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5 Matrix Books, Matrix Sheets, and Matrix Objects

There are two primary data structures in Origin: worksheets and matrices. Most people intuitively understand worksheets (datasets stored in columns indexed by row number) but many people are unclear as to the function of Origin matrices.

Matrices have numbered columns which are mapped to linearly spaced X values and numbered rows which are mapped to linearly spaced Y values. Each cell value in a matrix represents a Z value that is located in the XY plane by the cell's X and Y values.

The matrix window is referred to as a matrix book. Like the Origin workbook, the matrix book can contain multiple sheets. Further, each matrix sheet can contain multiple matrix objects. For example, a single matrix book might contain a series of images, with each image in a separate matrix sheet. Within each matrix sheet, there might be multiple matrix objects that, separately, contain the red, the green, the blue, and the grayscale components of an image.

In the Origin workbook, the worksheet column -- the dataset -- is the basic unit upon which we operate. In the matrix book, it is the matrix object that defines the dataset. As is the case with the workbook dataset, the observations in a matrix book dataset are characterized by a common set of properties that determine how the data are displayed in the matrix, how much data storage is allocated, how the dataset is named or addressed, etc. The Origin matrix supports the same data types as the Origin workbook does. With the Internal Data Type set to char(1) , the number of cells in an Origin matrix cannot exceed 90,000,000 (greater precision will reduce the maximum number of cells accordingly).

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