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View Full Version : Graphing software: any recommendations?




Blue Velvet
Jan 31, 2006, 01:23 PM
I'm looking for a decent package that runs natively in OSX that can handle spot colours, can import Excel worksheets or pages, export to EPS and do a nice job of it.

It would be nice if it had style-sheets as well as other forms of templating.

In short — the ideal piece of graphing software that can handle whatever numbers you can throw at it and yet output press-quality files.

I'm completely fed-up with Illustrator's graphing tools — they're beyond crap. By the time you've tweaked the bar-graphs to look how you want you may as well have drawn them by hand. :mad:

Edit: I should add that I've used DeltaGraph on the PC about 3 years ago and it was so-so with a fiddly interface. May check the latest version as it has a demo.



gekko513
Jan 31, 2006, 01:39 PM
iWork '06?

I don't know if they can import from Excel, but they do graphing and I believe they can export to PDF.

I'm not sure about this. Can anyone confirm it?

jsw
Jan 31, 2006, 01:47 PM
Have you seen any graphs on any sites that look somewhat like what you're trying for? It might help to see an example of the type(s) of graph(s) you're trying to produce.

Josh
Jan 31, 2006, 01:52 PM
Mathematica will do any kind of graph under the sun.

It does eleventy billion things besides graphing though, and depending on your uses and budget, you might want to look into it.

Worst case scenario, you get the graph you want, and a whole bunch of math-related features you will never use.

On the other hand, you may find it fun and end up a designer turned mathematician :p

Blue Velvet
Feb 2, 2006, 01:22 AM
Thanks guys.

Don't think iWork will cut it for technical reasons can't imagine it being able to handle spot colours, let alone CMYK. And Mathematica isn't quite right either... I'll download the new DeltaGraph demo tonight and revisit it.

CanadaRAM
Feb 2, 2006, 01:29 AM
I usually build in Deltagraph, export, and finish in Illustrator.
That said, Deltagraph on OS9 had major league stability problems.

Have you looked at Chartsmith (http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/15567)?

Blue Velvet
Feb 2, 2006, 01:33 AM
I usually build in Deltagraph, export, and finish in Illustrator.
That said, Deltagraph on OS9 had major league stability problems.

Sometime in the next 2-3 months, as well as about 100 tables, I've also got to do about 80 of the bloody things in black + a spot for an academic publication. :mad:

Maybe it's time to investigate Illustrator's actions. Or find a new job.

Chartsmith

Thanks, I'll look into that. And Aabel too which I see someone quoted on the VersionTracker page.

Fukui
Feb 2, 2006, 01:39 AM
Chartsmith? (http://www.blacksmith.com/products/index.html)
It exports to EPS, don't know how good that is though...

mwpeters8182
Feb 2, 2006, 04:29 PM
I use R or MATLAB do do most of my data graphing. R's free, but there's a learning curve, and you'd have to dump the excel info into text format first, most likely.

fluidinclusion
Feb 2, 2006, 05:55 PM
Try this software for high quality graphing on OS X:

http://www.tecplot.com/

balamw
Feb 2, 2006, 06:43 PM
KaliedaGraph? http://www.synergy.com/

They also have a free trial.

B

iris_failsafe
Feb 2, 2006, 07:09 PM
What about illustrator?

It seems to be able to do everything that you need

Blue Velvet
Feb 2, 2006, 11:55 PM
What about illustrator?

It seems to be able to do everything that you need

Illustrator's graphing tools are pathetically underpowered and extremely inflexible, as I mentioned in my first post.

jtt
Feb 3, 2006, 09:28 AM
You could probably build it in any program that suits your needs then save it out as a Post Script file and distill it.

mrichmon
Feb 3, 2006, 11:32 AM
I'm completely fed-up with Illustrator's graphing tools — they're beyond crap. By the time you've tweaked the bar-graphs to look how you want you may as well have drawn them by hand. :mad:


When I got fed up with graphing in Illustrator I ended up using a combination of excel and illustrator. I used excel to enter the data and produce the graph then cut and paste the graph into illustrator. It is pasted as vector objects which can then be tweaked and re-styled as necessary.

Alternatively you could try gnuplot to produce eps files and then replace the colours in illustrator.

balamw
Feb 3, 2006, 11:53 AM
Alternatively you could try gnuplot to produce eps files and then replace the colours in illustrator.
IMHO. Excel's not bad for business type charts like pie charts and bar charts, but it is lousy for scientific/engineering charting. The limitations it puts on log plots and the like are extremely constraining.

I also thought about recommending gnuplot as I have used it for my dissertation and many publications. It is very powerful and customizable, but it doesn't have the most friendly UI and is not generally considered publication quality (despite the fact that I and others use it that way). You could definitely help it out with Illustrator...

B