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How to Format Scatterplot Charts in iBooks Author

A popular way of showing information visually is by using a chart, which converts series of data (such as sales over multiple financial quarters) into bars, lines, and other graphical presentations. Scatterplot charts are great for showing how data is clustered. iBooks Author lets you create such charts based on data, in much the same way that Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers do.

To create a chart, use the Charts icon menu in the toolbar to choose the desired chart type (there are 19 types). Or you can choose Insert→Chart and then choose the desired chart type from the submenu that appears. iBooks Author creates a chart that uses sample data. It also displays the Chart inspector and the Chart Data Editor panel.

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The iBook Author Chart inspector makes it easy to create a scatterplot chart that demonstrates the relationships between data. The Chart pane for scatterplots has just two options:

  • Show Title: Select this option to add a title to the chart. The word Title appears above the chart, and you can edit it, as desired, by double-clicking it and entering (or pasting) your text.

  • Show Legend: This option is selected by default and displays a legend for your chart, comprising colored squares or circles (depending on the chart’s presentation type) and the labels for which axis they represent. The legend appears in its own text box, and you can reposition it on the page or layout, as desired, by dragging it. If you don’t want a legend to appear, deselect this option.

The Axis pane lacks the Label Every __ Categories option available for bar and line charts, but for a scatterplot chart, you can set the scale value and value display settings for the x axis, not just the y axis, unlike for bar and line charts.

The Series pane differs from bar charts in several ways:

  • Data Symbol: This pop-up menu lets you choose the type of indicator for the points on the line; you can choose from seven shapes, as well as the option to have no point indicator. The adjacent field and stepper controls let you control the size of the point indicators.

  • Connect Points: This pop-up menu lets you choose whether the lines between data points are straight or curved.

  • Trendline: The Trendline subpane lets you specify separate trend lines for the x and y axes; bar charts and line charts display trend lines only for the data on the y axis.

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