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9.3.1 Customizing Data Plot Colors


Plot colors are customized and applied from Origin's Color Chooser.

In addition to this topic, you may want to see these pages for information on customizing plot colors.


Opening the Color Chooser

The Color Chooser is opened from the Plot Details dialog box or from Style toolbar buttons.

Sample Plot Plot Details Color Button or Toolbar Button Color Chooser View
Plot elements of a SINGLE color

Single color plot.png

Color button default.png

Color button custom.png

also...

Style toolbar lineBorder.png

Single color chooser.png


Related topics:

Plot Details Symbol Tab Controls

Plots set to vary color
BY POINTS

Increment color plot.png

Color button custom increment.png

also...

Style toolbar lineBorder2.png

Style toolbar lineBorder4.png

Increment color chooser.png


Related topics:

Plots set to vary color
BY PLOTS

Byplot color plot.png

Color button by plot.png

Color button by plot palette.png

also...

Style toolbar lineBorder3.png

Byplots color chooser.png


Related topics:

  • You can display RGB values on the color button by setting system variable @RGBS to 1.
  • You can use function color() to return the corresponding RGB composite value for a specified html color code.

Defining and Using Custom Colors

Origin's Default Color List

Origin contains a default, non-customizable color list which exists primarily for backward compatibility and for programmatically assigning color. That color list can be found in the LabTalk Reference table "List of Colors".

The GUI user needn't be concerned with this color list as the Color Chooser contains a number of built-in Color Lists, any of which can be customized and saved as an Increment List (.oth file) to your \User Files\Themes\Graph folder.

Defining a Custom Color

Define custom color.png
  1. Open the Color Chooser, then click on the Single tab.
  2. Click a blank color well under Custom to open the Colors dialog, and then go to Custom tab. You can define colors in one of three ways:
Colors dialog box.png
1. Manipulate the cross-hair and slider to pick a color.
2. Click the eyedropper tool, then click on the desired color in another portion of your workspace.
3. Enter the value of RGB, HSL or HEX of color in edit boxes.

The color is added to the Color Chooser Custom group. Continue to define more colors, as needed.


other things to note ...

  • To modify an existing Custom color, CTRL+click on a color well and use the Colors dialog box.
  • To fine-tune the color previously selected, click a blank well in Custom group and drag the slider to update it.
  • Colors in both Custom and Recent Colors groups are automatically preserved across sessions (i.e. they will still be there the next time you start Origin).
  • To apply Custom colors as a group (e.g. to increment color by points in a plot), you must save them as an Increment List (see below).
  • If, before saving a list of Custom colors, you load another color list, you can restore the color list you are working on by clicking the Custom menu and selecting Last Custom Colors.

Saving a Series of Custom Colors as an Increment List

  1. Before defining a series of custom colors to be saved as a list, you may want to clear the color wells. Click the Custom menu, then click Clear.
  2. Define your list of colors using the procedure described above.
  3. When you have completed filling the wells with your sequence of custom colors, click the Custom menu again and choose Save As ...
  4. Enter a name in the Save As Increment List dialog and click OK. Note that you can click the drop-down list in this dialog and save the current selection to a previously-created list.
Save Increment List1.png

Using a Saved Increment List

Once you have saved a group of custom colors as an Increment List, you can load that list from any of the three Color Chooser tabs:

  • Single: Click More Colors.
  • By Points: Click Color List.
  • By Plots: Click Increment List.

When you are on the By Plots tab of the Color Chooser and you select a new Increment List (other than Q02 Basic), you are presented with a list of variants. These are "tint and shade" variants and you can click on any variant to apply (and edit and save) the color variants in that list, to your plots. The same list of tint and shade variants can be loaded from the Single tab, though colors on this tab can only be applied singly.

Luminance variants by plots.png

When incrementing color By Points, change the starting color by moving Increment From slider. If the list is exhausted before all points are plotted, color will be assigned beginning with the first color in the list.

Increment from by points.png
Note: You cannot build or edit palettes within the Plot Details-Color Chooser interface, but there are procedures for adding palettes to Origin. For more information, see Adding New Color Palettes to Origin

Editing Color Lists in the Increment Editor and Palette Editor

Any color list (built-in or user-defined) can be loaded from any Color Chooser tab and edited using the Increment Editor:

  • Single: Click the Custom menu and choose Open Increment Editor. Right-click in the Increment Editor and Load Increment List.
  • By Points or By Plots: CTRL+click on a color list (including tint/shade variants) or palette, to open the list in the Increment Editor.
  • Open increment editor.png
  • In the Increment Editor, you can also open a simple Palette Editor (by right-clicking on the loaded list in the Increment Editor), where you can adjust RGB values, color interpolation, or systematically expand the number of colors in a list by increasing the Total number of colors. You can then save the list as a new Increment List (as an .oth file). Note, however, that you cannot save these edits to a .pal file. For information on editing and saving .pal files, see Adding New Color Palettes to Origin.
Note: You can customize and save any of the supplied Color Lists as an Increment List. These .oth files are saved to the \User Files\Themes\Graph folder. To remove custom Color Lists from the Color Chooser, delete .oth files from this folder.

Using Column Values to Apply Color By Points

When you are on the By Points tab of the Color Chooser, you have four options for applying color to the data points in a plot. The most basic choice, Incrementing, allows you to set a starting color, then cycle through a list of colors in sequential fashion. See the "By Points" discussion under Using a Saved Increment List.

The three other options, Indexing, Direct RGB and Color Mapping allow you to use a dataset of numerical values to apply color to the plot:

  • Indexing. Uses a dataset of integer or categorical values to apply color. See Indexing.
  • Direct RGB. Uses an RGB composite value to apply color. See Direct RGB
  • Color Mapping. Uses a dataset of real numbers to map ranges of values to a color scale. See Color Mapping
Color control options customzing.png

For an overview, see Using a Dataset to Control Plot Color.

What is "Auto" Color?

Some color buttons display Auto, by default.

Customizing Data Plot Col-4.png

When Auto shows on the button, color is applied in this way:

When color = Auto, this element... ...follows this setting:

(Fill) Pattern Color

(Border) Color

(Drop Lines) Color

Symbol Color

Symbol Color

(Line) Color. If the data plot does not include a Line tab, then display Black.

(Symbol) Edge Color

(Line) Color. If the data plot does not include a Line tab, then display Black.

(Symbol) Fill Color

Default Symbol Fill Color list selection on the Graph tab of the Options dialog box.

(Error bar) Color

Symbol Color. If no symbol exists, (Line) Color.

Some of Origin's color buttons and color lists also include a None option. When you select None, the data plot element is transparent.


 

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