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Binary heat map generator

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Project Status: Active — The project has reached a stable, usable state and is being actively developed. MIT License!-1EAEDB.svg

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binheat converts a description of a binary relation into a PDF image of the relation as a binary heat map (a.k.a. matrix display, adjacency matrix, comparison chart, and probably a bunch of other names as well; see below for an example).

Each line of the input (except for blank lines and comments, which are ignored) must be of the form x<TAB>y, denoting a pair (x, y) in the binary relation. If the --multiline option is given, an input line may instead contain multiple tab-separated fields; x<TAB>a<TAB>b<TAB>c is then short for x<TAB>a, x<TAB>b, and x<TAB>c.

In the output table, the values from the first column of each input line become the labels of the table’s rows, and the values from the second input column onwards become the labels of the table’s columns. This can be reversed with the --transpose option.


binheat requires Python 3.4 or higher. Just use pip for Python 3 (You have pip, right?) to install binheat and its dependencies:

python3 -m pip install binheat


binheat [<OPTIONS>] [<infile> [<outfile>]]

Input is read from <infile> (or standard input if no file is specified), and the resulting PDF is written to <outfile> (or standard output if no file is specified).


  • -C <file>, --column-labels <file> — Use the lines in <file> (after discarding blank lines & comments) in the order they appear as column labels (or row labels if --transpose is in effect). Any pairs in the input whose second column does not appear in <file> are discarded.
  • -F <ttf-file>, --font <ttf-file> — Use the given .ttf file for the text font. By default, all text is typeset in Times-Roman.
  • -f <size>, --font-size <size> — Set the text size to <size> (default 12).
  • -m, --multilinefoo<TAB>bar<TAB>baz (or any number of tab-separated fields) will be allowed as an abbreviation for foo<TAB>bar followed by foo<TAB>baz etc.
  • -R <file>, --row-labels <file> — Use the lines in <file> (after discarding blank lines & comments) in the order they appear as row labels (or column labels if --transpose is in effect). Any pairs in the input whose first column does not appear in <file> are discarded.
  • -S, --no-sort — Labels in the output will be listed in the order in which they appear in the input file rather than in lexical order
  • -T, --transpose — The output will be transposed — i.e., the first column of the input will be used for the output table’s column labels, and the second input column onwards will be used for the table’s row labels.


The following input file:

NUL (\0, 0x00)<TAB>iscntrl
BEL (\a, 0x07)<TAB>iscntrl
BS (\b, 0x08)<TAB>iscntrl
TAB (\t, 0x09)<TAB>iscntrl<TAB>isspace<TAB>isblank
LF (\n, 0x0A)<TAB>iscntrl<TAB>isspace
VT (\v, 0x0B)<TAB>iscntrl<TAB>isspace
FF (\f, 0x0C)<TAB>iscntrl<TAB>isspace
CR (\r, 0x0D)<TAB>iscntrl<TAB>isspace
SPACE (0x20)<TAB>isprint<TAB>isspace<TAB>isblank
DEL (0x7F)<TAB>iscntrl

produces (using the --multiline and --no-sort options) an output file that looks like this:

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