8.6 Creating Multi Layered Graphs

A typical graph layer is comprised of (1) a set of X and Y (and optionally, Z) coordinate axes, (2) one or more data plots, and (3) associated label objects (axis titles, text labels and drawing objects). The graph layer is the basic graph unit, and it can be moved or sized independently of other graph layers.

There are a number of reasons for wanting to create a multi-layer graph:

  • You have two dependent variables that you want to plot against a single dependent variable.
  • You want to create an "inset" graph that zooms in on a portion of a larger, host graph.
  • You want to compare and contrast a collection of datasets side-by-side in a panel graph.
  • You want to merge two or more separate curves into a single graph.

Origin provides multiple ways to add layers to your 2D graph page. Which method you use will likely depend upon the data at hand and the type of graph that you are trying to create.

Topics covered in this section:

These two procedures -- Extract to Layers and Merge -- do not produce a graph page with any particular configuration, but they are useful for creating multi-layered graphs from single-layered graphs. For instance, a single-layered graph of with multiple plots can be extracted to create a panel graph with a single dataset per layer, using the Extract to Layers button on the Graph toolbar. Use the Graph: Merge Graph Windows menu command or the Merge button on the Graph toolbar for constructing a single, multi-layered graph page from multiple single-layered graph windows.