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Skip Navigation Links The (Plot Details) Symbol Tab

Controls on this tab are used to customize the following chart types:

  • 2D Plots: 2D scatter, line + symbol, and ternary.
  • 3D Plots: 3D scatter, 3D trajectory, 3D Walls, 3D Ribbons, 3D Waterfall.
  • Statistical Plots: box, histogram + probabilities, QC, Pareto Chart, Probability Plot, and Q-Q Plots.
The Symbol tab 2d.png
The Symbol tab 3d.png
2D and Statistical Plots
3D Plots

Symbol Type (3D)

For the 3D symbol plot, you can set the symbol format as 3D or 2D type. Selecting 2D in this drop-down list, this tab will show the options as the 2D plots, and 2D symbol types can be used in the 3D OpenGL scatter plots.

Note: If the 3D graph is created when the OpenGL is off, the Symbol tab only supports the options as 2D plots in the Plot Details dialog.

Preview (2D)

Shows a preview of the settings specified on this tab against the selected background color. Click the down arrow next to the Preview box to open the symbol gallery for symbol selection.

Display characters in the symbol gallery by selecting the Symbol Gallery Displays Characters check box on the Graph tab of the Options dialog box (Tools: Options). When the Displays Characters option is enabled, use the Font in Gallery drop-down list (in the Preview group) to control the character list.

Shape (3D)

List the shape of the symbol for 3D plot.


Type or select the symbol size, in points, in the Size combination box.

If you select a worksheet column from this combination box (see Using a Dataset to Control Plot Attributes), two additional controls are added: Scaling Factor and Size Formula. They can be used in combination.

Scaling Factor

In the Scaling Factor combination box, type or select a factor for scaling the associated column values. For example, select 0.25 to scale each cell value by a factor of 1/4.

Note: When the Scaling Factor is 0, the values in the Size column determine symbol size in terms of X axis scale values. Symbol Size Scaling Factor Zero.png

Size Formula

Available only when a column of worksheet values is selected to control symbol size. Enter a LabTalk expression to scale symbol size. The expression must return a double.

There are three variables that are specific to this edit box and which can be used to build an expression: s is size column value (s[i]), s1 is the minimum value of the size column and s2 is the maximum. For example, to normalize values in the size column, enter (s-s1)/(s2-s1).

Size based on

When the symbol shape is circle, an additional Size based on control is available. It defines how the size of circle symbols (i.e. the circle area) are determined by the value you selected or typed into the Size combo box. Three options are available:

  • Square: Circle area equals the area of the square (length * length), in which the length is defined by the Size combo box.
  • Diameter: The diameter of the circle equals the defined value for Size and circle area is calculated from diameter with equation area = \frac{1}{4}\pi d^{2}.
  • Area: Circle area equals the defined value for Size.

Size based on example.png

Edge Thickness (2D)

Select the desired value from this drop-down list to determine the border width of hollow or open symbols. You can do either of the following:

  • Enter n to specify the width of the symbol border as n% of the symbol's radius.


Depending on your symbol selection, either a Symbol Color button displays, or an Edge Color button and a Fill Color button display. Select a color by clicking on the corresponding button.

For more information, see Customizing Data Plot Colors.


To set the transparency of the symbols move the slider or type a desired integer from 0 to 100 in the combination box. Note that 0 means the symbol is not transparent at all, and 100 means the symbol is fully transparent.

When Follow Line Transparency is checked, the transparency of the symbols will match that of the line.

Overlapped Points Offset Plotting (2D)

If the data used to create the data plot includes repeated (X,Y) pairs, you can select this check box to display the repeated pairs with an X offset, and then display the actual (X,Y) value as a short vertical line.

Custom Construction and associated controls (2D)

Basic symbol customizations (Size, Symbol Color) can be made without checking the Custom Construction controls. These controls allow flexibility in constructing plot symbols (e.g. use of alpha characters).

When you select Single Alphabetic, Incremental Alphabetics or Row Number Numerics, the Outline check box is available. Select this check box to display an outline or box around each data point symbol.

See "Customizing Individual Data Points > Notes to Upgrade Customers".


Select Geometric to use a symbol from the Shape drop-down list and an interior pattern from the Interior drop-down list. Select Hollow from the drop-down list to display overlapping data plot elements that pass through the symbol. Select Open from the Interior drop-down list to prevent overlapping data plot elements from displaying through the symbol (except when None is selected from the Fill Color button, in which case the overlapping elements will display).

For Shape and Interior, you can set them to be indexing on a data column or Increment, and then customize the Shape List and Interior List in the Shape List tab and Interior List tab, respectively.

Single Alphabetic

Select Single Alphabetic to use the same alphanumeric character for all the points in the data plot. Select the desired font and character from the associated controls.

Incremental Alphabetics

Select Incremental Alphabetics to use consecutive alphanumeric characters for each consecutive data point in the data plot. Select the desired font and starting character from the associated controls.

Row Number Numerics

Select Row Number Numerics to use the row number corresponding to the data point as its symbol in the data plot. Select the desired font from the associated drop-down list.

User Defined Symbols

Select User Defined Symbols to display a bitmap that you added to the User Defined Symbols grid on the Graph tab of the Options dialog box. Your available user-defined symbols display in the Symbol List drop-down list.


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