4.1.1 Global Vertical Cursor


The Vertical Cursor gadget can be used to read X and Y coordinate values for data points in stacked panel plots or contained in multiple graphs simultaneously.

What You Will Learn

This tutorial will show you how to:

  • Use the vertical cursor gadget to read XY coordinates for multiple graphs and output the results.
  • Link/Unlink graphs when using the vertical cursor gadget.
  • Move or relocate the cursor line among the linked graph windows.


  1. Open Origin and choose Data: Import from File: Import Wizard. For the Data Source, browse to <Origin Folder>/Samples/Curve Fitting and add the Step01.dat and Step02.dat files. The import filter Data Folder:Step is automatically selected. Set Import Mode to Start New Books.
  2. Click the Next button, navigate to the File Name Options page, clear the check box before Rename Long Name for Book Only, then click the Finish button to import both files into two workbooks, and the columns will be designated XY XY by the import filter.
  3. Click the New Folder button Button New Folder.png on the Standard toolbar to create a new file folder in this project, this folder should be open and named as Folder 2.
  4. While Folder 2 is open, click the Import Wizard button Button Import Wizard.png on the Standard toolbar to import Step03.dat file also under the path <Origin Folder>/Samples/Curve Fitting similar to steps 1 and 2.
  5. Go to Folder 1 in Project Explorer, activate the workbook with long name Step01.dat and highlight the whole worksheet. Select Plot:Multi-Panel:Stack from the menu item to open the Plotstack dialog.
  6. Under the Plot Assignment branch, enter 3 for Number of Plots in Each Layer, accept other settings as default and click OK to create a stacked graph.
  7. Similarly create two other stacked graphs for the other two workbooks. So now we have Graph1, Graph2, and Graph3 for workbooks Step01.dat, Step02.dat and Step03.dat respectively.
  8. Activate Graph1 and choose Gadgets:Vertical Cursor to open the Vertical Cursor dialog.
    Tutorial Vertical Cursor 01.png
  9. Click the Link/Unlink Graphs button Button Link Unlink Graphs.png in this dialog and open the Graph Browser, you can choose whether to link or unlink a graph to the current active graph.
  10. Select Graph2 and Graph3 in the left panel and click the Button Expand Panel Right.png button to add the two graphs as linked graphs to Graph1. Click OK.
    Tutorial Vertical Cursor 02.png
    Note:You can also unlink graphs in this dialog by using the Button Expand Panel Left.png button to remove a graph from the right panel.
    On the upper right-hand corner of each linked graph, a Icon Linked Graphs.png icon appears to indicate that it belongs to a group of linked graphs.
  11. Make sure Graph1 is active and the Vertical Cursor dialog is open, the asterisk before the graph name marks the current active plot on which the cursor is on. Enter 25 as the X value, uncheck the box before Snap Cursor to Nearest X and click the Move Cursor to X button Button Move Cursor to X.png to read the data points in each plot when X=25.
    Tutorial Vertical Cursor 03.png
  12. Click the Add Tag and Label button Button Add Tag and Label.png to add tags at X=25 for all linked graphs.
  13. Click the Output Report button Button Output Report.png; or press "O" on your keyboard. Then click the Go to Report Worksheet button Button Go to Report Sheet.png to generate and open the results worksheet. The XY coordinates of all plots in linked graphs are listed in the report sheet. Each time you click the button or hotkey, a new row of data will be output to the result sheet.
  14. Activate Graph2, click on the Icon Linked Graphs.png icon and select Move Cursor Line here, the cursor line will be moved to Graph2.
  15. In the Vertical Cursor dialog, double click any row of Graph3 to activate its graph window. Select the previously added tag, press the Delete key to delete the tag, click on the Icon Linked Graphs.png icon and select Go to Cursor Line Window to go back to Graph2 where the cursor is currently on. You can see that the tags in linked graphs are deleted.