1.1 My First Graph


In this first lesson, we will generate some data, create a graph, do some simple customization of the graph, and save the data and graph as an Origin project.

Generate data and graph

  1. Launch Origin. You will see an empty workbook with one worksheet containing two columns.
  2. Right-click on column A, expand the context menu if needed, and select Fill Column with: A set of Numbers....

    You can turn off collapsible menus by unchecking the Enable Collapsible Menus check box on the Miscellaneous tab of the Preference: Options dialog.

  3. In the dialog, set From as -10, keep To as 10, set Increment as 0.1. Click OK to close the dialog. Column A will be filled with numbers in the specified range.
  4. We will now set column B as a function of column A. Double-click in F(x) label row of column B. This will place you in edit mode for that cell. Type the formula:
    sin(A)
    First graph 03.png
  5. Now let us create a graph. Click on the header of column B to select the entire column. Then click the Line button Button Line.png in the 2D Graphs toolbar docked at the bottom left of the interface. A graph window will open, with the data plotted as a line.
    First graph 04.png

Customize the graph

  1. We will now do some simple customization of the graph. Click on the X axis, and in the pop-up mini toolbar, click the Show Gridlines button to select Both in the drop-down list. This will add grid lines for the X axis. Do the same for Y axis.
    First graph MT 01.png
  2. Click on the line plot, in the pop-up mini toolbar, click the Line Color button to change the line color to Blue.
    First graph MT 02.png
  3. Change the width to 3 by using the the Line Thickness drop-down list Button Border Width.png in the mini toolbar.
  4. Single-click inside the layer, but not on the grid lines or plot. You may need to click once to deselect your plot and then again to select the layer. The graph layer will be selected, and this will be indicated by selection handles. Change the layer background color to LT Yellow by using the Fill Color button Button Fill Color.png in the Style toolbar.
  5. In column A, double-click the cell for Long Name and type my x.
  6. For column B, type my y into Long Name, mV into Units, and Sine Wave into Comments.
  7. Click and select the graph window. The X and Y axis title and legend on graph will be updated accordingly. Your graph should look like below:
    First graph 08.png

Explore data graphically

  1. Let us now explore the data graphically. Make sure the graph window is active by clicking on the title bar.
    • Hold the Z key down and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out on the X axis.
    • Hold the X key down, and use mouse wheel to pan across the x axis.
      Mini bulb.png Hold the Shift key down along with Z/X keys to zoom/pan in Y direction.
    • Bring the plot back to full scale by clicking the Rescale button Button Rescale.png in the Graph toolbar docked to the right side of the interface.
      Mini bulb.png Use shortcut CTRL+R to rescale plots in the graph layer.
      First graph 06.png
  2. Hover your cursor on a point of the curve, the Data information will pop up as a tooltip.
    First graph 07.png

Save the Project

We will now save this Origin project for later use.

  1. Move mouse over to the Project Explorer bar on the left side of the work space to expand it.
  2. Right click on the Folder1 in the upper folders panel and choose Rename from the context menu. Type My First Graph to rename the folder.
  3. Choose menu File: Save Project to save the project. Give the project a name such as Getting Started Tutorials.

    Files created by the user such as projects, graph templates, fitting functions etc are by default saved in the User Files Folder (UFF). You can access the UFF and other useful folder locations with the main menu Help: Open Folder.