The (Text Object Properties) Text tab

The Text tab controls are shared by both graph legends and common text objects. For simple editing of common text objects, most will find that they do not need to open this dialog box, instead relying on WYSIWYG text editing methods to do editing. For modifications to more complex text objects, including graph legends, this dialog is important.

To open the Object Properties dialog box:

1. Right-click on the text object and select Properties from the shortcut menu.


2. Press CTRL while double-clicking on the object.

Annotation Text tab.png

Font List

Select the desired font from this drop-down list. The default font selection is determined by the Font drop-down list (in the Text Tool group) on the Text Fonts tab of the Options dialog box.

Select Default:FontName to use the font determined by the Default drop-down list on the Text Fonts tab of the Options dialog box.

Font Size

Type or select the desired font size (in points) from this combination box. The default point size is determined by the Size combination box value in the Text Tool group on the Text Fonts tab of the Options dialog box (Preferences: Options).

Note:You can also quickly increase or decrease the font size of any selected text labels (CTRL select multiple labels) by clicking the Increase Font Button Increase Font.png or Decrease Font Button Decrease Font.png buttons on the Format toolbar (View:Toolbars).

Font Color

Select the desired color from this drop-down list.

Rotate (deg)

To rotate the label, type or select the desired value from this combination box. Positive values rotate the label counterclockwise. Negative values rotate it clockwise.

When a text object is connected to a line/arrow object using LabTalk's relative position method, an <auto> option is added to the combination box. Selecting <auto> causes the target text object to rotate with the source line/arrow object, when the source is rotated. The tools Distance Annotation and Asterisk Bracket (Tools toolbar) will have this option (<auto>) enabled, by default.

Line Spacing(%)

Adjust the space between the lines in the text object. You can select the value in the drop-down list or enter the value you want in the combo box directly. The value you selected or entered are the percent of current font height. Negative values are supported.

  • When this option is set to <Auto>, the line spacing of current text object will follow the global setting in the Text Fonts page of the Options dialog.
  • Note that you can click the Separator button Button legend dialog separator.png to manually insert space between lines. Clicking the button inserts a \sep:nn escape sequence. The numeric portion of the escape sequence is the height of the separator in percent of font height (default = 50). Adjust height as needed.


Use the Tab control to align multi-line text labels. This can be used, for instance, to align text in a results label.

White Out

To draw a separate white background for each line of text in the label, select the White Out check box.

Align Columns

Select this check box to align the columns for labels. This option is only useful for multi-column labels.


Select this check box to override escape sequences that are included in text. This is particularly useful when the label contains linked script variables such as project path (%X), which includes backslash '\' characters.

Align Text

Align text to the Left, Center or Right. Cannot be mixed within a single label.

The same Alignment button is available from a Mini Toolbar when a text object is selected.

MT text object alignment.png

The format buttons and the text box

Text Object Format Button.png

Type the desired text in the text box in the middle of the dialog box. Press ENTER to start a new line. Press CTRL+TAB to insert a tab.

To format the text, use the text formatting buttons (Normal, Bold, Italic, Underline, Superscript, Subscript, and Greek Symbols) above the text box. Click-and-drag to highlight the desired text. Click on the desired formatting button to apply the format to the highlighted text. The formatting option displays in the text box as an embedded text formatting command. However, the lower view box provides a WYSIWYG display of the text.

If you click one of the formatting buttons without highlighting text first, Origin inserts the appropriate formatting commands at the current cursor location. Begin typing to add the text with the selected formatting.

To insert a line separator (white space) into your text object or legend, click the Separator button Button legend dialog separator.png. This inserts a \sep:nn escape sequence into the edit box text, the numeric portion of the escape sequence being the height of the inserted space as a percent of font height. Adjust the numeric portion, as needed.

Note: The Normal button The Object Properties Dialog Box Text Objects.png removes the formatting of the highlighted text.

You can directly enter a Unicode 4-character hex value into this text box, then press ALT + X to insert the character into the text object string. See FAQ-148 How do I insert Greek symbols, overdots and other special characters in a text label? for more information.

Flyout (Annotation) button

Available only for labels created with the Annotation tool Button Data Annotation.png. Use the flyout to specify the quantities or dataset used to create the annotation.

The flyout lists some frequently used notations and example syntaxes. Format string/Labtalk scripts can be entered, and multiple notations and arbitrary fixed strings can be combined as desired.

Also, see Labeling Plots with the Annotation Tool.

If you have applied a Formula to axis tick labels, you can display the formula-adjusted tick value as opposed to the actual data (scale) value by entering X or Y into the notations (e.g. if you have entered a formula for Y axis labels, you can enter $(y,y) to show the adjusted Y tick value for the annotation label).

To make the annotation label for the axis major tick label format, please enter Xt or Yt into the notation, such as $(y,yt).

Add Legend Symbol button

Click on the Add Legend Symbol Add Legend Symbol.png button to add a custom scatter and/or line or color block symbol to a graph legend, independent of plots in the graph (can also be used to add a plot symbol to a common text object, if so desired).

Use the Add Legend Symbol dialog in conjunction with the Text tab's format buttons and text box, plus the Annotation, Symbol Map and Insert Variables buttons, to add a custom entry to your graph legend.

Add Scatter and/or Line Add Color Block
Add Legend Symbol DB.png Add Legend Symbol Color Block.png

  • Check the Symbol and/or Line check boxes to add this component to the legend symbol. Or check Color Block check boxes to add this component to the legend symbol.
  • Click the small arrow to the right side of Shape to open the Symbol Gallery and choose a symbol.
  • Choose colors from the Color Chooser.
  • Set Size and Line Thickness to <auto> to follow the size of other symbols and lines in the legend object or to a fixed size (in pts).
  • You can opt to show arrows at the begin and end of an added line. This is intended primarily for vector plots.
  • In Color Block section, you can specify the gradient fill mode to None, One Color or Two Color. And click the small arrow to the right side of Transparency, you can move the slider or type a desired integer from 0 to 100 in the combination box.

Note: If you check both the Symbol and Line boxes, the legend symbol will follow the Symbol+Line Style on the Symbol tab.

Symbol Map button

Click on the Symbol Map Symbol Map button.png button to open the Symbol Map dialog for inserting characters in text labels supports Unicode characters.

Insert Variables button

Click on the Insert Variables Insert Variables button.png button to open the Insert Variables dialog for inserting workbook or matrixbook data or metadata into text objects.

Apply to

You can apply the text object to Object, Plot, Grouped Plots, Layer and Window.

Set As Default

You can save the properties of the Text or Anotation object as the default. Then when you add the new object, they will apply with the same properties.