Version 4.6 of gnuplot introduced command iteration and block-structured if/else/while/do constructs. See if, while, and do. Simple iteration is possible inside plot or set commands. See plot for. General iteration spanning multiple commands is possible using a block construct as shown below. For a related new feature, see the summation expression type. Here is an example using several of these new syntax features:
set multiplot layout 2,2
fourier(k, x) = sin(3./2*k)/k * 2./3*cos(k*x)
do for [power = 0:3] {
    TERMS = 10**power
    set title sprintf("%g term Fourier series",TERMS)
    plot 0.5 + sum [k=1:TERMS] fourier(k,x) notitle 
unset multiplot

Iteration is controlled by an iteration specifier with syntax

for [<var> in "string of N elements"]


for [<var> = <start> : <end> { : <increment> }]

In the first case <var> is a string variable that successively evaluates to single-word substrings 1 to N of the string in the iteration specifier. In the second case <start>, <end>, and <increment> are integers or integer expressions.

With one exception, gnuplot variables are global. There is a single, persistent, list of active variables indexed by name. Assignment to a variable creates or replaces an entry in that list. The only way to remove a variable from that list is the undefine command.

The single exception to this is the variable used in an iteration specifier. The scope of the iteration variable is private to that iteration. You cannot permanently change the value of the iteration variable inside the iterated clause. If the iteration variable has a value prior to iteration, that value will be retained or restored at the end of the iteration. For example, the following commands will print 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A.

i = "A"
do for [i=1:10] { print i; i=10; }
print i

Copyright 1986 - 1993, 1998, 2004 Thomas Williams, Colin Kelley
Distributed under the gnuplot license (rights to distribute modified versions are withheld).