Introduction to SigmaPlot v8

SigmaPlot Application Window Tour

  • Menu bar
  • Graph toolbars
  • Drawing, Properties and arranging toolbars
  • Windows:
    • Notebook
    • Graph page
    • Worksheet
    • Column Statistics
  • Notebook (Organizing your work)
    • Section
    • Data
    • Graphs
    • Equations
    • Reports
  • View Toolbars (don't miss the ones on the right)
      Main toolbar highlights:
      • Create New Worksheet
      • New Excel Worksheet
      • New Page = Creates Excel Graph Page
      • View Data
      • View Page
      • View Statistics
  • Setting program options
      Tools | Options
      • Worksheet
        • Numeric
        • Date and Time
        • Statistics
        • Appearance
      • Page
      • System
      • Macro
      • Graph defaults

Go to T:\Teach\Classes\sigplot\workshop_samples, copy the folder to your desktop


Open the Workshop_samples folder and open redpine5.xls

There are several ways to get data into a SigmaPlot worksheet
  • Enter directly into Sigmaplot worksheet or open an Excel worksheet within SigmaPlot and enter data.
  • Copy/Paste from other sources (Excel)
  • Import from other sources (Excel)
  • You may need to format some data before bringing into SigmaPlot
    • Cells with Formulas - copy | paste special as values in Excel, then copy | paste the values
    • Set precision format as numeric with decimal precision set in Excel before copy | paste to SigmaPlot.
    • Dates (some date formats will not be recognized correctly) In SigmaPlot make the datasheet active
    Copy/Paste from other programs
    • Copy data from the Excel worksheet
      Ctrl-* is a good way to select a block of data in Excel. This Selects the current region around the active cell (the current region is a data area enclosed by blank rows and blank columns).
    • Paste data to data worksheet in Sigma Plot
      While you can open an Excel spreadsheet directly in SigmaPlot, there are advantages to just pasting in the data you want to graph
      • The Excel workbook is a backup file of the data should anything go wrong in SigmaPlot
      • You only have the data on the SigmaPlot worksheet that you need for the current graph, many times it's best to have each data sheet be a subset of the more complex data set
    • You must promote the column headings in row 1 to be titles. Select Row 1 in the worksheet, then go to Format | Column and Row Titles | Promote or hit F9


    Using the Graph Wizard
    • Select Data 1 worksheet and launch the Graph Wizard. To launch the Graph Wizard use one of these options:
      • 2D and 3D Graph Toolbar OR
      • Graph Wizard icon OR
      • Graph | Create Graph OR
      • F3
    • Graph Types- Scatter Plot - next
    • Graph Styles - Simple Scatter - next
    • Data Format - XY Pair - next
    • You may get a warning message: You have selected more than 16,000 data columns. Would you rather make a smaller selection? - YES
    • Highlight Data for X: select SPA from pull down menu
    • Highlight Data for Y: select Tree Vol from pull down menu
    • Finish

    Setting Graph Properties
    • Change X and Y axes to natural log scale (look at other available scales)
      • Open Graph Properties dialog box : Graph | Graph Properties OR Right click on graph
      • Axes Tab
      • Axis - X Data
      • Settings for: Scaling
      • Scale Type: change this
      • Select Apply (to see immediate change without leaving properties window and continue making changes)
      • Repeat steps 2-6 for the Y axis
    • Change settings for Axes tic labels:
      • Settings For: Tick Labels
      • Label Notation: Exponent Only
    • Other options for getting to Graph Properties:
      • Double click on an Axis or any part of the graph to launch the Graph properties window
      • Graph properties Wizard icon
      • Properties toolbar
    • Other options for getting to Graph Properties:
      • Double click on an Axis or any part of the graph to launch the Graph properties window
      • Graph properties Wizard icon
      • Properties toolbar
      • Grids for aligning graphs
      • Align/group/bring to front/send to back

    • Statistics | Linear Regression (note Results tab)
    • Statistics | Regression Wizard lets you choose Equation Categories other than Linear
    • Select All Data in Plot
    • Select Results Tab
    • Copy the Results
    • Open a Report
    • Paste Results in Report

      Note: Statistcs | Regression Wizard lets you choose Equation Categories other than Linear

    • Edit legend or add text box with regression equation
      Results tab: Y = b[1]X + b[0] r2 =

      Note: When dealing with text boxes and exponents, you must use the N (normal) icon to get back to a non-super/subscript font

    Change graph title and X/Y axis labels
    • Change the Graph Title
      • Double click on Graph Title text box and change title
      • go to Graph Properties | Title and Legend tab | select Rename under the title box
    • Change Axes labels
      • Double click on X or Y axis label text box and change label
      • Go to Graph Properties
      • Go to the Axes tab
      • Select the axis from the drop down box
      • Select Rename and enter new label

