My program produces a large data set, which is distributed by some unknown function. I've used SmoothHistogram to visualise it crudely as a probability distribution function, but now I want to export the plot data from SmoothHistogram - is there a way for me to retrieve just the line SmoothHistogram plots, so I can analyse it in an external program?

  • $\begingroup$ Try First@Cases[SmoothHistogram[something ...], Line[a___] :> a, Infinity]! This is the data now use Export on this data and for help with the possible export file format check the docs. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2013 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


There are two methods:

  1. Extract the data directly from the SmoothHistogram plot:

    r = RandomReal[NormalDistribution[], 1000];
    plot = SmoothHistogram[r]

    enter image description here

    pts1 = Join @@ Cases[plot, Line[p__] :> p, ∞]
    {{-4.10173, 0.}, {-4.10173, 0.}, {-4.09273, 0.000372864}, ... }
  2. Use regular HistogramList with the subsequent smoothing

    pts2 = Transpose@{(Most[#] + Rest[#])/2, 
      GaussianFilter[#2, 12 {3, 1}, Padding -> 0.0]} & @@ 
        HistogramList[r, {-3.5, 3.5, 0.02}, "PDF"];

    Here 12*3 = 36 is the radius of Gaussian smoothing and 12*1 = 12 is the standard deviation in units 0.02.


ListLinePlot[{pts1, pts2}]

enter image description here

Then you can Export pts1 or pts2.


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