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Coming in JMP 12: Graph Builder improvements

Ease-of-use and convenience functionality have been the focus of graphics work for JMP 12. The most prominent ease-of-use change is the drop zones in Graph Builder, which now light up whenever you're dragging something in.

Graph Builder Drop Zones

Now everyone can find the "secret" drop zone just inside the axis. It even has a hover tip when the mouse is over it.

A few of the functionality improvements are shown below.

  • Reference lines can now be reference ranges to highlight regions of a scale.
  • Line connections can be stepped or smooth.
  • Histograms can be overlaid with automatic transparency.
  • [gallery ids="14793,14791,14792"]

    A few other important graphical enhancements are:

    • A new Axis Settings dialog with more options and a preview.
    • New scales for color gradients including quantiles.
    • A new squarify layout for treemaps.
    • Selection linking with legend items.
    • The new legend interactivity brings a couple productivity enhancements that I'll demonstrate with a sequence of Graph Builder snapshots of US state crime rates overlaid by region.


      The initial graph is a bit busy, but in JMP 12, you can click on legend items to highlight each region. Alternately, if you click on a point or a line, you will highlight the corresponding item in the legend. In this case, you can see that the Pacific region has a markedly different regression line from the others.


      If you want to focus on that difference for a report, you can turn all the other regions gray and partially transparent. With the JMP 12 legend selection, you can select the other regions and then change their settings with a single right-click.



      Finally, you can make the Pacific line thicker to make it stand out even more. You might go further by removing or collapsing the other regions in the legend since they all look the same, but they can still be useful for interactive selection and highlighting.


      Graph Builder experts will know that it's possible get the same result in JMP 11 with a bit more effort. By reducing the effort for such tasks in JMP 12, we hope to encourage greater exploration and discovery.

      Editor's note: This post is part of a series of previews of JMP 12 written by the people who develop the software.

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      Paul James wrote:

      I'd also like to be able to exclude empty or missing categorical variable combinations when I use categorical variables as x-axis or x-grouping variables in the graph builder. This way I could do the same thing with graph builder as with the variability chart.


      Xan Gregg wrote:

      Have you tried nested variables on the X axis? That should give you the structure you're looking for, with the inner X values being conditioned on the outer X values. The Group X role doesn't work that way because it's designed for Small Multiples where you need consistent scales to be able to make visual comparisons across groups.


      Paul James wrote:

      Thanks! Yes, completely missing combinations are indeed not shown with categorical x-axis variables on the graph builder, but some combinations with no-data are shown. Not exactly the same, but looks good.