View Full Version : graphing program - summary of responses

Reed Ferber
04-08-2002, 10:58 PM
Dear List,

Thank you all for replying to my inquiry about graphing programs. Below is
the original posting and a summary of responses.

I have mean data with +/- 1 SD and I am attempting to make a line graph and
shade the +/- 1 SD as a shaded area in grey. I have spent many hours
playing with Excel but it only allows for High-Low Lines which come out as
vertical lines. Could anyone please recommend a graphing program which is
capable of performing this function.

Several people made excellent suggestions for manipulating Excel and Declan
Reidy was kind enough to send a sample graph in Excel which provided a good
clue to accomplish exactly what I was trying to do. First, the mean +/- 1
SD data must be arranged with +1SD, mean, -1SD in columns A, B, and C
respectively. Graph these as a “Stacked” Area Graph. Select the -1SD by
right clicking on the bottom portion of the graph (it will probably be
yellow as a default), select Format Data Series, and change its color to
white. Select the Mean series (purple) and change its color to grey and do
the same to the +1SD area (blue). If you decide to add another series of
data to graph over top, Excel will automatically graph these data as
another stacked area graph. By right clicking on the new data and
selecting Chart Type, you can change this to a line graph. I am happy to
send anyone a sample of an Excel graph to demonstrate this.

These are the various programs that were recommended:

Matlab (the overwhelming favorite)
Microcal Origin 6.0 (Data Analysis and Technical Graphics Software)
SigmaPlot http://www.spssscience.com/SigmaPlot/index.cfm
ReportGenerator http://www.motion-labs.com/report.htm
DeltaGraph Pro
AXUM software package by Mathcad, Inc.
Visual3D http://www.motion-labs.com/

A few people also suggested making the graph in Excel and export it to a
photo editor such as Canvas, PaintPro, Photoshop, PowerPoint, etc…. to fill
in the lines yourself.

Many thanks again to all who replied.


Reed Ferber


Reed Ferber Ph.D. CAT(C) ATC
Post-Doctoral Fellow
Department of Physical Therapy
301 McKinly Lab
University of Delaware
Newark DE USA 19716-2591
(302) 831 4646 (ph)
(302) 831 4234 (fax)

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