Very simple graphs sometimes have arrows next to the axes: I think arrows
don't mean much to our readers, so I put in a zero at the axes'
intersection and leave out the arrows altogether.

Next to, or below the axes their meaning is often written in full: in
particular at the y-axis this is often not a very clear indication (as I
explained before) and besides it takes too much space, so I prefer to use
an x and y at the axes in any graph, explaining their meaning in a key
(years under the x-axis are fine).
Only in case inkprint already has a one- or two-character identifier I
copy those.

- Basic Graph
- inkprint (ca 35K)
- braille (ca 25K)

Preferably put y and y-numbers left of y-axis, x and x-numbers below x- axis; but if this should impair the clarity of your drawing put them somewhere else.

In mathematics generally only the O and two 1's are shown: if possible, copy; otherwise put in some other number.

Sometimes a graph gets clearer by pruning axis numbers, there's often no need for the reader to go over a profusion of numbers.

In my opinion putting an identifying text or word next to a curve or function line is not very clear: you'd better choose different line types and explain their meaning in a key.

- Basic Math Graph
- wrong (ca 45K)
- better (ca 45K)

- Use Key
- inkprint (ca 35K)
- Braille (ca 35K)

In rare cases one of the rows of numbers might be written in a deviant direction. Preferably make a remark about this.

Draw the axes in a standard width, for instance 1mm.

Don't copy the zigzag indicating an axis interuption: a short break
in the axis line (about 7mm, within the fingertip window) is clearer.

- Axis interruption (ca 35K)

- Remove Grid
- inkprint (ca 100K)
- Braille (ca 35K)

- Fine Grid (ca 65K)

The function lines are the most important part of a graph, so have them stand out, draw them fat so they're easy to find.

If a graph has shadings between the lines we'll have to look for their meaning: sometimes it's just for decoration or sighted clarity and we can leave it out; in other cases the graph is all about the hatches' proportions, the shadings indicate volume, and we had better leave out the lines as they impair clarity.

- Shading in Graphs
- leave out (ca 60K)
- leave in (ca 80K)
- leave in #2 (ca 115K)

Look out for possibly confusing graphic elements, and simplify or
relegate them to text. Estimates into the future are often dashed, in an
otherwise continuous-line graph: copying this will unnecessarily
complicate your drawing.

Reduce unusual graphs to the standard model.

- Split Up Complicated Graphs
- inkprint (ca 110K)
- Braille, part 1 (ca 65K)
- Braille, part 2 (ca 55K)
- Braille, part 3 (ca 50K)

- Enlarge your original to desired size; if need be change x:y ratio
- Decide on the direction of your drawing: length- or widthwise?
- Will the graph leave enough space for your title (including key)? If so, put in page number and title; otherwise draw the graph first.
- Draw axes, 1mm width; put in x, y and 0, and dashes and numbers for units.
- Put in grid, possibly reduced.
- Put in function line or lines, curves. Decide on linetype by expediency (e.g. wriggling line thin, straight line fat).
- If so desired, put in referencing lines from important points in your lines to the axes (if no grid was applied).
- Reduce confusing elements

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© 1989, 2002 Marco Schuffelen * All rights reserved *

Questions? Comments? email me Last modified: Thu May 15 10:32:53 PDT 1989