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Getting Started with XYZ Surface Plots - Data From Another Program

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Four methods are available for importing data for an XYZ surface plot from other Windows applications. NOTE: For the Paste and Insert Link commands, if you are starting with a blank document then ensure that the blank document is of the correct type by selecting New>3D surface plot on the File menu. Otherwise DPlot will interpret the data as X,Y values.

The DPlot Interface Add-In for Microsoft Excel

This feature is of course only applicable if the source of your data is a Microsoft Excel worksheet. In general this method is superior to those described below. For more detailed information on Add-In commands see the Help command on the DPlot menu in Excel. For best results study the example spreadsheet <My Documents>\DPlot\examples.xls.

The XYZSurface command expects a selection of 3 columns with an optional 4th column containing data point labels:

The ZGrid command expects a table of Z values, with X values in the first row of the table, Y values in the first column.

For both the XYZSurface and ZGrid commands, the surface will generally be presented initially as a 2D view with contour lines. To switch to 3D or for other rendering options, see the Contour Options command on the Options menu.

The Paste command (Edit menu)

The Paste command is the method most likely to be supported by another Windows application. Once data is pasted from another application, DPlot owns the data. Changes to the data in the source application are not reflected in the DPlot document. As with the Paste Special and Insert Link commands, DPlot expects the data to be arranged in 3 columns: X, Y, and Z.

The Paste Special Link option (Edit menu)

The Link option establishes a link with the source of the data. Changes to the data made in the source application are reflected in the linked document. Unlike the Insert Link command, this method requires switching to the source application and back to DPlot.

The Insert Link command (Edit menu)

The Insert Link command performs roughly the same function as the Link option, except that it does not require switching to the source application to initiate the action.



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