Presentation quality graphs

Hi, all:-

What's a good way to generate the kind of graphs that will look good in a datasheet (not infographics or other silly stuff), and can be made to conform to a consistent and customizable) style?

Original data will come from various sources, but say MATLAB for the sake of argument.

The graphic artist will probably use Indesign or a similar program for page layout, so PNG or some kind of vector format output woudl be good (.ai for example).

I specifically don't want to use a markup language- something WYSIWYG with a short learning curve. Free is good, but not necessary.

Thanks for leads,

Reply to
Spehro Pefhany
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Gnuplot?

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Reply to
Johann Klammer

You could probably generate them in Excel with modest effort.

It's axis default and wax crayon line default settings are silly but it can be tweaked easily and will do log/log log/lin lin/lin graphs.

You might have to do screen capture to get them as a PNG file though.

IDL will do complex visualisation of large datasets for a (high) price and a pretty steep learning curve. There are several products in between some mix of scigraph or other whose name escapes me.

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Regards, 
Martin Brown
Reply to
Martin Brown

I've got an ancient copy of Origin (4.1) that I like for pretty pictures. (It now only runs on a VM virtual machine.) It does a lot more than just graphs though and this makes it expensive.

It's hard to say about the learning curve. Simple things are simple, doing 3-D graphs and waterfalls or other things are more work. And the latest version is 9.1

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"Over 200 features and improvements have been added in this latest version. See what Origin 9.1 can do and compare its features to those of your current version."

Who knows if 200 new features is a good thing?

George H.

Reply to
George Herold

Oh, there is also OpenDX (IBM Visualization Data Explorer) installed here, but I rarely use it. It seems to have a lot of features and is pointy-clicky, too...

Reply to
Johann Klammer

Upon rereading you actually have two questions: Technically how to do it? What looks good?

Technically: I use octave's gnuplot OLD VERSION!!! [octave 2.1.50a] free, and FAST!

Look good: keep away from old style 2D plots, make the plots 3D in color with structural shading every chance you can, including perspective. Sticks in the mind better. I can still recall a plot like that from a paper I saw in 1983, just because of that unusual characteristic.

Reply to
RobertMacy

I would go with gnuplot as well. It's not a super short learning curve. Many, many output options including PNG, SVG, LaTeX, PDF, PostScript, more. Can use plot files (scripts), has macros.

Reply to
Rich Webb

Den torsdag den 12. juni 2014 16.32.49 UTC+2 skrev Spehro Pefhany:

why not use matlab? excellent plotting and export to several formats

-Lasse

Reply to
Lasse Langwadt Christensen

Second MATLAB / Octave and a grapher, and emphasize LaTeX output.

Specifically, if you can get something that generates TikZ / PGF code for you.

Realistically.... I've seen some pretty stock Excel graphs in datasheets before. So...

Tim

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Seven Transistor Labs 
Electrical Engineering Consultation 
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Reply to
Tim Williams

Take a look at Matplotlib

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, a bit of a learning curve but lots of examples available. If you go with Gnuplot you'll definitely need the book "Gnuplot in Action". Generating image files is much easier with Matplotlib than with Gnuplot.

Reply to
garyr

png looks pretty terrible on paper unles you use tens of millions of pixels.

a spreadsheet like gnumeric or calc ?

print the spreadsheet area with the chart to a vector file (eg: svg or postscriot)

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Reply to
Jasen Betts

You've already investigated all the customizing options available in Matlab? I know that you can spiff up a Matlab plot considerably from what you get with the default settings, but it's too long ago for me to offer any specifics, unfortunately.

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Tim Wescott 
Control system and signal processing consulting 
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Reply to
Tim Wescott

What if you want to change some style element for multiple graphs? if you use a 'markup' language, e.g. gnuplot, then you can just rerun your plots and get a new version. With pointy-clicky, you have to 'open, click, click, click, save' every one.

I actually use Octave (matlab clone); it can generate quite pretty output if you work it.

Reply to
Przemek Klosowski

Hey Spef

You could try veusz, only problem with it is remembering the spelling.

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Here is one I did with it, did not spend a lot of time on cosmetic aspects:

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John Devereux
Reply to
John Devereux

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