13 Graphical Exploration of Data
Origin includes a number of tools for graphically exploring your data, including tools for magnifying and zooming, reading XY coordinate values, and drawing and deleting data points.
Since Origin 2016, Origin introduced add-on tools called Apps. Since being introduced, many new exploratory and analysis-related tools have been added to OriginLab's File Exchange and more tools are being released all the time. Please visit the File Exchange to review available tools. In Origin 2017, you can alternatively open Origin Central(by pressing F11 or selecting Help:Origin Central menu) to check the available Apps, including the recently added/updated Apps and the popular Apps).
Zooming, Panning and Rescaling
This section discusses the use of toolbar tools, and keyboard and menu commands that change the view of the graph. We have split these tools and commands into two groups: Page-level zoom and panning operations that do not change axis scales; and Rescale operations which zoom and pan the graph by changing axis From and To values.
|Note: Page level zoom and panning treat the graph page as a whole. You can read the current zoom level in the Zoom dropdown list of the Standard toolbar. Page level zoom and pan will not affect the printout or export of the graph, while Rescaling tools(such as and )change axis scales and will affect the printout and export of the graph.
Page Zoom and Pan
| Zoom-Panning: Zoom and pan the graph page.
||CTRL + I and CTRL + M
||View:Zoom In and View:Zoom Out
- Use mouse wheel to zoom in or out, with "hand" as focal point.
- Drag with left mouse button to pan.
| Whole Page: Show the whole graph page.
||CTRL + W
|View: Whole Page
- Reset the view of the page after using the Zoom-Panning tool.
| Zoom All: All objects in the window are shown.
||View: Zoom All
- Can be used to locate "lost" objects lying outside the graph page.
| Rescale: Rescale and pan the graph in both X and Y dimensions.
- Scroll to rescale X.
- SHIFT + scroll to rescale Y.
- Drag with the left mouse button to pan (will rescale both X and Y).
| Rescale the graph in the X dimension.
||Z + scroll wheel
Z + +/- keys
- Rescales X.
- Does not rescale Y.
| Pan the graph in the X dimension.
||X + scroll wheel
X + +/- keys
- Rescales X.
- Does not rescale Y.
| Rescale the graph in the Y dimension.
||SHIFT + Z + scroll wheel
SHIFT + Z + +/- keys
- Rescales Y.
- Does not rescale X.
| Pan the graph in the Y dimension.
||SHIFT + X + scroll wheel
SHIFT + X + +/- keys
- Rescales Y.
- Does not rescale X.
| Scale In/Scale Out: Rescale the graph in X and Y dimensions.
- Select Scale In button, then drag out a rectangle to define axis scale range.
- Reset by clicking on the Scale Out button (no need to drag).
- Rescales both X and Y.
Origin 9.1 SR0 introduced the @nrm system variable to modify rescale behavior when using the Rescale tool or associated shortcut keys:
@nrm = 0: From/To values on the Scale tab of the Axis dialog box will change when Rescale is set to Manual. This is established behavior.
@nrm = 1: From/To values will not change when Rescale is set to Manual. This is new behavior.
Modify the current behavior by opening the Script Window (Window: Script Window), typing @nrm = <value>, then pressing ENTER.
- Since Origin 2017, we have renamed Manual rescaling to Fixed rescaling. And several advanced selections, one-side fixed rescaling, have been available under this Rescale drop-down list.
- When using the older Scale In tool you are prompted to override Manual rescaling. However, when @nrm=1 you cannot override the Axis dialog box Rescale setting.
Reading Coordinate Values
Tools toolbar (View: Toolbars). There is a related tool -- Vertical Cursor -- available from the Gadgets menu.
Origin provides several tools to aid in graphical exploration of your data plots. Most of these tools are available from the
The Screen Reader tool
The simplest data exploration tool is the Screen Reader . The Screen Reader works with the Data Display window to dynamically display the XY coordinates of the cursor on the graph page. The Data Display window opens automatically when you select the Screen Reader tool from the Tools toolbar.
You can alter basic properties of the Data Display window by right-clicking on the window title bar or by right-clicking inside the window.
To use the Screen Reader:
- Click the Screen Reader button on the Tools toolbar. This opens the Data Display tool.
- Click on a location in the graph page to read its X,Y, and Z coordinates (ternary and contour only). Coordinate values show in the Data Display tool.
- To increase cross-hair size, press the space bar.
- Click the Pointer button on the Tools toolbar to exit screen reading mode.
You can hover on a data plot to see the source book, sheet and dataset.
Dataset information is hyperlinked; simply click on a dataset to open the source sheet.
If you want to turn off this tooltip on data plot, you can run
@PT=0; in the Script Window. To enable it again, please run the corresponding command on below:
@PT=1; //Enable showing tooltips for 2D graph
@PT=2; //Enable showing tooltips for 3D OpenGL graph
@PT=3; //Enable showing tooltips for both 2D graph and 3D OpenGL graph
The Data Reader Tool
Use the Data Reader tool to read information associated with a data point in your plot. This information can include XY(Z) coordinate values, and other metadata and images describing the data point(to view these kind of information, you need customize the Data Info Window).
The Data Reader tool is grouped with one related tool -- Cursor tool. Only one of them will display at a time. To select a hidden tool, click on the small arrow in the lower-right corner of the button and select a tool from the shortcut menu.
