifying values in X and/or Y array(s) in scatter and plot
  • Modifying colours in scatter and plot
  • Modifying text elements (e.g. titles, xlabels, etc...)
  • Modifying matricies in contour plots
  • Adding new elements to X,Y arrays in 2d line and scatter plots
  • Adding new elements to X,Y,Z in 3d line and scatter plots

Note: this package is designed to work with the plot plane in Juno. If you force it to plot in a gui it will look really weird.

Using the package

  1. Import the module using using SmoothLivePlot.
  2. Create a live plot with macro outPlotObject = @makeLivePlot myPlotFunction(argument1, argument2, ...).
    • Function myPlotFunction(argument1, argument2, ...) is a user defined plotting function.
    • Output outPlotObject is a mutable output array of plot features. Its elements are the input aruments of myPlotFunction().
  3. Modify plot elements with function modifyPlotObject!(outPlotObject, arg2 = newArg2, arg1 = newArg1, ...).
    • The first argment of modifyPlotObject!() must be the mutable output array.
    • The following argments are optional and named. The name/value pair must be arg<x> = newArg1, where <x> in the name is an integer that indicates the position of the argument in the original plotting function myPlotFunction().
    • E.g. to modify argument2 to newArgument2, use modifyPlotObject!(outPlotObject, arg2 = newArgument2).
    • The modified arguments do not have to be in any specific order, and are updated at the same time.

Short example

Here's a video showing an output live-plot from some magnetohydrodynamic calculations:



  • Add capability to add additional elements to plots.
  • Benchmark performance.


  • Version 0.1.0 - Introduced original version.

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