2.1.6 Object Manager


Object Manager Overview

Object Manager helps you manage the data plots in the active graph window. It is a one panel window showing what is contained in the graph window -- layers, plot groups (if any), plots and special points (if any), in a tree-node structure.

  • Every plot item consists of a symbol icon (a color scale thumbnail if contour or colormap surface) and the plot name that follows.
  • The plot name is programmatically linked to the source data like Graph Legend.
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To open the Object Manager
Select View: Object Manager from the main menu.
To hide, dock/undock the Object Manager
Right-click the Object Manager title bar to auto float, dock, hide or auto hide the window.

Interaction between Object Manager and Graph Window

Select a graph element

  • Select an element (layer, group, plot or special point) in the Object Manager to select the corresponding element in the graph window and vice versa. Note: If a plot is part of a plot group, clicking once on the plot selects the group; clicking a second time selects the individual plot.

For a graph layer with Scatter, Line or Line+Symbol plots, selecting a single plot in Object Manager as shown below, will fade the other plots in the layer. Conversely, if you select a single plot in the graph window, other plots in the layer will be faded (see the Note below on @PSFF).

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  • You can move the selection of elements in the Object Manager, or of plots in the layer, using the up and down arrow keys.
  • You are not allowed to select error bars separately, and if you select a plot which has error bars, the error bar will follow its parent plot to keep the actual color.
  • When there are multiple layers, Origin will check if the layers are overlapped. When you select a plot, Origin will fade out all other plots, including plots in the overlapped layer(s). Plots in layers that are not overlapped will not be faded.
  • When you select a plot, this plot becomes the active plot.
  • When you select a group in Object Manager (denoted by gN in the Object Manager), all plots within it will be highlighted by showing a sampling of data points in bold. You can use the system variables @DTB to set the number of highlighted data points of each plot.
Note: You can use the system variable @PSFF to set the degree(in %) of fading out for the unselected plots. The default value is 25, setting to a negative value will turn off the fade-out selection mode and go back to the old selection behavior (showing a sampling of data points in bold) as below:
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Hide/Show plots

  • Hide/Show an element (layer, group, plot and special point) by deselecting/selecting the checkbox before the item.
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  • Hide/Show a set of plots with the same name by right-clicking on one of the plots and selecting Hide/Show Plots with Same Name.
  • Show a set of plots with the specific name only and hide all others by right-clicking on one of the plots and selecting Show Plots with Same Name Only.
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  • Show all plots in the graph by right-clicking on any of the plots and selecting Show All Plots.
  • Hide all plots in the graph by right-clicking on any of the plots and selecting Hide All Plots.

When working with imported shapefiles (.shp), you can make shapefile features (points, polylines, polygons) selectable in the graph window and in the Object Manager by right-clicking on a component and placing a check mark beside Selectable. To prevent a component from being selected, clear the check mark.

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Moving plots within the group

The drawing order in the layer is determined by the order of the plots in the Layer Contents - Plot Setup - Object Manager list. The plots are drawn following the list order; the first plot at the top of the list is plotted first and the bottom one plotted last. Thus, drawing order has implications for overlapping plots as well as assignment of plot styles by increment list in grouped plots.

  • Select a plot, right-click and select Move up or Move Down to move the plot up and down in the list, including within a group (i.e. beneath a gN element). To keep the symbol/line color of a plot when moving it up or down inside a group, right-click on the group node (e.g. g1) to select Edit Mode: Independent before re-ordering the plots.

Moving plots in or out of the group

Use the following Object Manager shortcut commands to create groups or to remove plots from a group:

  • Set as Group Begin: This sets the selected plot as the first plot in the plot group. Plots above this plot will be excluded from the group.
  • Set as Group End: This sets the selected plot as the last plot in the plot group. Plots below this plot will be excluded from the group.
  • Move out of Group: This removes the selected plot from the plot group. This does not remove the plot from the graph window; to do that use Remove.
  • To move plots between groups (within or between layers), simply drag plots in the Object Manager. Note that you cannot drag a plot to an empty layer (see Moving plots to other axes or layers).

