Available Page Viewing Modes: Speed vs. Accuracy

Note: The need to make adjustments to settings discussed below has become less urgent as processing speeds have increased. Two significant changes have occurred in recent versions of Origin:
  • Since Origin 2017, View Mode can only be changed at the page level in Plot Details. There is no longer access from the View menu.
  • Since Origin 2018b, The old Window View has changed from a rough "view only" mode in which such things as fonts distorted when window dimensions (but not page dimensions) were changed by dragging with the mouse, to one which provides much cleaner drawing of fonts, text labels, etc. Simultaneously, while intended primarily for viewing of analysis results in the workspace, the new Window View does change page dimensions and therefore, can be used to export a customized view of the page, independent of the original graph page size. Be aware, however, that a change to page dimensions can disrupt such things as text label size and placement so we recommend that this mode be used only when needed (see explanation below).


Minimizing the screen redraw time can be important when you are working with very large data sets or when you creating graphs that include many objects (e.g. text labels, bitmaps, etc.). On the other hand, when you are preparing a graph for final publication, accurate placement of such things as text labels and bitmaps is of utmost importance. Because there is a trade-off between fast screen redraw times and accurate object placement, Origin allows you to choose between several page viewing modes.

How Origin Generates Screen Images

Origin uses either the screen driver or the printer driver to generate what you see on your screen. When Origin uses the screen driver to draw the graph page, redraw times are faster but resolution (hence, object placement accuracy) is generally lower. Conversely, when Origin uses the higher resolution printer driver to draw the page, screen redraw times increase but what you see on screen is closer to what you will see in the printed or exported output (WYSIWYG).

View: Full Screen

This mode can be turned on from the View menu.

Full Screen

Full screen view mode expands the active graph page to fill the entire screen. This is a display-only view mode. You cannot edit a graph and toolbar buttons are not visible in Full Screen mode.

  1. To change the active window to Full Screen view mode, select View: Full Screen.
  2. To exit Full Screen view mode, click once with the mouse or press Esc.

Origin's View Modes

The page viewing mode is set individually for each graph window. The viewing mode does not affect the quality of the printed or exported output; rather it determines how closely the screen image matches the printed or exported output. The quality of printed output is determined by your printer settings. The quality of exported output is determined by your choice of export options. In either case, Origin's WYSIWYG Print View mode will most closely depict your final output.

Since only Print View is WYSIWYG, choose this viewing mode when making final adjustments to text and drawing objects when placement is absolutely critical.

Print View

Print View is the WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) view mode. Font information is received directly from the printer driver, so that Print View displays a page that, in most cases, is exactly the page that is produced by your hard copy device. On-screen image quality may suffer slightly, as the printer driver fonts must be scaled to fit their positions on the page (this will not harm the appearance of true vector fonts).

Print View may be slow on some systems. If you find that window redraw times are excessive, consider using Print View mode only to preview your work prior to printing.

To display the active graph window in the Print View mode, do one of the following:

  1. Right-click in the graph window but outside the page and select Print View from the shortcut menu.


  1. Select Format: Page to open the page's Plot Details dialog box.
  2. Select the Miscellaneous tab and select Print View from the View Mode drop-down list.
Page View

Page View provides faster screen redrawing than Print View, but does not guarantee exact text placement on the screen unless you are using a typeface scaling software (such as Adobe Type Manager).

If Print View mode is too slow, you could use Page View mode until you have your graph ready for printing or exporting. Then, switch to Print View mode to do a final check of object placement.

To display the active graph window in the Page View mode:

  1. Select Format: Page to open the page's Plot Details dialog box.
  2. Select the Miscellaneous tab, then select Page View from the View Mode drop-down list.
Window View

Window View expands the page to fill up the entire graph window. Labels, buttons, or other objects that might reside in the gray area off the graph page are not visible in Window View mode.

Beginning with Origin 2018b, Window View was changed from a rough "view-only" mode in which text (including tick labels) was distorted, to an exportable view of the graph in which text is preserved. This mode is intended primarily for inspection of plots when it would be advantageous to see the plot "stretched" in the X or Y dimension. Stretch the plot by dragging the window frame with your mouse.

Window view resize.png

Note: Unlike earlier versions, Window View mode now changes the page dimensions and you cannot simply restore page dimensions by re-selecting Page View. Page dimensions have to be manually reset; or you can close Plot Details and use Edit: Undo Modify Page to undo changes to page dimensions (but other changes made via Plot Details will also be lost). "Best practice" is to reserve Window View for situations where you want to stretch a plot in one dimension to facilitate exploratory analysis. Note that the graph Preview image that appears in Origin's analysis dialog box is typically drawn in Window View.

To display the active graph window in the Window View mode:

  1. Select Format: Page to open the page's Plot Details dialog box.
  2. Select the Miscellaneous tab and select Window View from the View Mode drop-down list.
Draft View

Draft View produces the fastest screen redraw times. In Draft View, the page is automatically resized to fill the graph window. This is a convenient mode to use when you are primarily interested in looking at data on your screen.

To display the active graph window in the Draft View mode:

  1. Select Format: Page to open the page's Plot Details dialog box.
  2. Select the Miscellaneous tab and select Draft View from the View Mode drop-down list.

Page rotation is disabled in Draft View. Additionally, text rotation and text formatting (e.g. superscript, subscript, Greek symbols, and text styles and fonts) are not visible in Draft View. All text displays in the system font only. To view text rotation and formatting, switch to Page View or Print View.