Macintosh graphing, visualization, and modelling / SEM software
Last update 4/3/2013 (ChartSmith)
Configurations: OS X native; Universal; Snow Leopard (version 2.4 had Altivec and non-Altivec versions)
Current version: 3.04
Listing updated: 1/2010
The learning curve is steep; operations are conducted in pipelines, making the basic menus sparse with large modal dialogue boxes in which the real work is done. There appears to be no programming language, which makes it more suitable for casual and exploratory work. It loads Excel files, preserving variable names.
On Macintouch.com, Andrew Fiore praised Aabel’s visualizations, and Robin Lake noted its ability to handle a large number of variables and its strong regression tools. Arthur Busbey wrote "this is the envy of more than one Windows person I have showed it to. It has some great niche graphics for the earth sciences that you can't easily get anywhere else." If you have a lot of data to plot, or repeated graphs of the same kind to draw, it's not very flexible. e.g. if you want to plot graphs with a large number of lines (something I do often) I have to go through and set colour of each line individually.
Dr. Jake Bundy wrote, “Surprisingly useful for multivariate analysis, but with some severe annoyances, e.g. writes all the data to new worksheets, meaning they are no longer connected. The best feature is the popup window next to the graph sheet listing the variables in the worksheet. If you are interested in hunting for correlations (say), it makes it easy to set var1 as your X, and then use the arrow key to flick rapidly between var2 -> var3 ... -> varN, and watch the plots change.”
Aabel includes map trend analysis, cartographic projection, user-defined multipliers for scientific notations, and statistics plugins modules through a plugin SDK. Version 3 added K-means clustering, the Shapiro-Wilk test for normality, extended ANOVA, extended multiple comparisons, Fisher's z transformation, and much more.
Aabel 3.04 was set up mainly to increase Snow Leopard compatibility and add bug fixes; in addition, users can now declare whether empty cells should be undefined or set to zero in hierarchical and K-means cluster analyses.
Configurations: Was once PPC OS 7+, OS X; currently unknown
Specific information, including Mac compatibility, was not available as of June 2008.
Cartes & Données is a “geo-statistical” analysis package available in French only from Articque.The free download is a limited-function version of the commercial products, which include Cartes & Données Premium and Cartes & Données Plus.
Configurations: Universal (current version: 10.6 to 10.8)
Current Version: 1.6
Listing updated: 4/2013 (software updated 4/13)
Designed for OS X, ChartSmith is not burdened with cross-platform baggage and uncertainty á la DeltaGraph, but does much of the same work — making charts and graphs for publication, with analytical features. It allows Excel importing and PowerPoint and Charts exporting. Graphics are snazzy, with AppleScript controls. We wanted to like it, we really did, but we found the interface awkward and unnecessarily driven by OS X ideals. Keynote users may find the integration features handy; you can import data from Excel.
The program has multiple axis types, trend lines, error bars, templates, support for Retina displays, and compatibility with Gatekeeper, and some bug fixes for AppleScript.
Configurations: Universal — OS X 10.4 to 10.6
Current Version: 2.0
Price: $375 and up
Listing updated: 10/2009
Published by: Gigawiz
Citrin does interactive scientific graphing and curve fitting, providing charts, such as scatter and line series, bar, column, area, 3-D, ternary scatter, pie, polar, box and whisker, histograms, probability charts, etc.; curve fitting with built-in functions, as well as a module for user-defined, non-linear curve fitting with an interactive graphical interface; flexible capabilities for applying error bars; full Unicode support, diverse graphic export formats; and native worksheets that can import and store large data sets from diverse data formats. It allows Excel and other imports and PDF, Photoshop, and other exports. Citrin also provides real-time, two-way interaction between charts and their source worksheets, and claims to be the first relatively low-cost commercial program to allow data brushing to highlight data interrelationships.
Version 2.0, introduced in October 2009 (roughly two years after 1.1), added Snow Leopard compatibility, X-zooming, color themes, binary scatter charts, three new graph types for polar charts, basic heatmap diagrams, waterfall pseudo-surface charts, bubble charts with five variables, multiple types of spider charts, contour matrix graphs, ternary contour graphics, combined area-line charts, two-way box and whisker graphs, and support for dBase imports.
DataDesk and DataDesk XL
Configurations: started as 680x0; currently Universal; Lion-compatible
Current Version: 6.3 (OS X), 6.1 (OS 7-9)
Price: $715 normal, $430 academic, $125 student (DataDesk).
Listing updated: 8/23/2011 • last software update, 2011
Published by DataDescription
An exploratory data analysis package, DataDesk is developed by Paul Velleman, Professor in Cornell's School of Industrial and Labor relations, once a student of Bell Labs’ famed John Tukey. (800) 573-5121, +1-607-257-1000.
