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Use Summary to Automatically Add Reference Lines to Graph Builder


You need to automate adding reference lines to a chart.


Use JSL to run a summary on the data. Take the summary values and insert them into the graph builder script.

// here's an example table; the x1 and x2 have different means and sigmas
dt = New Table( "Untitled",
	Add Rows( 1e4 ),
	New Column( "x1", Numeric, "Continuous", Format( "Best", 12 ), Formula( Random Normal( 400, 90 ) ) ),
	New Column( "x2", Numeric, "Continuous", Format( "Best", 12 ), Formula( Random Normal( 600, 30 ) ) )
// the summary will be a single row with the requested information
dtsummary = dt << Summary(
	Mean( :x1 ),
	Mean( :x2 ),
	Std Dev( :x1 ),
	Std Dev( :x2 ),
	Freq( "None" ),
	Weight( "None" )
// grab the values of interest in simpler variable names
x1Mean = dtsummary:name("Mean(x1)")[1]; // row one has the answers
x1StdDev = dtsummary:name("Std Dev(x1)")[1];
x2Mean = dtsummary:name("Mean(x2)")[1];
x2StdDev = dtsummary:name("Std Dev(x2)")[1];
// make a graph
gb = dt<<Graph Builder( Size( 512, 442 ), Show Control Panel( 0 ),
	Variables( X( :x1 ), Y( :x2 ) ), Elements( Points( X, Y, Legend( 5 ) ) ),
	// add ref lines. You can get a script like this GraphBuilder script by
	// making a graph builder interactively, then using the red triangle->get script.
	// below, the numbers in the script have been replaced with the variables above.
	SendToReport( Dispatch( {}, "x1", ScaleBox,
			{Add Ref Line( x1Mean, "Dotted", "Red", "", 2 ),
			Add Ref Line( x1Mean+x1StdDev, "Dotted", "Blue", "", 2 ),
			Add Ref Line( x1Mean-x1StdDev, "Dotted", "Blue", "", 2 )
		Dispatch( {}, "x2", ScaleBox,
			{Add Ref Line( x2Mean, "Dotted", "Red", "", 2 ),
			Add Ref Line( x2Mean+x2StdDev, "Dotted", "Blue", "", 2 ),
			Add Ref Line( x2Mean-x2StdDev, "Dotted", "Blue", "", 2 )
		Dispatch( {}, "Graph Builder", FrameBox,
			{Marker Size( 1 ), Transparency( 0.5 )} ) )
// make the data space square
report(gb)[framebox(1)]<<Size to Isometric;


You can use close(dtsummary,"nosave"); to clean up the extra table. Build the chart interactively the first time, add some dummy reference lines, then save the script. You do not have to write all that JSL yourself!


Reference lines automatically added with JSLReference lines automatically added with JSL

See Also

Summary documentation

JSL Cookbook

If you’re looking for a code snippet or design pattern that performs a common task for your JSL project, the JSL Cookbook is for you.

This knowledge base contains building blocks of JSL code that you can use to reduce the amount of coding you have to do yourself.

It's also a great place to learn from the experts how to use JSL in new ways, with best practices.