The Plot Menu

This menu is active only when a table is selected. These commands allow plotting data from the selected table. As a group, all of these commands create a new graph window which contains a single, empty layer. The newly created plot is drawn on this empty layer.

Plot Wizard (Ctrl-Alt-W)

Opens the Plot Wizard dialog.

Line ->

Selecting Line -> opens up a sub-menu of additional commands for plotting specialized graphs consisting of lines.

Line

Plots the selected data columns using "Line" style. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog.

Line Central

Plots a graph of the selected data columns using "Line" style and the X and Y axes located in the middle of the layer. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog. The axes can also be customized by opening the corresponding dialog via a double-click on the axis ticks or labels.

Vertical Steps

Plots the selected data columns using "Vertical Steps" style. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog.

Horizontal Steps

Plots the selected data columns using "Horizontal Steps" style. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog.

Symbol ->

Selecting Symbol -> opens up a sub-menu of additional commands for plotting specialized graphs using "Scatter" style for the data.

Scatter

Similar to the Line command except that the plot is drawn using "Scatter" style. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Plot details dialog.

Scatter Central

Plots a graph of the selected data columns using "Scatter" style and the X and Y axes located in the middle of the layer. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Plot details dialog. The axes can also be customized by opening the corresponding dialog via a double-click on the axis ticks or labels.

Vertical Drop Lines

Plots the selected data columns using "Vertical drop lines" style. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Plot details dialog.

Bubble

Plots the selected data columns using indexed sizes for the plot symbols. You need to select at least two Y columns for this plot operation. The first Y column in the selection is used for the positions of the plot symbols and the next one determines their sizes. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Plot details dialog.

Line + Symbol ->

Line+Symbol

Identical to the Line command except that the plot is drawn using "Line + Symbol" style. This command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog.

Line + Symbol Central

Plots a graph of the selected data columns using "Line + Symbol" style and the X and Y axes located in the middle of the layer. The command can also be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog. The axes can also be customized by opening the corresponding dialog via a double-click on the axis ticks or labels.

Spline

Plots the selected data columns using "Spline" style. Once the plot is created, the drawing style of the data series can be customized with the Custom curves dialog.

Column/Bar/Pie ->

Selecting Column/Bar/Pie opens up a sub-menu of commands for plotting specialized bar and column graphs.

Columns

Plots the selected data columns using "Columns" style, that is vertical bars.

Rows

Plots the selected data columns using "Rows" style.

Stack Column

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. The Stack Column command plots a stack-column for each selected row in the currently active table. It is essentially the same as the Stack Bar plot, but drawn as vertical stack-columns rather than horizontal stack-bars.

Stack Bar

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. The Stack Bar command plots a stack-bar for each selected row in the currently active table. They may be used to conveniently display cumulative data that changes over time, such as budgetary information. The stack-bars are drawn one above the other in a position determined by the X value of the corresponding row. Each stack-bar is composed of a set of joined segments. The widths of the segments are set by the Y values in the row and their relative positions correspond to the column order in the table. Each segment is plotted in a color corresponding to the column number of the Y value determining the segment's width. Colors, segment outlining, vertical separation of the stack-bars, and the axis values can all be customized. An example of a stack-bar plot is shown below, followed by the table that was used to generate the plot.

A stack-bar plot showing a hypothetical budgetary breakdown for a 5 year period. The data in the table shown below was used to generate this plot.

100% Stack Column

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. The 100% Stack Column command plots a stack-column for each selected row in the currently active table. It is essentially the same as the 100% Stack Bar plot, but drawn as vertical stack-columns rather than horizontal stack-bars.

100% Stack Bar

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. The 100% Stack Bar command plots a stack-bar for each selected row in the currently active table, comparing the percentage that each value contributes to a total across categories. You can use a 100% stacked bar plot when you have several data sets and you want to emphasize the contributions to the whole, especially if the total is the same for each category.

Floating Column

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. The floating column graph displays Y values as beginning and ending column levels for each X value. You must select at least two Y columns of values (or a range from at least two columns). If there is an X column to the left of the Y columns, the X column values are used; otherwise, the worksheet's default X values are used.

