8.7.2 Adding Layers with the Layer Management Tool

Use the Layer Management Tool to:

  • Add layers to the graph page
  • Specify the linking behavior of added layers
  • To resize and position the graph layers
  • Control the display and scale type of graph axes for each layer
  • To swap layers on the graph page
  • To learn more about layer management tool, please refer to the laymanage X-Function

In this section, we will look at what is involved in creating the three types of graphs -- the double Y, the multi-panel and the inset graph -- by manual addition and manipulation of graph layers.

Ultimately, applications of the multi-layer graph extend well beyond the three aforementioned graphs. However, by examining the process of manually creating these three graphs from a simple single-layered graph, you should gain sufficient understanding of the workings of the Layer Management Tool to create your own multi-layered configurations.

Origin provides Common Display controls for applying customizations made to a single graph layer, to selected layers in a multi-layer graph. By default, added layers are excluded from such group customizations. For more information, see Common Display.

Double Y Axis graph

To manually create a Double Y Axis graph from a simple, single-layered graph, do the following:

  1. Click on your 2D graph window to ensure that it is active.
  2. From the menu, choose Graph: Layer Management.
  3. Click on the Add tab, set Type to Right-Y (Linked X Scale and Dimension) and Link To to 1.
  4. Click the Apply button. A second Y axis is added to the graph Preview.
  5. Click the Link tab and set X Axis Link to Straight (1 to 1). This is logical since you expect both independent variables in a double Y plot to share a common X axis scale even though Y axis scales presumably differ. Cilck OK to apply the settings to graph and close the dialog.
  6. Add your data to the newly-added layer (by drag-and-drop or using the Plot Setup dialog box).

You have manually created -- using the Layer Management Tool -- essentially the same graph that was created using the built-in Double Y template.

Inset Graph

To manually create an Inset Graph from a simple, single-layered graph, do the following:

  1. Click on your 2D graph window to ensure that it is active.
  2. From the menu, choose Graph: Layer Management.
  3. Click the Add tab, set Type to Inset With Data (Linked Dimension) and Link To to 1.
  4. Click the Apply button and click OK to close the dialog and add the inset layer to the active graph window.

As with the inset graph that you created using the Add Inset Graph button Button Add Inset Graph Empty.png on the Graph toolbar, you will probably want to adjust the inset graph display range. To do so, click on the inset graph axes, open the Axis dialog box and adjust the From and To axis scale values (Scale tab).

Panel Graph

To manually create a panel graph (or Stacked graph) from a simple, single-layered graph, do the following:

  1. Click on your 2D graph window to ensure that it is active.
  2. From the menu, choose Graph: Layer Management.
  3. Click the Add tab, and under the Add Layer node, set Type to Bottom X - Left Y.
  4. Under the Arrange node, set Number of Columns = 2 and Number of Row = 2, and select Add Extra Layer(s) for Grid. You can accept the default Spacing node settings but note that these settings determine the spacings between graph layers.
  5. Click the Apply button. Three new layers are added to the graph Preview. This is because we specified a 2 x 2 arrangement of layers on the page.
  6. Click OK and the active graph is converted into a 4 panel graph.
  7. To add data to the newly-created layers, use drag-and-drop or using the Plot Setup dialog box (Note that not all graph types can be created by simply adding data to an existing layer. Some require intermediate steps involving calculations).

Note:

There are alternate pathways for creating panel graphs, apart from creating one directly using a built-in graph template or -- as outlined above -- adding layers using the Layer Management Tool:

  • You can also use the Graph: Merge Graph Windows menu command to merge selected graph windows.
  • You can use the Extract to Layers button on the Graphs toolbar to extract multiple plots contained in a single layer to multiple graph layers arranged in rows x columns array.