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  • Scientific Plots on the Mac

    I've been doing scientific data plots on the Mac for a few years now.
    I've tried several packages, here's a summary of my opinions of them:

    1) The best high-end graph package is DeltaGraph Pro. I use this for all
    my publication quality plots. The learning curve is a bit steep but stick
    with it,it's worth it. The program has the flexibility needed for
    publication/poster quality output.

    2) For a quick plot of experimental data nothing beats Cricket Graph.
    It's quick & easy to learn and gives reasonable quality, but as you
    mentioned is not flexible enough for final output. Idealy you should buy
    both DeltaGraph and Cricket Graph.

    3) The only other runner is KaleidaGraph, but I have not used this program.


    Programs that I would not recommend:

    a) Sigmaplot. I bought an early ported version of this - terrible!!
    Jandel may have improved it (they keep sending me fliers!) but I was so
    put off by the first version that I am unwilling to put any more money
    their way, and I doubt that it can top DeltaGraph.

    b) The plot functions in Excel. Fine in theory, in practice you have to go
    through so many hoops (even with the "Wizard") that it's just not viable.
    OK for a quick look at the data but not flexible enough for high end use.


    A good game to play at conferences is "Spot the graph package". Try to see
    which graph package the speaker used to prepare his/her slides. Most
    packages are fairly distinctive unless you do a lot of tweaking with the
    plot. For example, Cricket Graph always plots error bars above and below
    the line.

    Have fun!

    Simon Young
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