[Solved] Histograms

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[Solved] Histograms

Postby rob2563 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:26 am

Does OpenOffice Calc have the ability to create a histogram? If so, how?
Last edited by rob2563 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Histograms

Postby FJCC » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:04 am

Histograms are made using the FREQUENCY() function and then graphing the results, usually with a column chart. Say your data are in cells A1:A100 and you want your bins to be 20 to 100 in steps of 20. In cells B1:B5 write the numbers 20, 40, 60, 80, 100 and in cell B6 write the text ">100". Highlight cells C1:C6 and enter the formula
Code: Select all   Expand viewCollapse view
=FREQUENCY(A1:A100; B1:B5)

Complete the formula entry by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER. You have to do that because FREQUENCY is an array formula. Notice that the bin list in the formula goes only to B5. You will now have your bins in cells B1:B6 and the counts for those bins in C1:C6 and you can graph them using the usual graphing tool.
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Re: Histograms

Postby TheGurkha » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:05 am

Put your data in Calc and then create a graph using the format of your choice.

Help and the User Guides will show you how. Too long to go into here.

User guides: http://www.odfauthors.org/apache-openof ... ser-guides
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Re: Histograms

Postby rob2563 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:28 am

Thanks, FJCC, for the useful reply. I will use that method. TheGurkha, thank-you for replying, but I spent an hour or so searching Help to no avail, thus my post here. I followed your link and found this:
"Calc Guide 3.4

There are currently no items in this folder."

I would argue that these two results imply that Help and the User Guides will NOT show me how. You might argue that I am looking in the wrong places, and I would even agree: that is why I asked in the forum.
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Re: Histograms

Postby RoryOF » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:35 am

The guide for OOo 3.3 should be applicable. It is at
http://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/FAQ/Calc
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Re: Histograms

Postby rob2563 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:52 am

RoryOF, thank-you also for your post. But, following the link you gave also does not result in anything when I search for "histogram". As an aside, if even the experts here cannot point a newbie to a reasonable starting point, something is rather seriously wrong.
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Re: Histograms

Postby RoryOF » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:50 am

In my nearly fifty years using computers I have never needed to generate a histogram!

A quick Google search threw up (inter alia) the following
http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/statistics/s63/openoffice_histogram.odt
http://wikieducator.org/OpenOffice/Calc_3/Histogram
http://ajhaupt.blogspot.ie/2012/01/how-to-create-histogram-in-openoffice.html
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Re: Histograms

Postby Villeroy » Sun Feb 03, 2013 8:58 am

rob2563 wrote:But, following the link you gave also does not result in anything when I search for "histogram".

Searching for "histogram" in the Calc forum:
search.php?keywords=Histogram&terms=all&author=&fid%5B%5D=9&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search
We can not do much when you don't understand the search results and then do not ask any concrete question about what is unclear. If you can not follow the data pilot tutorial and if you can not apply the frequency function you might need to learn something more fundamental first.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: Histograms

Postby rob2563 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:27 pm

RoryOF wrote:In my nearly fifty years using computers I have never needed to generate a histogram!

A quick Google search threw up (inter alia) the following
http://www.comfsm.fm/~dleeling/statistics/s63/openoffice_histogram.odt
http://wikieducator.org/OpenOffice/Calc_3/Histogram
http://ajhaupt.blogspot.ie/2012/01/how-to-create-histogram-in-openoffice.html



In my fifty years I use histograms all the time. But I do not use that to imply that they are necessary for everyone at all times.

Thank-you for the *useful* links, this time. You could say I should have thought of doing a google search outside of openoffice.org, and I would agree, but I find it curious that I only received these after complaining about your first suggestion, which did not work.
Last edited by rob2563 on Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Histograms

Postby rob2563 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:38 pm

Villeroy wrote:
rob2563 wrote:But, following the link you gave also does not result in anything when I search for "histogram".

Searching for "histogram" in the Calc forum:
search.php?keywords=Histogram&terms=all&author=&fid%5B%5D=9&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search
We can not do much when you don't understand the search results and then do not ask any concrete question about what is unclear. If you can not follow the data pilot tutorial and if you can not apply the frequency function you might need to learn something more fundamental first.


