19 Apps for Origin
Origin 2016 introduced Origin Apps -- tools that you could easily add to your Origin installation by dropping them onto your Origin workspace. This ever-expanding collection of add-on tools is extending Origin's already-powerful graphing and analysis capabilities.
Because an App is a self-contained easily-distributed tool aimed at solving a particular problem, it can be developed and deployed quickly, sidestepping the need to wait for a new Origin product release. In addition, an App can be developed by anyone with a basic knowledge of programming in Origin, making it attractive as a means to create and distribute tools for your company or user-community.
As of the fall of 2017, most Apps can be downloaded for free. Note that some Apps require OriginPro; this will be denoted in the App description by the symbol.
Where Do I Find Apps?
Apps are listed on the OriginLab File Exchange. While you can download Apps from the File Exchange using your web browser, it easier to obtain and manage your Apps from your Origin software.
Origin 2018 introduces the App Center. The App Center provides "one stop" App maintenance: Browse and download new and popular Apps, search for Apps, update existing Apps, request an App or submit an App via the OriginLab website.
To open the App Center, click the Add Apps button that appears on all tabs of the Apps Gallery.
Apps will appear in the App Center with one of three icons next to them:
- Those with an Up-to-date Version icon beside them will be installed and up-to-date.
- Those with a clickable Download and Install icon beside them are not installed. Click this icon to install.
- Those with an Update icon beside them have an available update that you can install. Click this icon to update.
- New and Popular tab for a quick look at what's available. Downloads and direct updates available.
- Search tab to find Apps by Category and Minimum Version. Downloads and direct updates available.
- Updates tab notifications when an App update is available. Listed improvements and direct updates available.
- From the main menu in Origin, choose Tools: Apps on File Exchange to see lists of Recently Added/Updated and Popular Apps. Installed Apps are shown in these lists. Click on an App to go to the App download page.
How Do I Install Apps?
If you install your Apps using the Download and Install button in the App Center dialog, you don't need to do anything else. The App is automatically downloaded and installed. When App updates become available, you can use the App Center's Update button to update an installed App.
If your workstation does not have internet access...
If your workstation does not have internet access, you will need to find a computer that does, then download the App from the OriginLab File Exchange to a thumb-drive and bring it back to your workstation.
- On the internet-connected computer, open a browser window and browse to originlab.com/fileExchange.
- Browse the list of Apps, go to the App's description and download page, then click the Download File button and copy the file to your thumb-drive.
- Return to your workstation, plug in your thumb-drive and run Origin. Open Windows Explorer, browse to your thumb-drive and once you locate the App (it will have a .opx file extension), drag the App file to an empty portion of the OriginLab workspace. Make sure you are not running Origin as administrator or drag-and-drop operations will fail. The App will be installed and the App icon will appear in the Apps Gallery, docked to the right side of your Origin workspace.
If you have questions, click the How to Install link below the Download File button on the File Exchange App description and download page.
How Do I Run an App?
- Upon installation, an App icon is placed in the Apps Gallery, docked to the right side of the Origin workspace.
- App operations may be window-specific. If the App is dimmed (grayed out), the active window cannot be operated on by the App. Check the required window type (hover on the dimmed App icon in the Apps Gallery).
- If the Origin window type (worksheet, graph, etc.) is matched to the App, you can launch the App by double-clicking on it in the Apps Gallery.
- If you prefer to launch the App from a toolbar button, open the Customize (Toolbars) dialog box (View: Toolbars), click the Button Groups tab, locate the App's toolbar button and drag the button to the OriginLab workspace or to an existing toolbar. Close the dialog box.
- Specific usage information is available on the description and download page for each App.
Managing Your Apps
Use the features of the Apps Gallery to manage your Apps:
- To add or update your Apps, click the Add Apps button in the Apps Gallery.
- Organize your Apps by adding tabs to the Gallery. Right-click in an empty portion of the Gallery and choose New Tab, then double-click on the default tab name and give the tab a useful name.
- App-specific actions are performed by right-clicking directly on the App icon and choosing from the shortcut menu.
- Show in Folder: Opens the user's \AppData\Local\OriginLab\Apps\ folder to the App installation folder.
- Uninstall: Uninstalls the selected App.
- Open the File Exchange Page: Opens the App's description and download page on the OriginLab File Exchange.
- Send Feedback...: Opens a Rate App dialog box to provide feedback.
- Show All: Shows Apps from all Gallery tabs on the active tab.
- Refresh: Refreshes the tab view.
- Tab Views: Place or remove the checkmark beside the App to determine on which tab(s) the App shows.
Will I be Notified When Updates are Available?
Several things will indicate when an App update is available:
- A red dot will appear next to the App icon in your Apps Gallery (docked to the right side of your workspace).
- In the App Center, the App will appear with an "update" icon beside it.
- The App Center Updates tab will show a red dot with a number indicating how many App updates are available. The tab will list updated Apps and allow you to apply updates for individual Apps or all Apps.
- The App will appear in the Tools menu lists with an asterisk (*) in front of the App name.
To update an App:
- Click the Update icon that appears next to the App in the App Center.
- Right-click on the App in the Apps Gallery and choose Download and Install Update
- Click the Update All Compatible button that appears on the Updates tab in the App Center.
You can verify the version of an installed App by hovering on the App in your Apps Gallery.
How Do I Uninstall an App?
Uninstalling an App is easy. Right-click on the App icon in the Apps Gallery and choose Uninstall from the shortcut menu.
Can I Request an App?
As previously mentioned, Apps can be developed by anyone with Origin programming knowledge. However, if you do not program but you find that you need some particular functionality that is not currently a part of the Origin product, you can request an App through the OriginLab website. OriginLab is continually building and posting new Apps to the File Exchange.
- To request an App, open the App Center and click the Request App button. This opens a web page on www.originlab.com.
- Verify that the Your Reason for Contacting Us drop down is set to Request an App.
- Fill out the remaining required fields and click the Submit Inquiry button at the bottom of the form.