Floating Bar

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. The floating bar graph displays Y values as beginning and ending bar levels for each X value. The X values are plotted along the vertical axis. You must select at least two Y columns of values (or a range from at least two columns). If there is an X column to the left of the Y columns, the X column values are used; otherwise, the worksheet's default X values are used.

3D Color Pie Chart

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Creates a pseudo 3D colored pie chart using the selected column in the active table window (only one column allowed).

2D BW Pie Chart

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. Creates a 2D black and white pie chart using the selected column in the active table window (only one column allowed).

Multi-Curve ->

Selecting Multi-Curve -> opens up a sub-menu of additional commands for plotting multiple data sets.

Double-Y

Creates a double Y axis graph. Requires a selection of at least two Y columns (or a range from at least two columns). The last Y column in the selection range is attached to the right axis of the plot layer.

Stack Lines by Y Offsets

Creates a new graph window containing a Stacked Lines plot generated from data in the selected columns. Each column is drawn as a separate curve which has a vertical offset from the previous one. This offset setting that can be modified in the Stack tab of the Plot Details dialog. By default, Stacked Lines by Y Offsets graphs employ the "Auto" data plot offset type, meaning that a gap of 8% is automatically calculated between each data plot. The distances between each curve can be adjusted using this offset feature to eliminate the need to change the original data. Using this feature prevents the curves from overlapping and ensures that each curve can be viewed clearly.

Waterfall

Creates a new graph window containing a waterfall plot generated from data in the selected columns. Each column is drawn as a separate curve which is offset from the previous one in both X and Y, creating the so-called waterfall effect. The figure shown below is a simple example of a waterfall plot where each column is simply an attenuated version of the previous column.

Area ->

Selecting Area -> opens up a sub-menu of additional commands for generating area graphs.

Area

An Area graph is a line graph with the areas below the lines filled with colors. This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. You must select at least one Y column of values (or a range from at least one column). If the Y column(s) has an associated X column, the X column supplies the X values; otherwise, the worksheet's default X values are used.

Stack Area

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. In order to create this type of graph you must select at least two Y columns of values (or a range from at least two columns). Each successive column of values is displayed as an area graph that is stacked on the previous area graph. The upper bounds of the first area graph is treated as the baseline of the next area graph.

100% Stack Area

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. In order to create this type of graph you must select at least two Y columns of values (or a range from at least two columns). 100% Stack Area graphs help comparing the percentage that each value contributes to a total across categories. You can use them when you have several data sets and you want to emphasize the contributions to the whole, especially if the total is the same for each category.

Fill Area

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. In order to create this type of graph you must select at least two Y columns of values (or a range from at least two columns). If there is an X column to the left of the Y columns, the X column values are used; otherwise, the worksheet's default X values are used. The area between the data plots (the two Y columns) is filled using a default blue fill pattern.

Special Line/Symbol ->

Vectors XYXY

Creates a vectors plot using the selected columns in the active table window. You must select four columns for this particular type of plot. The first two columns give the coordinates of the starting points of the vectors, the last two columns give the coordinates of the end points.

Vectors XYAM

Creates a vectors plot using the selected columns in the active table window. You must select four columns for this particular type of plot. The first two columns give the coordinates of the starting points of the vectors, the last two columns give the angles (in radians) and magnitudes of the vectors.

Zoom

Creates a new graph with 2 layers. The first is a standard plot layer which contains a curve for each selected Y column. The second is a special layer which has 2 components: 1) There is a standard plot layer that shows a portion of the first layer's surface in a magnified view; 2) There is a separate graphical window that can be sized and dragged around the first layer to specify the portion of that layer which is shown in the magnified view. The figure below shows a typical zoom plot.

Statistical Graphs ->

Selecting the Statistical Graphs -> item opens up a sub-menu of commands for plotting various statistical graphs. Statistical plots do not give a direct drawing of the selected table data. However, a representation of the frequency distribution of the Y-values is plotted.

Box Plot

Creates a box plot using the selected data columns in the active table window. This type of plot is used to give a graphical representation of some of the classical parameters of a frequency distribution, such as the mean, the min and max values, the position of the 95 and 5 percentiles, etc. The choice of the statistical parameters and the graphical parameters can be modified with the Custom curves dialog.

