Under review

QQ Plots

Peter Ronning 9 years ago in General updated by Scott P (Moderator (EN)) 9 years ago 14
Prior to MM 2014 I had never used any of the statistical plots.  Recently, however, I have found it convenient to use the QQ plot facility for comparing two populations of paired data.  I quite like the graphs that it generates, so I've been exporting them as png files and pasting them into Word documents.  My problem is I haven't found any way to adjust the font sizes on the axes to make them more legible in an image size that fits comfortably on report pages.  Perhaps, never having used these plots before, I just don't know where to look?  Is there a way to adjust the font sizes?  If there isn't a way now, will there be one in the future?
Under review
Hi Peter,

MM 2014 Service Pack 1 (due for release 1st week of September) contains some new features for exporting the statistic charts, including saving in the Enhanced Meta File (EMF) vector format. This can be embedded directly into word and dynamically resized/scaled to fit the page. You can also print the charts which provides the opportunity to print them to PDF or SVG with the appropriate print drivers installed.

Hopefully these new features will make it easier to transfer the new charts directly into reports.


If you're serious about applying formatting to your chart and axes, you can use some basic XAML markup to do so. It's a lot like HTML markup, so if you've ever tinkered with a website you should already know most of the basics.

I described it early in the Beta programme in this forum post.

Or, if you'd like more detail I can attach an extract from our training (derived from the original post) that explains the markup in a more structured way and includes a few extra attributes that I didn't know about back then.
Frank, thanks for mentioning for forum post.  However, when I click on the link I just get to a page that says the beta forum is closed.

The extract from the training could be helpful.
My apologies, Peter. As an administrator I sometimes forget that I can see parts others can't.

The extract is attached: Chart Markup in Micromine 2014.pdf
Thanks Frank.

I see that these instructions work within text input boxes.  That's great for titles and other items where input boxes exist.

What I'd really like to do is format the number labels on chart axes to make them legible when the chart is pasted into a Word document.  It would be mainly formatting the fonts of the number labels.  I'm not aware of any edit boxes or dialogs for doing that.  Am I missing something?
Oh, yes, I see what you mean. 

This is something we obviously need to add to a future version. For now about the only workaround I can think of in the current release is to make the editable labels larger and then reduce the overall size of the chart in Word so that the axis labels appear smaller.

Alternatively, Scott mentioned the impending release of SP 1, which includes an export to EMF. This is Windows' internal graphics format and the file can be edited within Word once it is pasted into a document.
Understood Frank, thanks.

Just to clarify, for what I've been doing, I don't need to make the labels appear smaller.  I need to make them bigger.  I've been exporting QQ plots as 600 x 600 images, which makes a nice size to put in a report.  However, the labels are so tiny that they can't be read.  Zooming in helps a bit, although they then appear pixelated.  And of course, when preparing a document to send to clients, I want them to be able to read things at normal magnification.  I don't want to annoy them by forcing them to zoom in and out all the time.

If I could just increase the label font size to about 1.5 times the default, I think it would be fine.  However, it sounds like the ability to adjust font sizes may not come for a while.  In the meantime, I'll carry on as I have been, putting notes below each QQ plot in the report to indicate the axis scales.

As for editing EMF files within Word, my experience with that has been dismal.  Whenever I have opened an EMF file for editing within Word, the layout gets thrown out of whack and I waste a lot of time cleaning it up again.  Some other software does a better job with EMFs.  I used to have good success editing them in Corel Draw, but that's yet another piece of software to buy.  Anyway, with this present project, I'm likely to produce in the order of 50 QQ plots.  I wouldn't be keen on editing each one of the things by hand.  That's why we have forms and templates and such!
Fonts get scaled in proportion to the size of the image, so I'd be inclined to export to a higher resolution than you're using. For example, if you export a chart with a width of 600 px and then make another copy that is 1200 px wide, but display it at half scale, the two charts will appear identical. The only difference from your perspective will be that the larger version won't pixellate quite so badly.

Assuming your Word document will ultimately be printed at 300 dpi and the text block in Word is 15 cm wide, you can calculate exactly how wide the image needs to be so that it is properly reproduced at 300 dpi:

Width (in pixels) = width of text block (in inches) x 300 (dots per inch), for example with a 15 cm text block:

Width = (15 / 2.54) x 300
Width ≈ 1770 px

You can inspect the width of the text block (i.e. between the left and right margins) in Word by displaying Rulers.

The only real downside to this method is that the charts don't understand the concept of dpi, which means you might need to tag the images with their intended dpi value. This isn't compulsory, but it does help if you need to embed multiple images because they will not need resizing in Word -- they'll be the right size from the get-go.

The simplest way to do this in a batch process is probably to use the Batch Conversion/Rename option in a free application called IrfanView. I've been using it for many years and it is always my go-to application for managing images. I suspect it is also possible to assign a dpi value using ImageMagick (free, but command-line only), although it probably isn't worth the effort of getting over its steep learning curve.

I understand your concerns about editing EMFs in Word. For what it's worth I've been using a free and open source drawing application called Inkscape, which handles EMFs quite nicely whilst keeping them as vector files. Recently I've been using it for the training manual illustrations; it is rock-solid and very highly regarded as a free alternative to Illustrator or Corel Draw.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

Thanks for all the ideas Frank.

I'm familiar with IrfanView and agree that it's a good tool for managing images.

I hadn't heard of Inkscape, but I will definitely look for it.
Hi Peter,

I find the easiest way to resize the lables (until MM give us the option to manually do it) is to resize the size of the graph in MM. If you right click on the Tab and select float you get the graph in a window that is easily resized. by making the window smaller; eg - the original

As a floating graph;

It also allows you to play with dimensions;


I find this the best way - the text  remains sharp and easy to read in the document and as long as you retain the floating window shape and simply update the form  you can cycle through the domains and maintain the graph dimensions and text sizes so that the document looks clean.

I really appreciate the effort Micromine has put into the Stats module, especially the look and feel. It certainly adds a professional look to the reports I produce. Someone even commented recently at a presentation I did that the MM stereonets look pretty - no other program I know of can make a stereonet look "pretty"!
Ronald, thanks very much.  That's a very useful bit of information.  It would never have occurred to me to try it.
No Worries - certainly easier than fiddling in Inkscape (good program by the way) or Irfran View. Its amazing what you can stumble across by accident sometimes. I generally keep my graphs as a window on the side so that I can look at it while playing with data in the Visex window - and if the sync selection is active I can click on one part of the graph and see where the samples sit in the Visex. I was resizing the graph window one day and whaddya know...

With Franks explanation above it all makes sense now.
I should have said - this goes for all the graphs in MM - not just QQ plots. Making the tab a floating window that you resize helps immensely in graph readability.
Ron, that is a good suggestion, and also provides a nice working environment when you have multiple screens.

I should not that the same effect can be achieved by using the "Create Sized Image" function (on the Creat Image button pull down menu). This will let you create an image of any size and will scale it in the same way as floating and resizing the window.

This can also be achieved in a macro using the "Generate Image" option on the Chart tab on the main stats form.

We are also planning to add more options to adjust the font and colour of the axis labels