Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

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Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby cadu » Thu Jan 05, 2012 6:49 am

Hello,

Is there any smart way (or plugin) to create charts (bar, line, pie etc.) through Inkscape? I mean something like an interface where I could insert data and the chart is created automatically...

Mainly, my interest is because I begin to use Inkscape plugin Sozi (http://sozi.baierouge.fr/wiki/en:welcome). It is pretty cool!!! But I do need to use vector charts in my Sozi presentations. Otherwise I need to save charts from other software in other image format (e.g. PNG) and them import to Inkscape. The problem is that Sozi "zooms" in non-vector images (as PNG) could represent loss of quality.

I found a vector-based tool called Draw (part of OpenOffice suite) and it could make vector charts and export as SVG. It could be a partial solution. But if I could found anything handled inside Inkscape it would be great!!!

Thanks,
Cadu
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby chriswww » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:35 am

from memory, there's a perl (scripting language) module for this. the module hasn't been maintained but still works.
there's also a few websites that lead you through the technique of using things like xsl stylesheets to produce svg charts from xml data. but these don't resemble anything like a ready to use tool of its own.
there's also the Raphael javascript library...but that's not pure svg and requires you to hook up through the browser (to use any javascript), with the typical pitfalls of having to make sure things work cross-browser.
If you have access to the data for the charts, rather than the png images by themselves, it wouldn't be to hard to script (in any/most technology of choice) to produce simple looking svg graphs and charts. just a bit of math to work out where things should go.
for things like directed graphs (connected type graphs), the graphviz program does automatic layout and can export in svg format. alas no bar, line, pie charts.
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby ~suv » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:03 pm

Check out the extension NiceCharts for basic pie and bar charts (note: as far as I can tell, it is still work-in-progress: please use the launchpad page of the 'NiceCharts' project to report issues or feature requests for it).

Alternatively, you can export graphs as SVG from gnumeric (and other graph-plotting tools).
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby fizzcat » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:03 pm

I'd be really in terested in this. I have the need to do charts and graphs, but to be able to sort out the graphical layout to look decent and fit in with other graphics, rather than just accept the tosh that some charting engines churn out.

The best solution so far is to produce a line graph (XY graph or whatever) and cut and paste onto an inkscape layer and then manually trace the axes and lines! I get really good looking graphs but it takes a while to do all of the tick marks etc. on the axes (particularly when you use Excel - the spacing on tick marks is not accurate).

I didn't know Gnumeric exported svg. I'll give that a go for sure - thanks!

fizzcat
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby cadu » Sat Jan 07, 2012 5:42 am

Hi,

Thanks everybody for information.

I have tried all of them. IMHO the best "initial" way is using Draw (from OpenOffice). This is a vectorial tool and its graphs and charts have great quality and possibilities of handling. Moreover, there are a plenty of formats to exports, including SVG and WMF.

Here begins my ignorance with Inkscape. I going into it now...

I exported from Draw the same chart in 2 formats SVG and WMF. I couldn't handle individual components of SVG format (e.g. ungrouping them and move each one). However, I could make it with WMF format. Since SVG is the Inkscape native format, is there anything wrong? What to do in order to handling SVG from Draw with flexibility? Otherwise, it seems to me that WMF will be the best format to handling into Inkscape.

Best,
Cadu
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby cadu » Sun Jan 08, 2012 9:00 am

I solved this latter question about handling SVG (the problem was with my inexperience with Inkscape yet).
But it seems to me that WMF has a better definition than SVG.
Would be it just my impression? Is there any significative difference in use WMF or SVG? In my case I am just importing an chart generate by OOo Draw and improve it inside inkscape (so the comparison in WMF or SVG is related to the origin Draw file).
Thanks
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby chriswww » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:27 am

Thanks for the NiceCharts link.
In terms of chart drawing formats, you should pick the one that best suits you, and hopefully doesn't lock you into choices, when you're having to do manipulations if several ways and using different programs etc. I wouldn't judge the SVG format itself, just from the choices some program makes on export. Also, SVG is not specifically a diagramming or charting format. Although it can be used for charts etc; you're not going to end up with a chart that's easy to manipulate..like some spreadsheet example toy. So you're going to have to decide if you want ease of use/manipulation OR if you want the convenience of an open format like SVG. It's not a question I could answer for you.
If I needed such charting capability, and didn't have to deliver it yesterday, I would keep the original data in simple xml of own device. Then use combination of xsl and scripting to create two stage charts. First stage for basic/essential diagram, and second pass do all the nice things. Hopefully not adding useless flourishes that just blemish data visuals.
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Re: Charts (Bar, Line, Pie etc.) through Inkscape

Postby chriswww » Mon Jan 09, 2012 12:02 pm

that's a very nice extension btw. Easy to change colors and move things around, without having to ungroup and carefully select elements. Default output very nice...I guess that's why they called it nicecharts. tested it on 0.47 windblows XP. If they go beyond the initial three graph types, it will be a good contender to other ways of generating charts.
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