The DataDesk web site said: “Data Desk 6.3 is optimized for the Macintosh OS Lions (10.7, 10.8) and Windows 7. It runs significantly faster. It even opens faster... [and] is no longer limited to 32,000 cases when working with categorical variables. ... operations on categories are now much faster, as is the Lookup derived variable function.”
A demo version is available (8/23/2011). The Mac version is at parity with the Windows version, and there is an Excel plug-in version, DataDesk XL (it is not compatible with Excel 2007/2008/2011). The strength and weakness of DataDesk is its visual environment:
While it implements many traditional statistics techniques suitable for data from planned experiments and sample surveys, Data Desk’s true strength is its powerful tools for data exploration. ... speed and linked views make Data Desk unsurpassable for exploring any set of data. ... Select points in one plot or table and see those points highlight instantly in all other plots. Modify a data value or parameter and see all relevant plots and table update immediately...
Dick Furnas wrote:
DataDesk is superb for exploratory data analysis. A student version is bundled with several textbooks Velleman has been involved in. DataDesk was originally developed for the Mac and makes splendid use of drag and drop, clickable, live interfaces and everything a Mac user might wish for (you can lasso points in a graph and the data values from the underlying data tables will be highlighted, and vice/versa).
Compatibility: Universal (OS X 10.6-10.7); Cocoa-based. Older versions compatible with 10.4.
Price: $90 (free trial with some features disabled)
Listing and program updated 12/2011.
Published by: VisualDataTools.com
Developer David Adalsteinsson wrote that this $40 program was written in Cocoa, and so is native to OS X. It grew out of DataTank and shares underlying graphics code, but is limited to two-dimensional graphing; the design is “simple and powerful,” with an emphasis on publication-quality output. Amazingly, DataGraph reads in CricketGraph files, creates animations, and can be called from Automator or the command line.
Version 2.2 adds a command for drawing lines between points, a search strip, and a Step option. Version 3.0 adds support for multiple graphs in a single file, automatic updating of combined graphs, Point style options, and other updates.
OS X (PPC); Cocoa-based
$595 academic/government, $1,195 “normal.” Free trial.
Current version: 1.4 beta
Software last updated 2005. Listing updated 8/23/11.
Published by: VisualDataTools.com
Winner of the 2005 Apple Design Award for Best Scientific Computing Solution. From their web site:
DataTank is designed for scientific visualization, data mining, and algorithm development, but it is flexible enough to be used for a variety of other uses as well. Like other scientific visualization programs DataTank uses OpenGL to draw 3D graphics, and supports transparency, interactive rotation, multiple light sources and camera positions. DataTank uses the strength of Quartz to generate publication quality vector-graphics as PDF/EPS or anti-aliased bitmaps for use in web pages and presentations. ... DataTank enables interactive exploration of large data sets. ... DataTank will perform incremental evaluation, treating data sets with millions of data points and hundreds of thousands of entries the same way as a simple data set that is typed in manually.
Dennis Kahlbaum wrote: “Excellent support. Program is extremely flexible and can be used for graphics, statistics, visualizations, etc; Can produce animations of contours (lines and shading) generated from variably spaced data. Can use ESRI shapfiles.” We add that it is scriptable.
Configurations: 68030 or later, OS 7-9 (older versions); Universal; betas may be Lion compatible
Current Version: 6
Price: $299 ($199 academic); upgrades currently at $79 (download)
Listing updated: 8-26-10
Software last updated: 2010
Published by: Red Rock Software
DeltaGraph is a dual-platform charting program developed on the Mac, now cross-platform; owned for a time by SPSS, it has been at Red Rock Software for years now. DeltaGraph now has Mac/Windows feature parity and statistical abilities including linear and nonlinear regression. (Amusingly, Cricket Graph did both in 1987.) In 2010, after four years, version 6 was finally released, with a revised interface, cross-platform-friendly files, support for third-party spot colors in PDF and EPS export, and international text support.
GMT - The Generic Mapping Tools
Configurations: UNIX, OS X; since you compile it, Universal
Current version: 4.13
Listing updated: 6-6-06
A collection of command-line tools that run on all Unix-like systems, including Mac OS X. See gmt.soest.hawaii.edu for details. Many of the main developers (including me) use Mac OS X. (Description by Paul Wessel)
Grapher / Graphing Calculator
Configurations: OS 7-9, PowerPC depending on version
Price: Comes with MacOS
This software was made available free of charge by Apple with the first PowerPC systems to show off the awesome power of the 60 MHz PowerPC 601 chips (which in some ways were quite speedy, but most people probably found themselves wishing for a Quadra). They have continued on, in various forms, through to OS X, and can actually do a number of useful things. Steve Martin of the University of Melbourne suggested its inclusion, noting that the new verison of Grapher allows importing sets of points and includes sample files. This only works for graphing functions.
