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Test 1: Simple pre-GCSE data
Let us look at a simple selection of data that everything should be able to handle! I require to plot the data Current against Voltage (we control the voltage... and the control variable is always on the x-axis), with a bestfit line through the data (rather than joined points). I also want to view the origin.
Table 1: Simple Electrical Data
This is how GraphDraw coped with it:
This is how Colton Software's (November 1993!) !Resultz spreadsheet copes with it, after countless menus...
This is Insight2's effort (PC version), although data entry was manually as it doesn't read CSV files!
This is Excel’s effort at a simple scatter graph, with bestfit:
Lastly, this is how Lotus 123 coped with is - note no bestfit option was available!
Conclusion: Test 1
All the software used coped adequately with the task of plotting the graph, even the bestfit line. However, doing so often takes much longer, via many non-intuitive menus. Automatic titling of graphs is easiest in !GraphDraw. In !Resultz, titles of axes and graph are only possible by writing into cells behind (bad idea), or by annotating the exported DRAWfile in !Draw (easy task).
Insight2 coped very well with the simple data, although I plotted the axes the wrong way around! Its bitmap output leaves a great deal to be desired, but it serves its purpose - but at a price!
Excel's attempt is adequate, but it does require its axes resizing: the default scale has chosen a negative value of I to start with! Also by default, it gives a horrible grid, and the legend is pointless. Nevertheless, a useful graph. It compares badly in its abruptness to the 123 version, however the latter had no bestfit capability. Notice how badly Windows™ fonts are displayed compared to RISC OS. This is due to Microsoft's apparent inability to produce anti-aliased text.
Overall GraphDraw would appear to offer the simplest approach to handling basic data of this sort, yet providing the highest-quality output in a format that is easily embedded into any reports. Excellent!
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Last updated Sunday 25th February 2001