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Complex Graphs

FTA software will graph the results of any one experiment in a variety of ways, and it will remember your setup if you take a sequence of similar movies.

If you wish to overlay the results of several experiments, you should use a program such as Excel (or any other scientific spreadsheet program). Excel offers several important features:

  • You can plot as many data sets (experimental runs) on either of two vertical axes as you wish.

  • You can plot mathematical functions on the same graph with your experimental data, to serve as a comparison.

  • You can plot functions of your data. For example, you might wish to plot the cosine of your contact angle data.

  • You can have statistics calculated on your data, or any subset.

  • You can have your graph setup saved as a named template for future recall.

The FTA software provides two easy ways to transfer data to Excel (or other similar programs): save the data to a text file and import it later, or copy it to the Windows Clipboard and Paste it into Excel. See Exporting Data to Excel.

Excel is easy to learn. There are two good books, available from http://www.amazon.com, written especially for chemists:

  • "Spreadsheet Applications in Chemistry Using Microsoft Excel", by Dermot Diamond and Venita C. A. Hanratty. ISBN 0-471-14087-2 (FTA has this book.)

  • "Excel for Chemists: A Comprehensive Guide", by E. Joseph Billo. (This has received good reviews.)