Configurations: Universal Binary
Price: Shareware, $10 educational / $30 standard
Listing updated: 8-22-07
An amazingly quick and easy to use program for drawing instant, readable scatterplots and for drawing graphs by hand (without data). Written by Robin Stewart (graphsketcher.com).
Configurations: OS 9, OS X (PPC only), Windows
Listing updated: 8-21-06
From Vernier Solutions, Graphical Analysis is, like DeltaGraph and KaleidaGraph, a program to create charts and graphs for presentation. Like DeltaGraph and KaleidaGraph, it lets you “create and print graphs, data tables, text, FFTs, and histograms.
Perform automatic curve fits, and add models with adjustable parameters to your graphs. Calculate statistics, tangents, integrals, and interpolations.” But unlike its more popular (on the Mac, anyway) brethren, Graphical Analysis does not seem to be getting updates.
Current Version: 1.13
Listing updated: 6-6-06
Graphviz is the AT&T open source drawing package. The Mac OS X version and the overall project have their own web sites. The OS X version now uses the Aqua user interface. Prepare for a steep learning curve but it may be worth it if you have graphs you do frequently; not what I'd suggest for the occasional one-off though.
Current Version: 4.1
gnuplot is the Mac version of the open source scientific plotting software. It is available online from many sources.
Configurations: 68020, with or without FPU; Universal Binary
$400 academic, $550 normal
Current Version: 6.0
Listing updated: 1-28-07
Igor Pro is a charting and data analysis program published by WaveMetrics, Inc. “IGOR Pro is an interactive software environment for experimentation with scientific and engineering data and for the production of publication-quality graphs and page layouts.” IGOR's data files are cross-platform. Analysis includes curve fitting, peak analysis, signal processing, and descriptive statistics. As of version 6, Igor Pro is a Universal Binary, and expanded statistics are available, along with built in FIR and IIR filtering.
A highly capable data visualization and discovery package which is very speedy and has a friendly Mac-like interface, JMP is covered on the main page.
Configurations: 68000 with/without FPU (older versions); PPC (OS 9 / OS X 10.15+)
Current Version: 4.13
Price: $200 (academic $140); crossgrades $60
Listing updated: 8-18-12
Software last updated: 2011?
Kaleidagraph is a (dual-platform) data analysis and graphing application published by Synergy Software. A demo is available. Kaleidagaph's promotional materials promise essentially everything offered by DeltaGraph and then some. The Universal Binary update did not appear until August 2009, but it came with Intel-Mac optimization at long last, along with the use of QuickTime for export, which provides extra features.
Users have written in to say that Kaleidagraph can easily tabulate, normalize, and combine data sets, make numerical calculations of theoretical expressions for comparisons with the measured data points, make publication-quality graphs with little effort.
James P. Conner pointed out, "KaleidaGraph can handle 1,000 columns and one million rows, while Delta Graph is (last time I looked) limited to 256 columns and 32K rows. Also, K-Graph's statistical functions have been expanded significantly in the last two releases, and are much more useful than D-Graph's." We’ll also note that it’s cheaper.
Configurations: Intel (Lion and up)
Price: $50 (Mac App Store)
Listing updated: January 10, 2013 (software updated Jan. 2013)
From Ripeware, Lively Logic imports data from CSV files to create line graphs, scatter plots, bar graphs, bubble graphs, candlestick charts, pie charts, and tables. It has 75 functions, automatic updating of when data changes, and customization of graph elements. Available in the Mac App Store, it gained axis auto-scaling, better graph panning/scaling by dragging axes, best-fit curves, and support for Retina displays with version 1.1.
Price: $20 (Mac App Store)
Listing updated: April 2012
From Evan Miller, Magic Apps is a tool for analyzing time-series data on a map. Maps; states and countries automatically change color to match values, with customization for the colors and numeric ranges (colors can also be set for text fields). Data can be entered manually or via various file formats; built in templates are provided, and KML and ESRI files can be imported. A timeline shows historical averages and totals with a "play" feature to show changes by period. There are mathematical and geographical functions included, with CSV output.
Configurations: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux; 2 MB and does not require installation (Java program)
Student version: free. Pro: $149, trial available.
Program last updated: 12/1/2011. Listing updated: 1/17/2012
MagicPlot is used for scientific and engineering data analysis, graphing, nonlinear curve fitting, and multi-peak fitting. The program includes Pro and Student versions, and claims publication quality customizable plots with multiple axes, text table import with preview, data manipulation, FFT, integration, differentiation, histograms, and other statistics (on Pro), with multiple undos.
