The (Column Properties)Categories Tab

The Categories tab of the Workbook Column Properties dialog allows you to customize the categorical properties of a particular column. It is only accessible when current column is Set As Categorical.

And the same controls in this tab can be accessed by double clicking on the Categories column label row.

The Column Properties Categories Tab 01.png

If the column is Set As Categorical, the Missing Values by default will be excluded from the categorical map. To include missing values as categories, you have to set system variable @cats=0 first and then right click on that column and uncheck Set As Categorical. Right click on that column again to check Set As Categorical so that missing values will be taken into account now.

Customize Categories (Add, Delete, Set Arbitrary Order)

Checking this box allows you to customize categories: Add, delete or arbitrarily order categories. When cleared, categories are dynamically generated from column data.


Available when the Customize Categories (Add, Delete, Set Arbitrary Order) check box is cleared.


Categorical order determined by order of first appearance in column.


Sort categories in ascending order.


Sort categories in descending order.

Notes on Sort Order

Sort order determines plotting order. In the following two examples, column B(Y) contains numeric data and column A(x) is Set as Categorical and sorted in Ascending order. Note that sorting does not sort worksheet data; rather it sorts categories for plotting.

Categorical sort 1.png
Categorical sort 2.png

Prior to Origin 2017 SR1, categories in the second example (strictly numeric data) would have been sorted alphabetically, resulting in a different plotting order as seen in the following:

Categorical sort 3.png


Display the category elements in current worksheet column and its current order.

Column Properties Category Index.png

The Category Index is assigned according to category sort order, or if unsorted, by the order in this Category list.

Beginning with Origin 2020b, you can toggle between display of Category and Category Index in the worksheet column by clicking the Show Category Indices button on the worksheet page-level Mini Toolbar.

Category Button Group

Shown only when the Customize Categories (Add, Delete, Set Arbitrary Order) box is checked.

Group List This part includes a display box and a toolbar with seven buttons (see below) to edit category list:
  • Move To Top button Category Tab Button ToTop 92.png
    Move the category item to the top of the list
  • Move Up button Category Tab Button Move Up 92.png
    Move up the category item one step up on the list
  • Move Down button Category Tab Button Move Down 92.png
    Move down the category item one step down on the list
  • Move To Bottom button Category Tab Button ToBottom 92.png
    Move the category item to the bottom of the list
  • Reverse button Categories Reverse Button.png
    Reverse the sequence of category items in the list.
  • Delete button Category Tab Button Delete 92.png
    Delete the selected category item from the list
  • Add button Category Tab Button Add 92.png
    Add a new item to the category list

Save, Load, Copy, Paste, Scan


Save the categories displayed in Category panel as a TXT file to the User Files\Categories sub-folder. Existing TXT files are listed in the fly-out menu.


Load a category TXT file as current column categories. Existing category TXT files in the User Files\Categories sub-folder are listed in the fly-out menu.


Copy current column categories onto clipboard.


Paste categories saved in clipboard into other columns to share categories.


Scan current categorical column and append newly found categories to current category list if there are any.