If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a graph is worth somewhere between a “wow” and a couple of chapters.
Graphs tell stories. Graphs on a computer are good eye candy. Graphs are a pain to produce. Graph Sketcher eases your pain.
It’s not that graphs are difficult to produce. If you use Microsoft Excel regularly, adding data to a spreadsheet and producing a graph is child’s play. For grown up children.
Graphs are a visual representation of lies, damned lies, and statistics. They tell a story with the emphasis on the visual, not the details. The problem, of course, is that some details are necessary to create the graph.
Despite the Mac’s honored and well deserved reputation as a graphic workplace, creating appropriate graphics for business or teaching or presentations is something of an art; unless you do it regularly.
I’ve used Excel since it was a Mac-only application, and I know my way around build graphs, pie charts, bar charts, line charts. 3D is a little over-rated and more eye candy than anything, but graphs speak louder than words.
Almost anyone can sketch out a graph on paper using a colored marker pen, but it’s not a result you want to hand out to impress anyone. Enter Graph Sketcher.
Fortunately, Graph Sketcher doesn’t require you to sketch using paper and ink.
You’re also not required to buy Microsoft Excel or any one of the half dozen or so Mac applications which specialize in producing charts and graphs.
Graph Sketcher lets your Mac become the paper and ink to create a graph, and the results are purely digital—accurate, attractive, relatively simple learning curve. As the folks at Graph Sketcher point out, a requirement for detailed graphing from data is best served by Grapher, or Mathematica, or Excel.
OK, so you can’t draw very well. You’re a Mac user, right? Graph Sketcher lets you use what you know how to do already. Point. Click. Drag.
Graph Sketcher opens to an X and Y axis, couple of tool palettes, and some instructions (which are as thin as instructions can be, but you’ll se why after the first four or five clicks).
Click on the X and/or Y axis and drag left or right, up or down. That changes the range in the axis. Control-Click starts the drawing process. Lines, curves, angles, and so on—all with precision similar to a spreadsheet’s results without the expense and effort of a spreadsheet.
You can change the color and thickness of lines, change background colors, and grid colors. It’s like child’s play without having to be a child. It’s so easy a grown up can do it.
Change the color of the background and/or the background grid. Add text and change fonts and size. Add labels to lines. Add circles, boxes, triangles, stars, and so on. Lines can be solids, dashed, dots, and more. Export the result as a JPG or PDF image for import into just about any presentation application.
Yes, Graph Sketcher will plot data points and adjustments are made in real time, so your graph can look exactly as you wish (that’s the part about lies, damned lies, and statistics that is so much fun—make the graph look like the numbers you want them to be).
It took 15 minutes of dinking around with Graph Sketcher to get the idea of how it works. Yes, it’s easier than Excel and other graphing applications. It’s supposed to be. No, it’s not complicated unless you’ve always had trouble with crayons and keeping colors inside the lines.
The trick is knowing what you need and what tool you need to do the job. Graph Sketcher lets you sketch graphs on your Mac. The end result looks like something from Excel or other graphing application at a fraction of the cost, and a fraction of the learning curve.
In fact, there’s wasn’t much of a learning curve that I could graph with Graph Sketcher. Download it, dink around for 20-minutes, and see how easy it is to create your own lies, damned lies, and pictures of statistics.