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From |
"Kieran McCaul" <Kieran.McCaul@uwa.edu.au> |

To |
<statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
RE: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated |

Date |
Sat, 12 Jun 2010 06:27:33 +0800 |

... OK, I agree, Nick. Putting more examples into the documentation would be unnecessary, but I do think that the documentation could be a little clearer. I rarely do bar graphs, but let's say I had to do one. I first generate the bar graph with the minimal number of options set. It looks OK, so now I start modifying it to get the final graph that I want. One of the things I want to do is specify axes of a certain width and colour. Now I know how to do this for scattergrams, line graphs, etc, so this should be no big deal, so naively I add in -xscale(lw(*2) lc(red))-, but this doesn't work. OK, so I look at the help file and I see "axis_options". Fine, I look at these. There is nothing in there about the x-axis, other than the option -xalternate-; everything else is about the y-axis. How do I set the options for the x-axis? Where do I look? I'm not going to believe that the programmers who wrote -graph bar- didn't anticipate that someone would want to tinker with the look of the x-axis, so I "know" the options will be in there. So I go back up to the top of the help file and start reading it, line by line, and eventually I find them: -axis(cat_axis_line_options)- is one of the options of -yvaroptions-. Now this seems a tad obscure to me. If I'm looking for axis options and I see a hyperlink called axis_options, then that's where I would go. I'm hardly going to go looking in -yvaroptions-. So, I think the help file could be a bit more helpful. By all means keep the x-axis options in -yvaroptions-, but I think that it would be helpful to have a note in the -axis_options- that simply said something like "If you want to alter the characteristics of the x-axis, go to the options listed under -yvaroptions-". Kieran -----Original Message----- From: owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu [mailto:owner-statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu] On Behalf Of Nick Cox Sent: Friday, 11 June 2010 6:03 PM To: statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu Subject: RE: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated This isn't (meant to be) contentious, but the thread does underline that none of half-a-dozen experienced Stata users knew the answer just like that, including Michael Mitchell who has written an entire book on Stata graphics. (I was asleep, but I wouldn't have known either.) But the solution is documented and the tail statement in "yvaroptions(over_subopts) allows you to specify over_subopts for the yvars. This is seldom done." appears to be quite correct. There is a fine line between answering all possible questions and bloating the documentation further. Sometimes the longer your help files, the less people are inclined to read through them. Nick n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk Kieran McCaul it's really buried away, isn't it. Changing the look of the category axis is really something I would expect people would want to do. Perhaps the Graphics Manual could be updated to show a few examples. * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**Follow-Ups**:**RE: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated***From:*"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>

**Re: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated***From:*Michael McCulloch <mm@pinestreetfoundation.org>

**References**:**Re: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated***From:*"Airey, David C" <david.airey@Vanderbilt.Edu>

**RE: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated***From:*"Kieran McCaul" <Kieran.McCaul@uwa.edu.au>

**RE: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated***From:*"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>

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