Histogram

Creates a frequency histogram of the selected data columns in the active table window. The default binning uses 10 steps between the maximum and the minimum values. In order to customize the histogram double-click on the curve or right-click and select "Properties...". Both actions open the Plot Details dialog. The histogram controls are available on tabs on the right side of the dialog box. Binning behavior as well as the display of a distribution curve on the binned data can be customized via the Histogram Data tab.

Note that this command plots a frequency distribution that is computed from your data. If you want to draw a histogram directly from data values, use the Bars plot instead.

Histogram + Probabilities

This command can be activated by clicking on the icon of the Table toolbar. You must select exactly one Y column or a range from a table column. The Histogram + Probabilities creates a frequency histogram of the selected data column in the active table window, exactly like the Histogram command. Additionally, it plots a cumulative sum of observations in a second graph layer (layer 2). The statistical results - the mean, the standard deviation, the maximum and minimum values, and the total number of values - are also displayed to the Results log.

The two layers in the Histogram + Probabilities graph are linked. Therefore, before you make changes to the X axis scale or to the dimensions of the layer, make sure that the layer 2 is the active layer. This will ensure that the axis scales and dimensions of the layer 1 are adjusted accordingly.

Stacked Histogram

Creates vertically stacked layers displaying the histograms of the selected data columns in the active table window (one histogram per layer) See the Vertical 2 Layers command for more details.

Stem and Leaf

Generates a stem-and-leaf tabular plot from the selected column in a new note window. Stem-and-Leaf plots are similar to histograms but are represented using rows of decimal digits. Like a histogram, data is binned, usually by taking the most significant digits (MSDs) as "stem" values which are listed in a column on the left. The least significant digit(s) from all values having identical MSDs are then listed to the right of each stem value. From a statistical point of view, this gives the appearance of a histogram but preserves the actual data values in the plot. When this command is executed, you will be given the opportunity to select/confirm the binning increment, which is given as a power of 10 and defaults to a power of 1 (that is, a binning increment of 10).

This figure shows a typical stem-and-leaf representation of 48 random data points which are roughly Gaussian (i.e., normally distributed) and uses the default binning increment of 10.

Panel ->

Selecting the Plot -> Panel -> menu item opens a sub-menu of commands that can be used to quickly obtain some commonly used arrangements of multiple plots. Unlike other commands in this menu, the new graph window that is created may have more than one layer (as needed).

Vertical 2 Layers

Creates 2 vertically stacked layers. The data columns selected in the active table window (one curve per layer) are plotted on these layers.

Horizontal 2 Layers

Creates 2 horizontally stacked layers. The data columns selected in the active table window (one curve per layer) are plotted on these layers.

4 Layers

Creates 4 layers on a 2x2 grid. The data columns selected in the active table window (one curve per layer) are plotted on these layers.

Stacked Layers

Creates a group of vertically stacked layers, one layer per Y-Coordinate column selected. Data columns selected in the active table window (one curve per layer) are plotted on these layers.

Custom Layout...

Opens the Arrange Layers dialog which allows complete customization of the layer layout.

Data -> Plot 3D ->

Selecting the Plot -> Plot 3D -> menu item opens a sub-menu of commands used to draw some common 3D plots of 2D data.

Ribbons

Makes a 3D plot of the selected data column in the active table window (only one column allowed) using "Ribbon" style.

Bars

Makes a 3D plot of the selected data column in the active table window (only one column allowed) using "3D Bars" style.

Scatter

Makes a 3D plot of the selected data column in the active table window (only one column allowed) using "3D Dots" style. The 3D point symbol style can be changed via the 3D Plots Settings dialog.

With scatter plots, you can choose the kind of graphic item which is used to plot the data points. The example above is done with cross hairs, but you can also select points or cones. This can be done either with the corresponding icons of the 3D plot toolbar (respectively and for cross-hairs, dots and cones) or with the custom-curves dialog.

Trajectory

Makes a 3D plot of the selected data column in the active table window (only one column allowed) using "3D Line" style. The line width and color may be changed via the 3D Plots Settings dialog.