Matplotlib plot format, x**2 as x^2

So when I plot, I noticed matplot doesn't like x^2 and other similar formats. Instead it wants Python based math expressions such as x**2.
How do I plot using x^2 notation instead of x**2? Another example is it only wants exp(x) instead of e^(x).
x = arange(self.x_window, self.x_window, self.res) try: y = eval(self.tf.text.lower()) plt.plot(x, y, linewidth=3) except: console.hud_alert('syntax error','error',1.00) return

In my code, should I just detect for ^ or e and replace it with ** or exp, respectively?
By the way, the end goal here is to allow a user to enter "familiar" math notation into a text field and allow it to be processed. x**4 for example is not familiar notation.

I guess you'd have to use regular expressions to preprocess the user input before you plot. You have to be careful how you do it though, because e^ should become exp and not e**.
A quick and dirty solution would be to print a line to tell the user to use ** instead of ^ etc.

formula = formula.replace('e^(', 'exp(').replace('^', '**')

Too smooth.

Ok Mr. smarty pants lol. How about this one....
What if a user puts in 5x ( as in 5 times x) or any NUMBER next to x? Matplot only wants 5*x. How can I use string.replace to squeeze that * between them?

I would bid for permitting both notations  in your final code. After all users are quite likely to come across both in their lives. (I certainly have.) :)

regex
is probably better here but...def x_times(formula): if 'x ' in formula: for i in xrange(10): formula = formula.replace('{}x '.format(i), '{} * '.format(i)) return formula

@Martin
Yes, agreed. Thank you.
The exp( ) example above inherently allows for both. Also, what ever the solution is for the 5x example should allow for both 5x and 5*x as well.

Also, think about e^x or e^x or e^4 (without the brackets). For that you definitely need regular expressions.
import re formula = re.sub(r'e\^(?[x09.]+?)', 'exp(\1)', formula)
Something like that, haven't tested it, but should give you a start if you want to do something with re.