WebFOCUS Online Help > Creating a Graph With Graph Assistant > Selecting a Graph Type and Style

Selecting a Graph Type and Style

In this section:

When creating a graph, it is important to select the appropriate graph type with which to display your data. You may select from a number of basic graph types, as well as refinements on these types, known as graph styles. Basic graph types include line graphs (connected point plots), bar graphs, pie graphs, and scatter graphs. Use the brief descriptions (see Graph Types) to select a graph type that suits the data set you are displaying and the change you want to highlight. Keep in mind that the data are the sets of numbers that you are displaying, and the scales are the numbers or variable measures that appear along the axes of the graph.

The Graph types tab of the Graph Assistant provides a list and brief descriptions of the many graph types and graph styles available in WebFOCUS.

Note: When using a stacked chart of any type at least 2 series are required. Negative values are not supported in stacked charts.

The following image shows the Graph types tab with a sample cluster bar chart.


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Graph Types

Following are descriptions of the types of graphs you can create:


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Graph Styles

You can choose among several graph styles for each graph type. First you select the graph type with which you want to work in the Graph Type drop-down list box, and then you select the graph style from the Graph Styles drop-down list box. A thumbnail graph with a graph type and style definition appears to the right on the Graph types tab.


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Previewing Styling Options for Your Graph

The graph in the Graph Preview window displays the graph type and style you chose as well as any styling information you specified from the template drop-down list or in the Properties tab. The Preview does not open by default for other resolutions. In this case, you have to click the Show Preview button.

The following image is of a bar graph that uses the 3DBAR graph style. This generic chart is a two-dimensional chart with three-dimensional type bars.

The data used for this Graph Preview is built with the selected data sources' field format types and lengths of the data. In this case, the X-axis field (country) is alphanumeric (A10) and will be displayed as Axxxxxxxxx as the series label

where:

A

Represents the data type alphanumeric.

xxxxxxxxx

Indicates the number of characters or digits allowed.

The Y-axis (dealer cost and retail cost) scale is based on a data range of selected Y-axis fields.

You can manually update the Graph Preview by clicking the Update button to see how your changes will look in a graph. You can choose to have the Graph Preview updated automatically any time you make changes by selecting the Automatic update check box.

Important:


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Auto Arranging Graph Elements

How to:

The auto arrange feature enables the Graph Preview to arrange all the elements in a graph report efficiently. The auto arrange feature is checked by default.


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Procedure: How to Arrange the Elements of a Graph Efficiently

Check the Automatically arrange the chart elements so that they make the best use of the available space option.

Note: This option is checked by default. If you uncheck this feature, WebFOCUS will arrange the elements.


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Example: Comparing the Arrangement of the Elements of a Graph

In the Graph types tab:

  1. Uncheck the Automatically arrange the chart elements so that they make the best use of the available space option.
  2. Click Show Graph Preview.

    The Graph preview window opens. The following image shows the Graph types tab with a sample bi-polar stacked bar chart of a sales report with sales and mpg dimensions.

    Note how the MPG symbol partially blocks the data along the right Y-axis.

  3. Now check the Automatically arrange the chart elements so that they make the best use of the available space option.

    A new Graph preview window opens. The following image shows the same bi-polar stacked bar chart with the elements arranged automatically.

    Note how the Y-axes labels and X-axis labels fit within the size of the report.


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Procedure: How to Select a Graph Type and Style
  1. Highlight a graph type from the Graph Type list on the Graph types tab of the Graph Assistant. Next, highlight a graph style from the Graph Styles drop-down list.

    A thumbnail image and a brief description of the graph are provided when you highlight a graph type and style. Be sure to read the description of the graph before selecting a graph type and style. Certain graph types require a particular number and/or type of data values; therefore, if your data does not satisfy the requirements, your graph will not accurately represent your data.

  2. After you have found the graph type and style you desire, click the next tab to continue creating your graph.

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Selecting Scales

How to:

After you have chosen a graph type, you should select an appropriate scale. A scale is a classification scheme or series of measures that you select for application to the axes of your graph. The scale provides the framework against which your data are plotted. When you choose an appropriate scale for your data, meaningful patterns can emerge, and when you modify a scale, the overall shape of your graph changes.

Steps or measures in the scale are represented along the axes of your graph by marks. The type of scale you choose determines the number of divisions along the scale. There are two general types of scales you can apply to the y-axis of your graph:

A linear scale is a scale in which the values increase arithmetically. Each measure along the scale is one unit higher than the one that precedes it. Linear scales are useful when the data you are plotting are relatively small in range.

A logarithmic scale is a scale in which the values increase logarithmically. Each measure along the scale represents an exponential increase in the data value. Logarithmic scales are useful when you need to accommodate a large range of numbers.


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Procedure: How to Select Scales
  1. Click the Properties tab of the Graph Assistant.
  2. Click the Y-Axis subtab.
  3. Find the Log Scale check box. When this option is checked, the Y-axis scale uses logarithmic scaling. When unchecked, the Y-axis scale uses linear scaling.

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