I am new to Mathematica, but already find it a very nice tool. Right now I am trying to create an animation of numeric data, where each frame corresponds to a distinct text file with a table-like content.

With one static frame (file) I can do the following:

file = "Desktop/d1.txt"
data = Import[file, "Table"]

Now, with multiple frames (files) I have to somehow animate a list of 2D lists, e.g.:

files = { "Desktop/d1.txt", "Desktop/d2.txt", "Desktop/d3.txt" }
data = Map[Import[#] &, files]

ListAnimate is said to accept a list:


,but it does not display the bitmap and shows a box with an advancing position bar and text representation of the data[[1]] . I would like to playback all the files' content as consecutive bitmaps. Should I somehow rearrange my 2D lists and/or may be ListAnimate is the wrong function for that task and I should use something else?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ 1) ListAnimate 2) there is no ArrayPlot in AnimateList/ListAnimate. So is ListAnimate[ArrayPlot/@data] what you need? $\endgroup$
    – Kuba
    Sep 14, 2013 at 11:49
  • $\begingroup$ I am sorry for the typo, indeed it is ``ListAnimate''. $\endgroup$
    – Student4K
    Sep 14, 2013 at 21:35

2 Answers 2


Here's an example that does work, like Kuba says you have to give ListAnimate a list of exactly the elements you want to cycle through.

ListAnimate[Table[ArrayPlot[RandomReal[1, {3, 3}]], {i, 100}], 10]


In your case:

ListAnimate[Map[ArrayPlot[Import[#,"Table"]] &, files]]

Observe that the real name of the function is ListAnimate and not AnimateList.


Another way to approach this is with Manipulate:

Manipulate[ArrayPlot[RandomReal[i, {5, 5}]], {i, 1, 100}]

This creates a slider that allows you to move through the various images. By clicking on the small + sign in the upper right you can choose autorun, and it will animate through the various data.

enter image description here


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