Bookmark and Share

Notice: On March 31, it was announced that Statalist is moving from an email list to a forum. The old list will shut down at the end of May, and its replacement, statalist.org is already up and running.


[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

RE: st: bar graph axis color- frustrated


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/


© Copyright 1996–2014 StataCorp LP   |   Terms of use   |   Privacy   |   Contact us   |   Site index