    Sample of completed graph


Open soil_c.jnb


    • Add a new Section
      • File | New
      • New | Section | Type - Notebook Section | OK
      • Right click on Notebook, select New -> Section, then OK
    • Rename Section
      • Right click on section
      • Select Edit Info
      • Type in Soil Carbon by Location as the new name for your section in Entry Title box
    • Copy | Paste data sheet
      • Right click on the Data Sheet in Fig2.5 section | Copy
      • Highlight Soil Carbon by Location section and Paste
      • Rename the data sheet: SC by Location
    Create a new graph
    • In the Data Sheet
      • Rearrange the data so the order is L, Mean CTOT, Min, Max, Bar Color; Delete all other columns
      • The Min, Max data need to be in this order and in adjacent columns.
    • To Create the graph
      • Select Scatter Plot from the graph toolbar
      • Select Horizontal Asymmetric Error Bars
      • Graph Wizard - Add Plot | Data Format choose YX Pair | Next
        • Data for Y : L
        • Data for X : Mean CTOT
        • Error : Min
        • No need to specify Max as it is assumed to be in the next column, just be sure it is!!!
      • Hit finish and view graph
    • Customize the graph
      • Change the Y axis so locations are Coastal->Mountainous Cascades ->Eastern Cascades from top to bottom.
        • Double click on the graph to open the Graph Properties window
        • Axes tab | Settings for Scaling | Range
        • Start = 7
        • End = -1
      • Apply color to the data to reflect location
        • Plots tab | Settings for Symbols
        • Fill Color
          • Select Color column
        • Edge Color
          • Select Color column
      • Graph labels
        • Double click on title and change to Soil Carbon - Coastal to Eastern Cascades
        • Double click on Y-axis label and change
        • Double click on X axis label and change to C (kg m-2): Use N to get back to Normal text
        • These can be repositioned by click and drag.
      • Legend
        • Editing
            Select the legend item to be edited
            Double click to start the text editor
            Edit the text
        • Removing a legend item
            Select the legend item to be edited
            Double click to start the text editor
            Click on Symbol
            Uncheck Show Legend to turn off the legend for that item
        • Move the legend to the desired location

    Sample of completed graph


Open pollen.jnb


    Copy-paste graph to same sheet
    • Use Object Properties to Reposition the graphs
    • Use Graph Properties to change the data. For the for 2nd graph use Abies data and for the 3rd graph use Psuedotsuga data
    • Rename the plots
    • Add tick marks on the right and labels to the last graph
    • Remove labels from middle graph
    In Notebook window select graph in Section 1 (do not double click)
    • Right click and select copy
    Highlight Section 2
    • Right click | paste
    • Right click on Copy of Conifer Pollen graph
    • Select Edit Info | Rename: Other Taxa
    Open Other Taxa Graph
    • Replace data with Acer rubra, Quercus and Poaceae
    • Change Labels


    Select Graph
    • Edit | Select All | Copy
    • Open PowerPoint or Word
      • Edit | Paste Special allows you to edit the graph
    Export as Metafile (.WMF). Then in Powerpoint you can Insert | Picture | From File and select the *.WMF file you just created.

Sample of completed graph


Open charts.xls


    Import Excel data
    Stacked bar

    • Use Graph Toolbar | Graph Wizard | Data Format
      - X Many Y
    • Select Data for X: Select values in column 1 (exclude Totals in row 8)
    • Select Data for Stack 1: Clearcut Acres West
    • Select Data for Stack 2: Clearcut Acres East
    • Select Data for Stack 3: Partial Cut Acres West
    • Select Data for Stack 1: Partial Cut Acres East
    • Finish
    Graph Properties
    • Plots tab
      • Settings for | Widths
      • Bar Thickness | 60%: change this to see what happens
      • Width: Uniform or variable
      • Align: Left, center or right
      • Fills
      • Background Color: choose one of the predefined color groups OR
      • In column 7
        • Insert | Graphic Cells: choose 4 colors for bar fills; select cell, double click on color to assign to that cell
        • To use: Graph properties
      • Settings for: Fills
      • Background: Column 7
    • Axes tab
      • Axis: Y Data
        • Settings for:
          • Tick Labels
              Type: Numeric, (look at other options)
          • Label notation:
              Increase Above/Below limits for large numbers to eliminate notation
        • Axis: X Data
          • Font
              Font tab: Choose Font, Font Style, Size Color
              Paragraph tab: Alignment, Line Spacing, Rotation

Sample of completed graph



Open lareq.jnb

    Edit Y-axis label and check out how superscript/subscript thing works
      Note: When dealing with text boxes and exponents, you must use the N (normal) icon to get back to a non-super/subscript font
    Color "outlier" red
    • Copy the one value (row 13's 347) to another column (column 12)
    • Right-click graph and Add New Plot, select Scatter, Simple Scatter, XY pair, (X-Column 3, Y-Column 12)
    • Change Plots | Symbols for Plot 2 Fill color and Edge color
    • Might have to make the red symbol larger to make the two symbols work on top of each other
    Use Number of Flowers column as the symbol for both plots rather than circle
    • Copy flower numbers to Column 13
    • Change each Plot's | Symbol to Column 13
    • Format Cells | Numeric with zero decimal places | Apply | Text | Apply
    • Change symbol for outlier plot to also be column 13 so you get a red number
    Inset Area-Width graph inside of Area-Length graph
    • Resize and right-click on larger one to send it to the back
    • May also want to uncheck Graph Properties | Title and Legend | Show Title

Sample of completed graph

Sigma Plot 2001 Users Manual in PDF format (this should be useful for SigmaPlot 2000 users)

Use the Sigma Plot support page to subscribe to the SigmaPlot users group list serve, email technical support or view the FAQ.

Installation Instructions

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