I have created a graph in Grapher but the plot does not appear, only the axes. What happened?

Normally, when a graph is created and no plot is displayed, one of the columns of data is formatted incorrectly.  Grapher needs two numeric or date/time columns of data to generate a plot. 


If you selected a column that contained letters or symbols, such as backslashes and hyphens, Grapher cannot create a plot.

If the column contains numbers, but the plot is showing zero data points, look at the data in the worksheet. Normally, if the column is right justified the column contains numbers. If the column is left justified the column is formatted as text.

One common example of this is numbers stored as text. In Excel, when a number is stored as text, there is a small green triangle in the upper left corner of the cell. When you click on the cell, a ! box appears. Click on the box and select Convert to Number to convert the text to a number. Save the Excel file and click the Graph Tools | Worksheet | Reload command to reload the saved worksheet in Grapher.

Example of numbers stored as text in Excel

This example displays the green triangles on all of the
cells in Column C. The top cell is selected, displaying the ! box.


If you would prefer, you can use Grapher's worksheet to correct the numbers instead of Excel. In Grapher, when numbers are stored as text, the values will align with the left side of the cell, rather than the right.

Example of numbers stored as text in Grapher

Open the worksheet in Grapher by selecting the plot layer in the Object Manager, then clicking Graph Tools | Worksheet | Display

Grapher ribbon demonstrating steps

Highlight the entire column and click the Data Tools | Data | Text to Number command. Save the file and the graph will automatically update.

 Grapher ribbon demonstrating steps


Updated September 21, 2017

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