Using the Graph Wizard in Grapher

Grapher's Graph Wizard helps frequent and infrequent Grapher users quickly create professional graphs.

  1. To enter the Graph Wizard, click Plot from Wizard in the New section of the Welcome to Grapher dialog, or click Home | Wizard | Wizard. If the current view is not a plot document window, one will be created.
  2. The first dialog that appears is the Graph Wizard – Select File dialog. Choose the input file or type for your desired plot.
    • If your desired plot is not a function plot, select the file location from the dropdown list in the Select data source section. Then, choose the file from the file list below.
      The file location options are:

    • the Samples directory installed with Grapher
    • recent files you've opened in Grapher
    • data files/worksheets currently open in Grapher
    • and the Project folder directory set in the Options dialog, using the File | Options command.

      To select a directory not in the list, click the Browse for a data file option, select your directory in the Open dialog, and click Open. Once you select a file, a preview of that file is shown in the Data Preview section. Confirm this is the data file you need, then proceed to the next step.
    • If you want to create a function plot, ignore the list of folders and files and, instead, check the box next to Skip data for function plot at the bottom of the Select data source section. 

  3. Click Next. The Graph Wizard – Select Plot Type dialog will appear. Choose your plot type and the data columns you wish to plot.
    The Graph Wizard - Select Plot Type dialog lists only the available plot types you can create from the file you've selected. If you selected a grid file in the previous dialog, only grid-based plots will be listed here. If you checked Skip data in the previous step, function plots will be the only plots listed. 
    1. By default, all plot types are shown in the Plot types list, but you can refine this list by specifying a category from the Category list. Or, you can search for your desired plot type by typing in the Search box. Note: Only one plot type can be selected, but multiple plots of that type can be created in a single graph.
      The search finds all plots in all categories rather than only plots in your selected category. You can also find prior searches by clicking on the dropdown arrow in the Search box.
      Starring a plot type in the Plot types list will mark that type as a favorite, which will then be indicated by a yellow star. A gray star indicates the plot type has not yet been saved as a favorite. To display your favorite plots, select Favorite from the Category list. Grapher remembers your favorite plots, so the next time you open the Graph Wizard, your favorite plots will not have changed.


  4. After you select your plot type, a description of that plot appears in the lower left corner of the dialog. Here you will see the minimum data columns required for your plot type in the Component for adding/removing variables section. 

  5. Determine the data columns you want to use for your plot(s).

    Additional columns can be added by clicking the Add button, and you can remove unnecessary columns by clicking the Remove button. If you wish, you can plot all columns by checking the box next to Plot all data. If your data is formatted in rows rather than columns, check the Data in rows box, and all variable columns will update to display Row data rather than Column data.7_-_GRF_Wizard.png
    1. Tell Grapher how your data columns are presented in your data file. A Variable component Layout of X, Y1, Y2, Y3 corresponds to one shared variable across multiples of a different variable.
      For example, if X is selected, there will be only one Y variable and multiple X variables.
      If Y is selected, the list updates to show one X variable and multiple Y variables. Choose the appropriate variable to add from the Variable to add dropdown list.

      A Variable component Layout of X1, Y1, X2, Y2 corresponds to data with multiple X and multiple Y variables, so the variable list updates to show an even number of variables corresponding to these x,y data column pairs.

    2. If you need to preview your data to help you choose your variables, click the Back button at any time to return to the previous dialog. Grapher preserves settings you chose in the Graph Wizard – Select Plot Type dialog as long as nothing has changed in the current dialog, Graph Wizard – Select Data Variables for Plot.
  6. Click Next to open the final dialog: Graph Wizard – Select Graph Options.
    • The Graph Options section contains many objects you can add to your graph to create a professional, finalized output. You can can add objects such as a legend, a graph title, axes titles, a top axis, a right axis, grid lines, and in some cases, a summation plot. The objects you choose in in the Show section can be previewed in the Plot Preview on the right. 
    • In addition to adding objects, you can also specify the color scheme for your graph in the Color palette list, located in the Apply colormap to multiple plots section.
      You can select an existing color palette from the list, or click the Custom Colormap… button to open the Color Gradient dialog. In this dialog, you can define a custom color palette.
    • Graph Options are remembered, so the next time you open the Graph Wizard, these same options will be set by default.
  7. Click Finish to create the graph displayed in the Plot Preview.



Updated May 2023

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