6.10.16 Histogram with Distribution Curve overlay


After you plot a Histogram, Origin allows you to overlay a distribution curve on the binned data by selecting Normal, Lognormal, Poisson, Exponential, Laplace, or Lorentz from the Type drop-down list in the Data tab of the Plot Details dialog.

What You Will Learn

  • How to create a Histogram
  • How to add the Distribution Curve
  • How to create the Bin worksheet with distribution curve data.


  1. From the Main Menu, select Data: Import from File: Single ASCII...: Sample: Graphing: Histogram2.dat.
  2. Highlight column B, and from the Main Menu select Plot > Statistical: Histogram.
    Histogram with Distribution Curve 01.png
  3. From the Main Menu, select Format: Plot.... From the Plot Details - Plot Properties dialog box select the Data tab.
  4. From the Distribution Curve: Type list, select Normal and click Apply. Select the Add Distribution Curves check box and click Go. The Plot Details - Plot Properties dialog box closes and a worksheet of binned data (Histogram2_B Bins) is added to the workbook.
    Histogram with Distribution Curve 02.png
  5. In the Histogram2_B Bins worksheet, the box at the intersection of row Comments and column B(Y2) shows the Mean and SD values for the data. Right-click on the box, and from the drop down menu select Copy.
    Histogram with Distribution Curve 03.png
  6. Right click within the histogram plot frame (but not directly on the plot) and from the context menu select Add Text.... Right click within the Text Box and select Paste. Click inside the Text Box, select all numbers to the right of the tenths place for Mean and for SD, and hit the Delete key. Place your cursor after Mean= 60.7 and hit the Enter key. The final graph should appear as below.
    Note : If data fit the chosen distribution well, the overlay curve will also approximately agree with the histogram well.

    Histogram with Distribution Curve 04.png