9.3 Customizing Plot Elements

While Plot Details Page- and Layer-level controls tend to be common to all plot types, the Plot-level controls are specific to a particular plot type or a closely-related group of plot types. This page touches on general strategies for customizing plot-level elements.

Also, see these topics on customizing elements common to many plots:

Selection and Editing of Data Plots

All plot properties are editable from the Plot Details dialog box.

  1. To open Plot Details, double-click on a data plot.

There are some plot properties which are quickly modified from toolbar buttons (e.g. plot symbol color) or from shortcut menu commands (e.g. see fast switching plot type) and in these cases, you only need to select the plot in the graph window or in the Object Manager before clicking the button or menu command:

In the graph window ...

  • For independent (ungrouped) plots, click once on a plot to select the entire plot; pause and click a second time to select an individual data point.
  • For dependent plots (default group plotting behavior), click once on a plot to select the group; pause and click a second time to select a single plot; pause and click a third time to select an individual point. See Customizing Individual Data Points, below.

In the Object Manager ...

  1. Click on a plot icon. Simultaneously, the plot is selected in the graph window (note that selecting a plot in the graph window also selects the corresponding plot icon in the Object Manager).
Plot selection object manager.png

Customizing Grouped Data Plots

When data plots are grouped in the layer, Origin, by default, sets the display properties of each data plot automatically. However, you are free to customize grouped data plots via the Plot Details dialog box (note that some grouped plot customizations can also be done via the color list options on the Style toolbar).

General Tips for Customizing Plots-4.png

For more information, see Plot Details Group Tab Controls in the Origin Help file.

Fast Switching of Plot Type

Origin allows "fast switching" of plot type for some common plots:

  • Double click on a plot to open Plot Details. Alternate plot types are listed under Plot Type at the bottom of the dialog box.
  • Right-click on a plot in the graph window or in the Object Manager and choose Change Plot to from the shortcut menu.
  • Click to select the plot or plots, as instructed above, then click the appropriate graph button on the 2D Graphs toolbar.

Plot Details and shortcut menus will only list graph types that support fast switching. If using a toolbar button to change plot type, an Attention! box notifies you when the switch is not supported.

Customizing Individual Data Points

For some plot types such as scatter and column, you can modify the display properties of individual data points:

Customize single point.png

Creating the special point

  • Press CTRL and double-click on the data point. This opens the Plot Details dialog box for this particular data point.
  • Alternately, select the individual point by slowly clicking twice ("Independent" plots) or three times ("Dependent" plots). When the individual point is selected, double-click on it or right-click and choose Edit Point to open the Plot Details dialog box.

Customizing the special point

  • The tree on the left side of Plot Details displays your special data point beneath its containing data plot.
  • The worksheet row index number of this data point displays to the right of the special data point icon.
  • When the special point is highlighted in the left panel of Plot Details, use the controls on the tabs to the right side to customize the special point.
  • To a limited extent, you can also use Style toolbar buttons to modify the point.
  • To make subsequent edits to the special point in Plot Details, simply double-click on the special point in the graph.
PD customize single point.png

Removing the special point from the plot

  • To remove the "special" designation and revert to the display properties of the containing data plot, select the point then right-click and choose Remove Special Point (do not Clear Data in Worksheet as this deletes the data point from the worksheet).
  • Alternately, select the point on the graph and press the Delete key, or select the point in the left side of Plot Details and select Remove from the shortcut menu (these actions will not delete the data point from the worksheet).
General Tips for Customizing Plots-3.png

Notes to Upgrade Customers

Upgrade customers of recent versions may note a slight difference in the Plot Details default settings for customizing a single point:

FAQ191 Single Point Cust compareVer.png

When customizing a single data point:

  • In Origin 2017, point customization can be done when Custom Construction is either checked or unchecked.
  • In Origin 2018 SR0, you should either clear the Custom Construction box of the intermediate state or check the box.
  • In Origin 2018b, you can customize the point regardless of the state of the Custom Construction check box.

Customizing a Single Label

You can customize a single data label in the same way that you customize a single point (2D and 3D plots). When a special data point is designated, the associated label automatically inherits "special" status and can be formatted independently of other data labels.

PD customize single label.png

Origin also supports customizing a single label that is associated with any data point in the plot (does not have to be a special point).

To select a single label, press CTRL and click on the label. Once selected, you can ...

  • Drag the label to reposition it.
  • Use Format toolbar buttons to format the label.
  • Double-click on the label, opening the Label tab of Plot Details where you can edit all properties of the selected label.

Point by Point Customization of Data Plots

You can modify a single plotted point or label, as explained above; or you can systematically modify data point properties using a modifier dataset. Thus, you can modify such things as symbol color, symbol shape or symbol style (filled, hollow, etc), using values in a column of worksheet data. Values in this column will control point properties for the associated row values.

You designate the modifying column, by selecting the dataset from a drop-down list associated with the relevant control (color, symbol shape, etc.), in the Plot Details dialog box.

Point by Point Modification.png

See these topics for more information: