Points of view

Plotting symbols


Choose distinct symbols that overlap without ambiguity and communicate relationships in data.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Symbol diversity can be achieved by varying shape, fill or color.
Figure 3: Symbols should encode natural hierarchies in data to simplify legend lookup and help reveal patterns.


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Krzywinski, M., Wong, B. Plotting symbols. Nat Methods 10, 451 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nmeth.2490

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