How to control the increment list

posted in: Graphing | 0


You can customize the order of the colors of bars, lines or symbols, etc. like in this sample column chart – this rainbow sequence of the bar colors is different from the Origin’s system default order, and has been customized to make the desired sequence.  This sequence of the colors is saved in a so-called “increment list”. When you set a plot property, say the line color option, to “Increment” in Plot Details dialog (in a tab like Line, Symbol, Pattern, etc.), you can customize the incremental sequence of the appeared colors. We will walk through some typical situations to customize the increment list.

1) How to Reorder the Increment List

As in the above sample column chart with rainbow colors, you can completely reorganize the increment list to set the order. Once you set the color option (of bars, symbols, lines, etc.) to “Increment” in the Plot Details dialog box, Color List tab appears in the dialog, and you can move up or down, or delete the colors according to what you want to arrange. (Even you can save your increment list to reload it for the later use.)


2) Cases of the Grouped Line+Symbol chart, or the Stacked Column Chart

Please see the following Line+Symbol chart, and a Stacked Column chart:


These graphs contain grouped multiple datasets, and the increment list has been applied to these individual plots in a graph. You can make such graphs from the Group tab in the Plot Details dialog box. As you see below, you can press “” button to show the Increment Editor for the colors, and rearrange them in the same way as you did in the procedure 1).



3)  Cyclic Applications of the Colors in an Increment List

Utilizing the short list of your increment list (fewer than the targets), you may apply limited number of colors to the data points. For example, the next graph below has data points with only black and red appeared alternatively.

As you see the Color List tab below in the Plot Details, the increment list contains only 4 entries with only black and red colors, two for each.











4) Increment List of Hatching Patterns


Sometimes you may want to create a column chart like above with different hatching bar patterns e.g., for your monochrome presentation. To set such incremental patterns, as shown below you need to turn on the “Increment Pattern” check box in the Pattern tab in the Plot Details dialog. Like for the colors, you can select the starting pattern by choosing it at the Pattern setting.



Some people occasionally have not realized the flexibility and the power of the increment list, and change the colors of individual data points one by one by CTRL+Double Clicking at each point. This method may be okay, if your need to change only a few specific data points of your choice, but utilizing the increment list can give you more systematic way to change the attributes of the data points.

Leave a Reply