I'm trying to analyze a signal I got out of a scope on my PC and a program like TekScope Anywhere looks like it will do what I'm after.

How can I get plots and data of the scope?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just use spreadsheet software. Note that I've found open-source software tends to not handle enormous files efficiently, if they handle them at all. Excel does it just fine though. We're talking like 10 minutes of loading time and if it doesn't crash it runs really slow whereas Excel just opens instantly and runs quickly. \$\endgroup\$
    – DKNguyen
    Aug 17, 2020 at 0:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hadn't any idea about this, until today, but you question made be google a little. I found this from Tektronix regarding GPL software. Apparently, Tek is using GPL'd software for at least some of their oscilloscopes and they are forced to provide the source code, when requested. I found a reference in a manual and then found the web site from Tek. It's kind of hidden (even in the manual, it is pretty much mentioned just once in a special place all separated out so you aren't sure if it is okay or not.) \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    Aug 17, 2020 at 3:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Daniel, if you find something let us know. Interesting question. +1. Anyway, DK's comment about using Excel reminds me about electronics engineers I've met and worked with who don't know much math. There are some who are quite good and I've loved working with -- because they've learned the hard way and have good intuitions I've personally learned to respect very much -- but who could not do calculus to save their lives. Barely any algebra even. But Excel has made their lives for them as it does a lot of heavy lifting for them. So that is a real option to consider. \$\endgroup\$
    – jonk
    Aug 17, 2020 at 3:29

4 Answers 4


PyVISA will generally take care of connecting to most Tektronic Scopes, the VISA interface was originally GPIB based and early Tek TDS scope have GPIB interfaces, but the general API and command interface is still present in the USB Versions as well. Afterwards plotting with matplotlib or gnuplot if you prefer .

The somewhat Generic command CURVE? will return the immediate sample data, but the full command suite allows you to set triggers, x/y scale, inputs , sample rate, etc. Full capabilities depends on the scope.

See : TekVISA Programming Manual

Tektronix FAQ

PyVISA Documentation

Here is my basic implementation from a number of years ago of digital reading utility for a Tek Scope, it is written for a GPIB backend but is directly compatible with PyVISA Backend



If you scope has Ethernet, you can log into the webserver (on the scope via http) and control the scope and get plots (jpegs). Otherwise use Tek visa and write you own scripts with python or your favorite scripting language


A little late to the game but TekScope's 30-day trials are available through TekCloud.com Weird thing is that you can start with a lower tier, enjoy 30 days, upgrade to a higher tier and enjoy 30 additional days. So can get up to 60 days for free.


There's an early free version ( of TekScope:


Main features:

  • Save scope screen as image
  • Save waveform as csv file
  • Save measurements as csv file
  • Save/load scope setups
  • Console communication

Quick overview of a Free Software: TekScope Utility for Tektronix Oscilloscopes


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