The (Plot Details) Symbol Tab

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

  • 2D Plots: 2D scatter, line + symbol, line series, bubble, dots, ternary, radar and polar.
  • Pie Chart: Pie Map
  • 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.
  • Categorical Plots: Network, Circular Packing, Hierarchical Edge Bundling
The Symbol tab 2d.png
The Symbol tab PieMap.png
2D and Statistical Plots
Pie Map Chart
The Symbol tab Network.png
The Symbol tab cpack.png
Circular Packing
The Symbol tab HEB.png
The Symbol tab 3d.png
Hierarchical Edge Bundling
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 (Preferences: 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)

Set the shape of the symbol for 3D plot. There are five symbol shapes supported in 3D plot: Dot, Cube, Sphere, Star and Tetrahedron.

With the drop-down list, you can select a single shape for all symbols, or set the symbol shape to increment circularly within the shape list, or use the column as the shape index to specify the shape(then column value is larger than 5, the first shape will be used).

The (Plot Details) Symbol Tab 01.png


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.

Since Origin 2022, Origin supports Pie Map chart. In a Pie Map chart, you are allowed to select Wedge Total for Symbol Size, which means the total values of all wedges from different columns will be used to decide the size of pies.

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

Scaling Factor(Network)

For a Network plot, when you select a column data to specify the Symbol Size, this option will work same as 2D and 3D plots.

If you type a value for Size, this option is used to add a factor relating with the number of links between two nodes to the Size.

  • Constant: the actual value in Size will define the symbol size directly.
  • Degree: the number of links between two nodes, including incoming links and outgoing links.
  • Incoming Degree: the number of incoming links between two nodes.
  • Outgoing Degree: the number of outgoing links between two nodes.

Scaling Factor Network1.png

If you didn't set direction for the node links, all the degree options will be at same value which is the number of links between two nodes.

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 Unit

Specify the unit for the size.

  • Point : Set the size of the symbols in points. This is the default unit for the symbols.
  • X Scale: Set the size of the symbols by X scale.
  • Y Scale: Set the size of the symbols by Y scale.

Before Origin 2020, you can only set the size in points and by X scale. To set the size by X scale, you can select a column for Size and then set Scaling Factor to 0.

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

Note: For the Circular Packing graphs, the symbol shape is Circle and the symbol size is specified by a column dataset. You can use this option to decide how to use the values for the symbol size, using them as Area or Radius.


For a Hierarchical Edge Bundling diagram, you can adjust the offset of leaf points from the endpoint of the connect lines. If Offset =0, the center of the bubbles is at same point of line endpoints.

This control is associated with the Offset control of Nodes and it is percentage of the radius.

Edge Thickness (2D)

Select the desired value from this drop-down list or enter a value within the range to determine the border width of hollow or open symbols.

Scale by Symbol Size

This check box is checked by default, which means the edge thickness of a data point will base on its symbol size. With this check box checked, the acceptable value for the Edge Thickness box is Default and within 0~100:

  • Select Default to use the value specified in the Symbol Border Width (%) combo box on the Graph tab of the Options dialog box.
  • Select 0 to use the same edge thickness for all symbols. If the symbol size is controlled by a dataset and different by points, the edge thickness been set to 0 means all symbols have the edge thickness of the smallest symbol.
  • Select n(0<n<=100) to use n% of the symbol's radius.

Un-check the Scale by Symbol Size check box, you can set the edge thickness by entering or select a value which is in points just like the values set in Size box.

For the versions lower than Origin 2019b, there is not the Scale by Symbol Size check box, the Edge Thickness only can be set by entering/selecting the percentage 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.

Beginning with Origin 2019, you can specify different custom increment color lists for Edge Color and Fill Color.

Note: For the Pie Map chart, when you specify a color list under the By Points tab of Color Chooser for Edge Color or Fill Color, the color list will be applied to the pie wedges in each pie.

Fill of Leaves

For a Circular Packing graph, besides specifying the Fill Color and Edge Color for all symbols, you are also allowed to specify the color of all leaves separately.


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.

Auto Transparency(Network)

Set the transparency of symbol edge and symbol fill to follow the transparency of link lines.

Transparency for Fill Only

Once you have set transparency for the symbol, you can check this check box to avoid the transparency been applied onto the edge of the symbol. Please note, this checkbox only show for 2D plots when Fill Color option shows and Follow Line Transparency is unchecked.

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 add a center symbol to indicate the position at the actual (X,Y) value, and arrange the repeated pairs in the horizontal or vertical direction of the center symbol to avoid overlapping.
Overlapped Points Offset setting.png

  • Center drop-down list: Select a symbol to indicate the the actual (X,Y) position.
  • Arrangement drop-down list: Arrange the repeated points in the horizontal or vertical direction to avoid overlapping.

Overlapped Points Offset sample.png

Since Origin 2022, for a polar graph, the Arrangement drop-down list will support the directions Angular and Radial instead of Horizontal or Vertical. You can use it to offset overlapped points in the Polar Coordinate.

Overlapped Points Offset Polar.png

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/Unicode

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.

Alternately, check the Unicode box and enter a 4-character hex code in the U+ box.

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.

Otherwise, you can create your own symbol in other tools or search a desired symbol online and then use it in Origin. About how to achieve this, you can refer to this FAQ.

Add Root Node

For a Circular Packing graph, you can use this option to add the root node to encircle all nodes.