Making an important presentation? Trying to get just the right look for graphs?
Communicating results in a clear manner is important, and the appearance of the curve linestyles is a key part of this process.
This article will teach all you need to know about curve linestyles including:
1. Changing a Linestyle 1.1 Color 1.2 Pattern 1.3 Markers 1.4 Trace Style 2. Curve Style Schemes 2.1 Creating a Curve Style Scheme 2.2 Applying a Curve Style Scheme 3. Aligning Linestyles on Multiple Displays 4. Simcenter Testlab Neo: Property Based Curvestyles
Read on to learn how to get your linestyles looking good fast!
1. Changing a Linestyle
In a Simcenter Testlab (formerly called LMS Test.Lab) display, use the “Curve Style” menu to change the color, linestyle, marker type, pattern, and more...
To change color of a curve, double-click on the curve and the “Curve Style” menu will appear as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Double-click on data in graph to access “Curve Style” menu
In the “Curve Style” menu, color can be selected via the first pulldown as shown in Figure 2. By choosing “Custom…” selection, at the bottom of the pulldown, any color can be created and used.
Figure 2: Choose color via the pulldown, or select “Custom…” (last choice in menu) to create any desired color
Select the desired color from the color chart on the left side and press the “Add to Custom colors” button. The color can then be selected from the Custom Colors section. Pressing the “OK” button makes it the active color.
The curve’s “pattern” controls the line’s format, and includes a variety of solid, dots, and dashes. This allows the curves to be distinguished from one another, even if printed in black and white.
To change the curve’s pattern use the menu pulldown as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Use “Pattern” pulldown to change the linestyle pattern
By default, data curves are shown with solid line patterns.
By default, no markers are shown in data graphs. When markers are turned on, small symbols are placed on the curve to indicate actual data points as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Markers (cross symbols) show actual data points
With the default linestyles used in Simcenter Testlab displays, it is not easy to see the individual data points because the lines are drawn point to point. Markers must be turned on to see actual data values.
1.4 Trace Style
The trace style can also be changed. Trace style should not be confused with line pattern. A trace style determines the fundamental manner in which data is viewed.
In the trace style pulldown, there are several choices as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Trace style selections include Line Segments, Block Outlines, Small Blocks, Vertical Lines, Skyline, Bezier, and more…
A common reason to use different trace styles is in the representation of octave data. In Figure 6, there are three different trace styles shown for the same octave data.
Figure 6: Three different trace styles for the same data
Depending on viewer preference, one trace style might be used versus another. The underlying data remains the same.
2. Curve Style Schemes
Rather than changing one curve linestyle at a time, it might be preferable to define a curve style scheme that can be reused and reapplied. The ability to store and load preset curve style schemes was introduced in Simcenter Testlab 17.
Take the example curve schemes shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: “Rainbow” versus “AB comparison” curve file schemes
A curve style scheme is a list of linestyles and types that follow a specific sequence. For example:
Rainbow: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple
AB Comparison: Solid Blue, Dotted Blue, Solid Red, Dotted Red
Data dropped into the display using the “Rainbow” scheme will follow this order: 1st – Red, 2nd – Orange, 3rd – Yellow, 4th – Green, 5th – Blue, 6th – Purple.
These curve style schemes can be stored applied to other graphs.
2.1 Creating a Curve Style Scheme
Let’s say you have changed the linestyles in a plot in the manner you like, and to be able to use it over and over again. To save the curve scheme to be used later, right click in the display and select “Curve Style Scheme -> Configure Scheme” as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8: To save a curve scheme, right click and choose “Curve Style Scheme -> Configure Scheme…”
Press the button “Import from Curves” in the “Curve Style Scheme” menu. This reads the color, patterns, thickness, etc from the current existing plot and overwrites the defaults. Then press the “Save…” button as shown in Figure 9. This stores the curve scheme for later use.
Figure 9: In the “Curve Style Scheme” menu, press “Import from Curves” and then the “Save…” button to store a curve scheme
The scheme can be stored with any file name. This scheme will be available for the user login on the PC being used. It is available in any Simcenter Testlab project on that PC.
2.2 Applying a Curve Style Scheme
Curve schemes can be used in a few different ways:
New Display - For example, just after opening a new display, the curve scheme can be loaded and any data added to the display will follow the scheme
Existing Display – In a display with existing data, the scheme can be applied to change the existing linestyles, colors, etc.
To change the curve styles in an existing display, right click and choose “Curve Style Scheme -> Apply to Curves…” as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Right click and choose “Curve Style Scheme -> Apply to Curves…” to load a curve scheme
In the “Apply Curve Style Scheme” menu, press the “Load…” button as shown in Figure X. Select the desired curve style scheme and press the “OK” button.
Figure 11: To apply the curve style scheme, choose the scheme and press OK in the “Apply Curve Style Scheme” menu
The curve scheme will be applied to the display as shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12: Linestyle scheme “rainbow” applied to display
Note that the curve linestyle scheme file can be sent to other users. The file is stored in the C:\LMS\UserConfiguration\userid\LMS Test.Lab 17\CurveStyleScheme directory with a *.scheme extension.
3. Aligning Linestyles on Multiple Displays
Have a multi-display, perhaps a 1x4 or 2x2? It is easy to make the curve schemes between each display the same with the “Align” function.
To apply the linestyles from one display to others, right click on the display and choose “Display Format -> Align Front/Back displays…” as shown in Figure 13. Hint: Hold down the Control key while right clicking in the display to guarantee the main menu appears.
Figure 13: Right click in one display and choose “Display Format -> Align Front/Back displays…” to propagate display settings to all other displays
This opens the “Align Format” menu. In the “Align Format” menu, select “Curve Styles” and press the “OK” button as shown in Figure 14.
Figure 14: In Align format menu, be the “Curve Styles” is selected and press the “OK” button
In the 2x2 display, the other three displays will now all have the same linestyle as shown in Figure 15.
Figure 15: All displays have uniform layouts after “Display format -> Align” operation
The ability to apply curve styles using the “Display Format -> Align” selection was added in Simcenter Testlab Revision 17.