Plot Types

Several unique 2D and 3D plot types can be created, modified, and displayed with Grapher. An example of each plot type is shown below. The Home tab New Graph commands or the graph wizard are used to create a graph. The plot types are organized in the Home | New Graph group by category:


Basic Plots

Basic plots include 2D line plots, scatter plots, line/scatter plots, step plots, function plots, bubble plots, and class plots. In most cases, two variables are displayed on two axes. The Basic plots also include 3D ribbon plots, 3D wall plots, 3D step plots, and 3D function plots. In these cases, two variables are displayed with a 3D view. Basic plots also include XYZ line/scatter plot, bubble plots, and class plots. These are true three-dimensional plots, using at least three variables and three axes.

Line Plot

Scatter Plot

Line/Scatter Plot

Step Plot

Y=F(X) Function Plot

X=F(Y) Function Plot

Parametric Function Plot

Bubble Plot

Class Scatter Plot

3D Ribbon Plot

3D Wall Plot

3D Step Plot

XYZ Line/Scatter Plot

3D Y=F(X) Function Plot

3D X=F(Y) Function Plot

3D Parametric Function Plot

XYZ Bubble Plot

XYZ Class Scatter Plot




2D Summation



Bar Plots

Bar plots include 2D, 3D, or XYZ horizontal and vertical bar charts and floating bar charts. For 2D bar charts, two variables are displayed on two axes. For 3D bar charts, two variables are displayed with a 3D aspect. 2D and 3D bar charts can also be created directly from category data. XYZ bar charts are true three-dimensional bar charts, where three variables are displayed on three axes.

Vertical Bar Chart

Horizontal Bar Chart

Vertical Floating Bar Chart

Horizontal Floating Bar Chart

Vertical Category Bar Chart

Horizontal Category Bar Chart

3D Vertical Bar Chart

3D Horizontal Bar Chart

3D Vertical Floating Bar Chart

3D Horizontal Floating Bar Chart

XYZ Vertical Bar Chart

XYZ Horizontal Bar Chart


XYZ Vertical Floating Bar Chart

XYZ Horizontal Floating Bar Chart




Polar Plots

Polar plots include polar line plots, scatter plots, line/scatter plots, class plots, vector plots, function plots, bar charts, rose charts, wind charts, and radar charts. Data are positioned on a circular plot at an angle and a specified distance away from the center location. Rose charts are histograms where data are binned by angle value. Wind charts are similar to rose charts but the data in the bins is further categorized by a second variable. Radar charts represent multi-variate data on equi-angular spokes, or radii.

Polar Line Plot

Polar Scatter Plot

Polar Line/Scatter Plot

Polar Class Scatter

2-Point Polar Vector Plot

1-Point Polar Vector Plot

Function Plot

Parametric Function Plot

Polar Bar Chart

Polar Rose Chart

Polar Wind Chart

Radar Chart


Ternary Plots

Ternary plots include ternary scatter, line/scatter, line, class, and bubble plots. The Ternary group also includes piper and Durov plots. All ternary plots display three variables on three axes, arranged in a triangle display. Classification information can be displayed on the plot when using a ternary class plot. Ternary bubble plots add a fourth dimension to the plot by varying symbol size based on another data column. Piper plots include two ternary plots, typically one cationic and one anionic. The cationic and anionic plots are projected onto a diamond plot. Durov plots show the relative concentrations of six ion groups in two ternary plots.

Ternary Scatter Plot

Ternary Line/Scatter Plot

Ternary Line Plot

Ternary Class Scatter Plot

Ternary Bubble Plot

Piper Plot


Piper Class Scatter Plot

Durov Plot



Specialty Plots

Specialty plots include high-low-close plots, candlestick plots, 2D and 3D vector plots, and stiff plots. High-low-close and candlestick plots display at least three variables on two axes. Vector plots display four or six variables on two or three axes. Vectors can be displayed between two points (XYXY and XYZ-XYZ plot types) or from a starting point to another point (XYAM and XYZ-dx, dy, dz plot types). Stiff plots show concentrations, typically anion and cation concentrations in water.

High-Low-Close Plot

High-Low-Close Candlestick Plot

1-Point Vector Plot

2-Point Vector Plot

XYZ 2-Point Vector Plot

XYZ-dx,dy,dz Vector Plot




Stiff Plot



Statistical Plots

Statistical plots include 2D and 3D vertical and horizontal histograms, box-whisker plots, 2D and 3D pie charts, Q-Q plots, and 2D and 3D doughnut plots. Histograms read raw data and count the number of instances in each bin and then display the bin frequency as a bar. Pie charts display data as percentages of a whole. Doughnut plots are similar to pie charts, but can be stacked and have a hole in the center. Box-whisker plots and notched box-whisker plots display median, quartile, and outliers for a data set. Q-Q plots display a data set compared to another data set or to the normal distribution.

Vertical Histogram

Horizontal Histogram

3D Vertical Histogram

3D Horizontal Histogram

Vertical Box Plot

Notched Vertical Box Plot

Horizontal Box Plot

Notched Horizontal Box Plot

Pie Chart

3D Pie Chart

Q-Q Plot

Normal Q-Q Plot



Doughnut Plot

3D Doughnut Plot





Contour Surface Maps

Contour maps include contour data maps, grid maps, and function maps. Contour maps are 2D representations of three variables. The contour line defines the equal Z values across the map. Contour maps can be displayed with an XY or XZ orientation. Surface Maps include surface data maps, grid maps, and function maps. Surface maps are 3D color representations of three variables.

XY Contour Data Map

XZ Contour Data Map

XY Contour Grid Map

XZ Contour Grid Map

XY Contour Function Map

XZ Contour Function Map

Surface Data Map

Surface Function Map

Surface Grid Map

See Also

Creating Graphs

Graph Wizard

Template Graphs

Introduction to Grapher

Three-Minute Tour

Grapher Tutorial Introduction