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Tutorial 4. Manipulating Series and Graphs

In this Tutorial, we will learn more series and graph manipulation techniques. It is recommended that you read the topics Property Grid and Graph Theme before continue. 

Series Properties

The user can customize a series by changing its properties with the Series Editor, which can be opened by selecting the Series menu command on the Graph menu or by double clicking on the series in the active graph. To demonstrate this, open the file ExamplesSample GraphsLines.dts in the DataScene installation folder (which can be opened by selecting the Help: Demo Projects menu command).

Select the 3D Line graph document by clicking on its node in the Navigator. Open the Series Editor by double clicking on one of the three series in the 3D Line graph document. Select in the Series list box 3DLine1 by left clicking on it. In the property grid of the Series Editor, click on the value cell of the Name property that contains the text "3D Line1". A text cursor is shown at the end of the text. You may notice that a short description of the Name property is shown at the bottom of the property grid. Now change the the text from "3D Line1" to "First_3DLine" and press the ENTER key. DataScene updates the name in the Series list box as well. From now on, the name of the first series has become "First_3DLine".

Click the value cell of the ColorEach property. A dropdown button in the value cell is shown. Click on this button and select True in the dropdown list. This makes adjacent series pieces of the First_3DLine series rendered in different colors. Select 3DLine2 in the Series list box and select the Brush property in the property grid. Click the editor button to open the Brush Editor.

Fig. 1. Invoking the Brush Editor by clicking on the editor button in the value cell of the Brush property.

 

In the Brush Editor, you will see a gradient brush is currently used to fill 3DLine2. Switch to the Solid tab-page, select a color (e.g. green) and change the Transparency to 50%. DataScene now uses a solid brush with the chosen transparent color to fill 3DLine2. A few brush types (i.e. solid, texture, gradient, image) with rich properties are supported in DataScene and can be customized with the Brush Editor. You may want to experiment with these brush types and observe their effects. After you are done, close the Brush Editor.

Fig. 2. Application of a solid brush with a transparent color.

 

In the Series Editor, select the LinePen property of 3DLine2 and open the Pen Editor. Change the Color properties (e.g. to green) in the Pen Editor - which changes the color of the border line of the 3DLine2 series. Accept the new settings by clicking the OK button of the Pen Editor.

In the Series Editor, switch to 3DLine3. Select its  Points property (under the Element category) in the property grid and open the Point Editor. In the Point Editor, check the Visible check box and then click the OK button to close it. Close the Series Editor by clicking on its OK button. The 3D Line graph document should look similar to that shown in Fig. 3.

Fig. 3.  The customized 3D Line graph document.

 

A few series piece properties, however, are not accessible through the Series Editor if the series has the ColorEach property and it is set to True. These include, for example, the individual series piece colors and few other properties (e.g. SliceExplosion and SliceHeight properties of the slices of the Pie and Donut series). By default, DataScene uses colors in an internal color palette of the current theme to render individual series pieces if the ColorEach property of the series, if any, is set to True. The user has the option to override these default colors. This is demonstrated in the following example.

Open the file ExamplesSample GraphsPie.dts in the DataScene installation folder. Select the Pie graph document and select its master graph as the active graph. While pressing down and holding the Shift key, left click on the piece (or the "slice") marked as "A" to open the Series Piece Editor. In the Editor, change the Color property to purple and set the SliceExplosion property to be 20. Accept the new settings by clicking the OK button. You should see the effects as shown in Fig. 4. 

Fig. 4. Slice A of the Pie series in the master graph is changed to purple and exploded out.

 

Graph Manipulations

As mentioned in the topic Graph Document, graph properties can be customized with tools on the ToolBox, controls on the Graph ToolBar, or menu commands on the Graph menu. In Tutorial 3, we used the Graph Layout tool on the ToolBox to arrange graph layout and used the Active Graph combo-box on the Graph ToolBar to select active graph. Now we will demonstrate changing graph properties with the Graph menu.  

