Using Scaled Image in Graph Layer Background

Origin 2022 can add an image to a layer background that scales with the axes.  This can be useful when an image has a known scale. In this example we will use a topographic map as a background to plots of collected GPS data tracks.

The background image can be added in a number of ways.

  • Choose File: New: Image: Image/Video… menu to import image or drag and drop the image file into Origin. Set the image coordinates and then with graph window active, choose Insert: Image from Image Window menu to insert it as layer background. The image window can be inserted to multiple graph windows. We recommend this way.
  • With  graph window active, choose Insert: Image From File… menu to insert an image file into graph. Then double click the image to set it as layer background and correct the image coordinates. The drawback is such image is embedded to this graph and can’t be used in other graph windows unless we extract to be independent image window.

In our blog, we have a topographic map from Longitudes -72.75 to -72.625 and Latitudes 42.25 to 42.375.

Insert image as layer background

Note: If clicking download zip file link failed to work, please copy the link address to a new browser tab to download.

  1. Download file. Open the extracted opju file in Origin.
  2. Download the map here: and extract the Easthampton.jpg image. Drag and drop it into Origin
  3. Choose Image: Set Coordinates… menu to change it to

4. Activate Graph1 window, choose Insert: Image from Image Window… menu and set as follows.

5. the image background will be added to graph with correct map region.

6. Activate Graph2 and repeat the steps 4 & 5 to insert image background to Graph2.

By default we set image as linked file to keep the project file size small.

When you re-open the project, you will see your graph without its background. Just click the down arrow on the graph to re-load it.


  • There is layer level mini toolbar to open image window.
  • In image window, press Ctrl+Q or right click and choose Add ROI will add ROI box (region of interest) based on your last activated graph window’s axis range. This is an easy way to see where the graph is loated in image window. You can then adjust ROI and then Ctrl+F or right click ROI and choose Apply Scale to Graph to update the graph’s axis scale to corresponding region.
  • If your image file is under same project file location. When importing it to Origin, it’s automatically set to relative to project. You can right click image window and choose Source File Path… context menu to double check. It’s easier to share project together with image to colleagues this way.
  • If you choose Insert: Image from File to insert an image file to graph window. It’s not set as layer background by default. You will need to double click the image to open the image in image window. Right click to set it as layer background. Then choose Image: Set Coordinate… to correct the image.
  • To use same image in other graphs, you will also have to right click image window and choose Extract image from Graph first. You can tell from the image window title if it’s an embedded image or extracted image.

4 Comments on “Using Scaled Image in Graph Layer Background”

    1. The link works, but some browsers may block the link and require you to ‘Allow’ or ‘Keep’ and they are not all obvious. In Edge, you have to select Keep in the Download toolbar.

    2. Hi Andrey,
      I updated the blog. If clicking the download link doesn’t trigger download, please copy the link address and paste to another tab of browser to try.

      Thanks, snow

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