To use the Data Reader tool:
- Click the Data Reader button on the Tools toolbar. This opens the Data Info window.
- Click on a data point to read its X,Y (and Z, if they exist) coordinates. Coordinate values display in the Data Info window (and Data Display window).
- To move the cross-hair to the next data point along the data plot, use the LEFT and RIGHT arrow keys or click on the data point using your mouse. If you have multiple plots in a layer, use UP and DOWN arrow keys to move it to a data point on another plot or user mouse to click it.
- To change the vertical and horizontal cross hair size, click on a point and press the spacebar to adjust.
- Click the Pointer button on the Tools toolbar or Esc key to exit the Data Reader tool.
The Annotation Tool
Use the Annotation tool to label a data point. The tool works with most Line + Symbol and Column/Bar plots. Choose from several standard data point labels or create your own custom label using LabTalk script.
The Annotation tool has been improved for 2017. A new Annotation dialog offers more flexible label and leader line customization, plus positioning and programming controls. Also, you can now ALT + drag a label to another data point and the label will automatically read the new data point.
To annotate a data point:
- Click the Annotation button on the Tools toolbar and move the cursor to your graph. Note that the cursor and the Status Bar display the label form.
- Use the TAB to toggle between the following standard annotation options: (X coordinate value, Y coordinate value), (X coordinate value, Y coordinate value)[index number], X coordinate value, Y coordinate value, or index number (row number), or Custom (see Tutorial, next).
- Double-click to add the chosen label to the data point.
Tutorial: Customizing the Annotation String
The annotation string can be customized by combining literal characters with the X and Y coordinate values:
- Start with a graph of your data
- Open the Script Window (Window:Script Window) and type the following command, then press Enter:
system.annotation.customlabel$="X value: $(x,.2), Y value: $(y,*5)"
- Click the Annotation button , hover on your graph, then press the Tab key several times to cycle through the annotation choices until the custom string format specified above is displayed in the status bar. The cursor will display the word "Custom".
- Start double-clicking on data points to add the custom annotation string. The X values will be displayed with two decimal places and the Y values will be displayed with 5 significant digits.
|Note: Please view more information on string formatting in the Programming help file:
Help: Programming: LabTalk > Language Reference > Object Reference > Alphabetical Listing of Objects > String
Switch to the Pointer and drag to re-position overlapping labels. A leader line is automatically added.
The Data Cursor Tool
Data Cursor tool allows you to place cursors on a data plot and then measure the X and Y distance between the cursor locations. The cursors can also be placed on different data plots within a layer to measure relative distance between data points in different plots. Data cursor work together with data reader to read X and Y distance between data reader and data cursor.
The Data Info Window
Data Info window opens when you choose either the Data Reader , the Annotation or the Data Cursor tools . At first glance, the Data Info window seems to duplicate the functionality of the Data Display tool (reading XY coordinates in the graph).
However, the Data Info window is customizable and ultimately, more powerful than the Data Display window. In addition to numerical data, you can display other classes of data -- metadata and images -- associated with a particular data point.
To customize the display of the Data Info window, right-click on the Data Info window and choose Preferences... from the shortcut menu. Use the controls in the Data Info Report Settings dialog box to customize the display of the Data Info window:
- The Title tab is used to specify how the report title is displayed in the upper left corner of the Data Info window.
- The Rows tab is used to specify which columns in the data worksheet are shown in the Data Info window.
- The Columns tab allows control over what displays in the Data Info window. In addition to the data groups that are chosen in the Rows tab, the user can choose to show additional information such as the Long Name, Short Name, Units, and data contained in individual cells.
- The Display tab contains options for customizing the display properties of the Data Info window.
- On the top of the dialog, there is Dialog Theme control. The Data Info. window customization can be saved to graph, layer and even plot level so that every time you use Data Reader, Cursor, or Annotation tool on such graph, layer or plot,such Data Info. window will show up. Or you can save it as a theme file and load it in the future.
Gadgets for data exploration and analysis. These gadgets are accessible from the Gadgets menu when a graph window is active. Three gadgets in particular are suitable for data exploration:
Origin provides several
The Vertical Cursor gadget is especially useful for reading XY coordinate values for data points in stacked panel plots or multi-plot graphs, where plots share a common X scale.
To open the Vertical Cursor:
- With a graph window active, choose Gadgets: Vertical Cursor... from the main menu. This opens the Vertical Cursor dialog box.
Using the controls in this Gadget's dialog box, you can add data labels to the graph, increase or decrease label font size, hide labels, etc.
The Statistics gadget returns basic statistics on data points falling inside a rectangular region-of-interest (ROI) on the graph.
- Display basic statistics for data inside the ROI.
- Display mean and nth Standard Deviation lines inside the ROI.
- Update results dynamically as ROI is moved or resized.
The Cluster gadget (available in OriginPro) provides the following features:
- Display basic statistics for data inside a region of interest (ROI).
- Switch between rectangular or elliptical ROI.
- View statistics for points inside and outside of the ROI.
- Edit, copy, mask, delete or group data points.
- Update results dynamically as ROI is moved/re-sized.
- Output results to a worksheet.
|Note: To learn more about these gadgets, see:
Help: Origin: Origin Help > Gadgets
Topics for Further Reading