Graph Creation Software


Hi all,

apologies if this has already been asked on the forums, but I couldnt really find a similar post.

I was curious as to what software everyone out there uses for creating graphs in their papers. I have some results of a experiment I conducted and wanted to represent them in a graph. In all honesty Microsoft Excel can do the job, but having read many Evaluation/Results sections of papers in my field, they all seem to be using some other software to create their graphs (resulting in some rather professional looking graphs!)

I was hoping people could point me to some (ideally free) software that they use.

Thanks all! :-)


Some of my friends are using Tecplot, but that may be for fairly technical graphs. I use MATLAB and love it. Again, not great for non-technical stuff. Try Excel has fancier built-in styles (if you're not already).


Graphpad prism is pretty easy to use and does all the SD/SEM calculations automatically when u enter your data.Think there is a limited free version available online.

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I agree with Bald_Monkey; Excel 2007 is very good.  I used to use combinations of Datview, Biomed, Prism and Fig.P to get decent graphs, but they were unbelievably time consuming and prone to error (and very old), and the significance asterisks were a pain to get in the right area. I just use Excel 2007 now, it's much simpler and quicker and you can get SD and SEM calcs in a flash. The graph software can be easily customised too, which can 'distance' your representation from a Microsoft application if you want to.  Best of luck!


I like Sigma Plot myself. I'd download a trial and give it a try if I were you. It, too, does really nice graphs.


hi there. I like to use Excel and Keynotes (on a mac) but there's a website for kids called Create a Graph

I used it for my results during my MSc (!!!!) why because at that time I was in a hurry. For some reason my excel didn't work. And before this I had not used Keynotes so I had no idea I could make graphs with Keynotes. I found this kids' website, it was really good. I would use it again if I had to. Computing the figures are very easy and they pretty much do everything for you. The graphs look professional too :-) try it if your data can fit


I'm doing a very arts-based Phd but need to put some of my findings in graph form. I had a look at this kid's site but it looks too complicated already!! I will have a play around and see if I can work it out. So far I have been using Word as I really only need simple bar graphs to show information in a table in a different form.

Actually it's not too complicated but I have too much data as it only allows you 6 groups when I have more.


I'll agree with the majority. Excel is pretty good for a standard spreadsheet program, I think the professional look comes with knowing how to edit the styles effectively. I'm using it to present my final year work and I've found it pretty easy to get my graphs looking like the ones in papers I've been reading! Play around with the bar/line colouring for an hour or two, and try out all the little settings you can manipulate to get a grasp of it.


I would suggest using Gnuplot. The website is

Hope you find it useful.


Sigmaplot or Origin software.
Excel sucks.


Time to explore the world of graph software :)
Thank you all for the suggestions, will try them all out now.