Moving plots to other axes or layers

  • Move Plot to 2nd Y Axis: Use this Object Manager shortcut command to simultaneously create a second axis and move the selected plot to that axis (layer). This is particularly handy for moving plots to another layer when the axis scale range is too wide to accommodate all plots in the layer. Of course, if the second layer have existed, you can right-click on the plot in the first layer and select this command to move the plot to the second layer.
  • Move Plot(s) to Other Layer: Use this Object Manager shortcut command to move the selected plot to another layer. Selecting this shortcut menu will open the Move Plot : laymplot dialog. In this dialog, you can specify the plot(s) you want to move, the target layer and settings of new layer.
    Note that in some situations, you can simply drag plots between layers but when this is not supported, you can use this menu command to add the selected plot to the layer.

Remove a plot or Remove Special Points

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  • You can remove a plot from the graph by right-clicking on the plot and selecting Remove from the context menu. The plots below the removed plot will move up and be assigned new plot indexes. Note that Remove removes the plot from the graph. If you only wish to hide a plot temporarily, choose Hide Data Plot in the graph window or clear the check box beside the plot in Object Manager.
  • You can remove all special data points in a plot by selecting Remove All Special Points from the context menu.
  • To remove special points individually, right-click on one special point and choose Remove from the context menu; or simply select the special point in the plot or in Object Manager and press DELETE.

Change plot type quickly

  • To quickly change a plot type, select the target plot item, right click and select Change Plot To: desired plot type.

Go to the source workbook

  • To activate the source workbook of a plot, select the target plot item, right click and select Go to source workbook.

Open the Plot Details, Layer Content, and Plot Setup dialog

  • Context menus at graph, layer and plot levels provide options to open the Plot Details, Layer Content and Plot Setup dialog. The active level/plot in the dialog that opens varies depending on the level/plot item you have right-clicked at.
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To open the Plot Details dialog, you can also double click on a item to open the dialog with that item selected.


Do specific operations on a group

There are some specific operations for a group.

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Show all plots

Right-click on a group to select Show All Plots to make all plots under current group visible in graph window.

If you have done some selections to just show a few plots under a group in advance, you can use this menu item to show all plots back.

Hide all plots

Right-click on a group to select Hide All Plots to make all plots under current group invisible in graph window.

Rename a group

Right-click on a group to select Rename. The group name (Long Name) is in edit mode. You can then enter a new name. This group name will show in the plot list at the bottom of Data main menu and also show as tool-tip in the Layer Content dialog when mouse hovers over the group column.

Ungroup the plots

Right-click on a group to select Ungroup to ungroup all plots under current group.

To re-group these plots or group some sequential plots, right-click on the first plot you want to group, select Set as Group Begin context menu, then all the subsequent plots will be grouped up with this first plot.

Reorder the grouped plots

Although the plots under a group are treated as a unit, you are allowed to reorder them by right-clicking on a plot and selecting Move Up and Move Down context menu.

Remove a group

Right-click on a group to select Remove to remove the whole group pf plots from current layer. You can select Edit: Undo main menu or press Ctrl+Z hotkey to undo the deletion.

Change the edit mode for grouped plots

Right-click on a group to select Edit Mode: Dependence or Edit Mode: Independence to change the edit mode of the plots under this group.

Change plot type for grouped plots

Right-click on a group to select Change Plot to: ### to change the plot type of current group.

Go to other relative dialogs

Right-click on the group to select Plot Details... or Layer Contents... or Plot Setup... context menu to switch to other relative dialog.

Layer Order and Drawing Order

When you click on a layer in Object Manager, the layer will be selected in the graph (selection handles in graph not shown for clarity). You can use the context menus, Bring to Front, Bring Forward, Push Backward or Push to Back, to adjust the drawing order of the layers.

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A couple of things to note:

  • Reordering linked layers may produce an attention message about breaking links to parent layers. For purposes of reordering layers, you can safely break existing links as long as you do not subsequently change things such as relative layer positions or axis scales.
  • Apart from layer order, drawing order can be affected by the Drawing order setting on the Layers tab of Plot Details. See this page for more information.