Next: What is a Biplot?
Up: XLS-Biplot User's Manual (Version
Basics of XLS-Biplot
If you want to build a Biplot, you should have at least a rectangular data
matrix where columns correspond to some numerical variables and rows to
cases or individuals (or other kind of data matrices such as count
data in a contingency table).
To learn about Biplots and what data is suitable to build biplots in
To load a simple data matrix into XLS-Biplot, just prepare a text file
with a data row in each line, putting spaces or tabs between numbers and use
the Read data item in the File (Biplot in Unix version)
menu. See section 4.1.
Then, you will be asked for the kind of data analysis you want to be applied
to your matrix and the type of Biplot to use. A recommended first choice is
"PC with normalization". Each choice produces different biplots, some of
them can not be applied to some kind of data, you shuld know what kind of
analysis is suitable for your data.
See section 3.1 for a discussion on all this.
After the data analysis has been chosen, the Biplot window will appear and
you should choice the kind of Biplot (how the final
coordinates are computed): choose the Biplot type... item in
the Biplot... menu button, see section 3.1.
The Biplot window has three main areas: the plot, the toolbar and the message
rectangle (at the bottom of the window). While you move the mouse, relevant
messages are shown in the message area. Detailed discussion on using the
menus and tools in the toolbar can be found in section 5.
For brief help, click on the 'Help' tool button. The window enters in 'Help
mode': further clicks on several parts of it will provide you with
different help pages. Also, choosing any item menu will show a help page for
it. To exit 'Help mode', click again on the Help button.
To enter your data and make a Biplot
- use the Read data...
item in the File (BiplotMenu in Unix) menu (menu bar).
Simple numerical data matrices are accepted, but if you want to enclose more
information about your data (variable and/or case names, weights, etc.) you
should use the Biplot file format, see section 4 of this
manual. You may want to use Excel or a similar program to prepare the input
file. Look at the file biplot-template.xls in the examples directory
for a template to prepare your data file.
To modify the plot
- Using the 'Edit' tool available in the Biplot Window,
you can modify some of the
elements of the plot: the axis (including frame and grid), the arrows, the
points, the labels, even the biplot type and the data processing in use
(see section 5.2.4). The 'Move' tool
is for improving labels position, or to resize arrows. Take a look on
To inspect your plot and your data
- The item Save Biplot
report... in the Save button available in the window toolbar gives
you a report on the data in the Biplot and the way it has been computed
(check the button Open in a text window if you don't need to save
the report in a file. To get a closer view,
using the Info tool, you point
with the mouse to any point or any arrow and you see information on it in the
message rectangle. If you do want more information on the element, just
click on it and some text window will pop up. (See section
5.3 on dealing with those text windows).
To relate your data to the plot
- Using the Show
original or 'Show transformed
items in the 'Biplot' menu available in the toolbar, you get a
data sheet window showing the appropriate data matrix. These data sheet
widows are linked to the Biplot window, when you select cases or variables
in any one of them,
the selection is also hilighted in the other. See section
5.4 on working with data sheet windows.
To save or reuse your work
- use the Save... button to acces
some 'Saving' items. You can save your data using the Biplot format, you can
see and/or save a textual report on the current Biplot,
you can save your entire Biplot
window with all the changes you made on it. See section 4.3.
To print the Biplot graphic
- with good quality graphics, go to
Save graphic as... item in the Save button of the biplot's
window. Check the PDF format and click OK. Then use Acrobat to print the file.
(If you have trouble doing this, see 6 or A).
To export the Biplot graphic
- and use it in other software you use the
Save graphic as... item in the Save button. Under
MS-Windows, you can go to the standard Edit menu and copy the
contents of a Biplot window. Then you can paste it on many other
places. To get a better resolution copy of the graph, read carefully the
section 6 on how to translate it to postscript or EMF
formats, or other. Good quality printing of the plot is also done this way.
XLS-Biplot main menus
XLS-Biplot main menus are installed in the main menu bar in the MS-Windows
version, and in a single menu in the menu bar in the Unix/X11 version. These
are the items that can be found in any case.
- Read data
- This is for opening files that contain data to be represented
in a Biplot. There two kind of files, simple data matrix or Biplot data. See
- Paste data from clipboard
- If you have some data matrix copied into the
clipboard, this item gives you a (rather non-standard) way to paste it into
an XLS-Biplot window. Just follow the step by step directions.
- Load XLS-Biplot object
- If you saved one of your XLS-Biplot windows
using Save XLSBiplot object" in the Save button, you can
restore the window using this item. See section 4.3. There are
some sample files (extension .bplsp) in the examples directory.
- Make example
- To test the capabilities of XLS-Biplot it may be
convenient just to have some Biplot based on random data. This item
- Copy to clip
- In the MS-Windows version, this item places a bitmap copy
of the active window in the clipboard. See section 6.
- Configure Helpers
- This item raises up a dialog for giving the paths to
some appplications used by XLS-Biplot to perform graphics conversion and
other task. See appendix A.
- Opens a help window with some basic help to use XLS-Biplot.
- Open HTML manual
- It will open it, if the path to your web browser is correctly specified
in the Configure Helpers dialog, and if this user's manual is
installed in a folder named users-manual-html within the directory that
contain the XLS-Biplot files.
Using XLS-Biplot through the Web
As a starting point for an ongoing project, Biplots can be get from the Web by
in your Web navigator.
You should have a (not very large) data array of numbers in the clipboard. You
paste your data in the provided text area and you get your Biplot back as a
compressed graphic (png format), and also the finer postscript and pdf versions.
This is a really inmature version of a fully configurable web service, we hope
to work on it to make it really useful.
Next: What is a Biplot?
Up: XLS-Biplot User's Manual (Version