Thank-you for a useful suggestion to search in the Calc forum. If someone had suggested doing this (which is, I agree, obvious in hindsight), we would not be going down this now-silly thread. As I pointed out a while ago, the FREQUENCY suggestion *was* useful and I plan to use it. My complaints were about suggested links to follow that did not go anywhere useful, and so far those of you rushing to the defense of the forum have not demonstrated that this complaint is unfounded. I will stand by the clarity and concreteness of my questions and comments, and simply end by pointing out that insulting new posters is a curious way to advertise your beloved OpenOffice.
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Re: Histograms

Postby RoryOF » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:45 pm

Some of the documentation sources have changed in the past few months with the transfer of code etc to Apache from Oracle. It is not surprising that a URL might have gone bad. We are so busy, in our own time, answering queries on this Forum that we do not have time to check every detail; is it unreasonable of us, doing a pro bono task, to expect that querists think for themselves sometimes?
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Re: Histograms

Postby rob2563 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:53 pm

RoryOF wrote:Some of the documentation sources have changed in the past few months with the transfer of code etc to Apache from Oracle. It is not surprising that a URL might have gone bad. We are so busy, in our own time, answering queries on this Forum that we do not have time to check every detail; is it unreasonable of us, doing a pro bono task, to expect that querists think for themselves sometimes?


When I was participating in forums where I knew enough to help querists, yes, I would check if the link or suggestion would actually be helpful, and I think it is a reasonable expectation. You provided a link, I went to that page, found a search box and entered 'histogram' and got nothing in return. I clicked a few other items on that page but nothing seemed likely to help, so I came back and pointed that out. If you found my pointing this out insulting and requiring a pay-back insult about my cognitive abilities (or lack thereof), then I repeat my assertion that it is a damn-silly way to treat people who are new to OpenOffice and your forum.

I should point out, since it has been so long now, that the *first* response from FJCC did solve my problem (basically that histograms are called FREQUENCY plots in OpenOffice), so this meta-discussion has been more about the following suggestions, which boil down to RTFM, but which don't even have a correct link to the FM.
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Re: Histograms

Postby Jan_J » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:11 pm

Honestly speaking, tradition of graphical modules of spreadsheet software has not much common to histograms in strict statistical meaning.
There is bar plot style that can be used for some kinds if histograms, but it has its limitations:
1. horizontal axis of bar plot is nominal;
2. all bars in single plot series need to have the same width.
It is possible, however, to format data series so that bars touch one to another side by side, and make their borders visible.
If your needs do not exceed these limitations, simply use it.

From the other side:

The FREQUENCY function allows to obtain general 1D contingency table, even in case of non-uniform width of classes. This case cannot be properly reproduced by any standard Calc graph type.
Also coupling experimental data and theoretical density function on one chart may cause problems. Mixed bar-line plots are available, but they handle only ordinal x axis, good for time series, but not for functional relationships.

There is another class of data presetnation software that is much better for this type of tasks. Currenttly, in the OpenSource world, the most important among them is R. Also Gnuplot, not being statistical program, has some features for making good histograms.
Last edited by Jan_J on Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:02 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Histograms

Postby Hagar Delest » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:45 pm

rob2563 wrote:this meta-discussion has been more about the following suggestions, which boil down to RTFM, but which don't even have a correct link to the FM.

There are moments where we run out of time, we have to go and so we post a quick answer because we think that it may help, even if we haven't had really the time to actually check. The problem here is that the "histogram" keyword is not used in the help file or the online user guide.
So yes, sometimes, we are wrong or not precise enough. But this is a forum run by volunteers, this is not a professional support service. Please give us the right to be wrong sometimes.

Globally, you've had very good replies with several links to tutorials (including from RoryOF who did some homework to find them after his first post) and lastly a more expert reply. Even if not all the hints were dead right, you've had some high quality replies. So just keep them and put up with the other ones.

RoryOF and TheGhurka (among many others) give a lot of time to help other people. You react because their replies led to nowhere but this is very rare. Your remark about experts not able to give relevant replies is therefore rather insulting for such people. This was a missed point from them in many many relevant replies and happy users. So please don't judge too quickly the volunteers who tries to help you.
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