Anyone who analyzes or presents complex concepts and data understands the value of a well-composed graph. With Origin, you can create over 100 graph types. Each of these graphs has been specifically chosen for its applicability in various technical fields. In some cases, these graph types are familiar to a wide variety of disciplines -- line charts, pie charts, bar charts, etc. Some graphs are familiar only to those who work in specific fields, for instance the ternary plot, QC plot, or the Smith Chart.
When creating any of these 100+ graph types, Origin uses one of a number of built-in graph templates. Graph templates are a powerful Origin feature in that they allow you to create most graph types in two quick steps:
1. Select your data.
2. Select a menu command or click a toolbar button to create your graph.
Once you have created your graph, you can modify the graph and save your changes, either by over-writing the existing graph template file or by saving your changes to a new file. Once saved, your graph template becomes part of your graph template library and you can retrieve this template any time that you want to create a similar-looking graph.
In addition to templates, you can also use Themes to modify the appearance of your graphs. Let's say, for instance, that you have created a graph that you want to include in both a color PDF file for web publication and in a black-and-white DOC file for submission to a scientific journal or trade magazine. Using a saved Theme, you can give an entirely new look to your graph -- B&W instead of color, tick marks pointing in instead of out, hatch-patterns instead of solid color fills -- with a couple of mouse clicks. As with templates, Themes are a big time saver.
While it is certainly not necessary to read every page in the two graphing chapters of this manual -- Graphing and 3D Surface and Contour Graphs -- we encourage you to at least browse the sections listed below. In doing so, you will develop a basic understanding of the components of an Origin graph. This will allow you to make the most of Origin's powerful graphing capabilities and help you to create highly customized, professional-looking graphs with a minimum of effort.