Switch back to the 3D Line graph document of Lines.dts, open the Panel Editor by selecting the Panel menu command on the Graph menu. On the Appearance tab-page of the Panel Editor, click the Background button to open the Brush Editor. In the editor, select the Solid tab-page and then select the white color. DataScene changes the background color of the graph panel to white. Close the Brush Editor and then the Panel Editor

Select the Walls menu command to open the Wall Editor. In the editor, select Back in the Type combo-box and then click the Brush button to open the Brush Editor for the Back wall. In the Brush Editor, select the Solid tab-page and then select the white color. Close the Brush Editor and then the Wall Editor. Now the Back wall is also solid white.

Text Tool and Line Tool

The Text Tool and Line Tool may be used to annotate a graph. With the 3D Line graph document selected as the active graph document, click the Text Tool on the ToolBox. Move the mouse onto the active graph and you will notice that the mouse cursor changes to an I-Beam cursor - indicative of the text inserting mode. Left click near the First_3DLine series to open the Text Tool Editor. On the editor, enter "J0(x)", where 0 should be marked as a subscript. Switch to the Frame tab-page and check the Transparent check box to hide the bounding frame of the text item. Click the OK button to close the Text Tool Editor. You may want to move the text item to a more desired position by dragging it with the left mouse. With the text item selected (with four small squares drawn around it), press Ctrl + C and then Ctrl + V to copy it and then paste the copied to the graph. Double click on the pasted text item to open the Text Tool Editor. Change the text to "J1(x)" and then close the editor. Move the pasted to a desired position near the 3DLine2 series. Repeat the above steps to create another text item with the text "J2(x)" and move it near the 3DLine3 series. Press the Text Tool again to deactivate it.

Activate the Line Tool by clicking on it on the ToolBox. Draw a line with the left mouse from the text item with the text "J0(x)" to the First_3DLine series. Left double clicking the line item to open the Line Editor. On the editor, select Wing Arrow in the Line Style combo-box and then click the OK button to close the editor. Do the same for the other two text items. Press the Line Tool again to deactivate it. The 3D Line graph document now should look similar to that shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 5. The 3D Line graph document with text and line items.

 

Please note that left clicking on text/line items while the Ctrl key is being pressed allows one to select or deselect the text/line items. Multiple selected text/line items can be moved, copied, pasted, and deleted (by pressing the Delete key) as a group. 

You may want to practice with more graph tools on the ToolBox or commands on the Graph menu. Please keep in mind that any graph operations you perform affect only the active graph of the selected graph document, and that any series operations you perform affect only the active series. Change the active graph with the Active Graph combo-box and/or the active series with the Active Series combo-box so that you can operate on the desired graph and/or desired series.

Graph Themes

With the Pie graph document selected as the active document, select Blue Sky in the Graph Theme combo-box to change the theme for the graph document. The graph document should look like that shown in Fig. 6. You may wan to experiment more graph themes.

Fig. 6. The Blue Sky theme is applied to the Pie graph document.

 

If you want a specific theme to be applied automatically to any newly created graph document, select the Options menu command on the View menu to open the Program Options dialog box. On the Appearance: Theme tab-page of the dialog box, check the Apply Theme After Adding a New Graph checkbox and select in the Theme combo-box the desired theme or specify a theme file in the Theme File text box to load theme from.

Exporting Graphs

Right click on the Pie graph document to open the context menu. Select the Export menu command to open the Export Graph dialog box. On the Graph tab-page of the dialog box, select JPEG in the Format list box and then click the Save button. Supply a file name in the Save As dialog box and then click its Save button. Open the saved file in a JPEG viewer to see the exported graph.

You may want to experiment with other image formats. Please be aware that due to the lack of native support of transparent color, color gradient, and hatch brushes in the Postscript (PS) format, any graph using one of these elements will look differently in the exported PS file. The same holds true for the Portable Document Format (PDF).

Select the Close All menu command on the File menu to close all opened projects. When prompted for saving the changes, click the No button so that no changes made in this tutorial is saved.

 

See Also

 

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