Free - open source - for Mac OS X
Currently in beta
Report updated: 5/15/07
Matplotlib is a pure python plotting library with the goal of making publication quality plots using a syntax familiar to matlab users. The library uses Numeric for handling large data sets and supports a variety of output backends
Mac OS X, Linux, many other versions
Current version: 1.55 (parity)
Last revised: April 19, 2004 (listing updated 6/2008)
Mx is a very cross-platform package that even has an on-line and Unix server version; it is written by Michael Neal. While there is a graphic user interface for Windows, the writer recommends doing a server installation to allow for a graphic interface. (Thanks, Stephen J. Read).
GraphPad’s Prism is an excellent platform for graphing, providing the usability of graphing software with many advanced statistical capabilities. Numerous graph types are available along with flexible regression curving. See our main Mac statistics software page (listed under GraphPad).
Configurations: PowerPC, OS X; supports Spotlight; Universal as of 6.1
Current Version: 6.22
Price: $95; upgrade, $55
Report updated: 1/5/2011
pro Fit is a data analysis and plotting software package from QuantumSoft. Dave [not me] wrote: "...it has an extensive Applescript dictionary, ability to handle large data sets well (I've done graphs with hundreds of thousands of points), can be extended by writing plug ins or adding formulas that you create, does great curve fitting. I consider it much more feature complete than Kaliedagraph and far more intuitive than Igor Pro. They have excellent customer support, usually getting back to you within 24 hours if you have a bug report or feature request." We have observed that ProFit is frequently updated which indicates it is well supported (2010).
“pro Fit is a Macintosh (Mac OS) application for data/function analysis, plotting, and curve fitting. It is used by scientists and engineers to analyze their measurements and the mathematical models they use to describe them. Scientists or students can define any mathematical function and use it to model their data, finding by linear or nonlinear curve fitting the function parameters that best describe their observations. Moreover, they can use a number of tools for the mathematical and statistical analysis of functions and data sets, and they can produce aesthetically pleasing graphical representations for their scientific reports.”
Version 6.1 changes: now Universal Binary; new tool for multidimensional curve fitting; revamped rendering engine for plots with native Core Graphics, PDF, and PostScript support; additions to the scripting language; more. Version 6.2: Python support, extended fitting, more data processing, higher performance.
MacOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
Current version: 1.0
Report updated: August 30, 2012
PublishPlot was created to turn any collection of data (in flexible plain-text formats) into publication-quality plots, written by a journal editor. The writer claims that all features of the plot can be customized, and that it can be scaled while conserving relative sizes; plots can be annotated with labels and arrows; and simple transformations are included. Available from the Mac App Store.
R with SEM add-on (free)
There is also a PLS package (Adam Naples wrote, “it’s kind of a less constrained, or exploratory SEM”) for R.
For Linux and Windows but may be compiled on Macs
Report updated: 1/5/2011
SciPy is a library of scientific tools for Python which supplements the Numeric module. SciPy includes modules for graphics and plotting, optimization, integration, special functions, signal and image processing, genetic algorithms, ODE solvers, and others.
Version: 3.4 (for OS X 10.4+) and Windows
Price: $860 retail, $64 academic
Report updated: 1/5/2011
Simgua simulates and models complex systems with visual modeling, a Visual Basic compiler for Macs, macros, custom materials, and material transformations.
VTK (Visualization Toolkit)
Pre-compiled only for Windows; may be compiled from source code for OS X
Latest version: 5.1 (listing updated 8/2012)
The Visualization ToolKit (VTK) is a system for 3D computer graphics, image processing, and visualization with several interface layers. In VTK applications can be written directly in C++, Tcl, Java, or Python.
VTK supports a wide variety of visualization algorithms including scalar, vector, tensor, texture, and volumetric methods; and advanced modeling techniques like implicit modelling, polygon reduction, mesh smoothing, cutting, contouring, and Delaunay triangulation. Moreover, we have directly integrated dozens of imaging algorithms into the system so you can mix 2D imaging / 3D graphics algorithms and data. Our goal is to make the software easy enough for any computer literate person to use.
Configurations: Universal, 32-bit and 64-bit versions; Snow Leopard
Current Version: 10.6.3
Lance Bland, the developer, wrote: "In addition to all the standard features, Vvidget includes advanced features such as floating ticks, curves that can extend beyond the graph frame or can be truncated and literally hundreds of tunable parameters. 3D types rotate in real time and even the graph labels can be rotated in their own plane, independent of the main graph rotation. Data can be inserted through a list of numbers or by point and click methods." The same developer provides software such as QuadraticLab for other math functions. The software appears to be under very active development.
In version 10.6, VVidge has a new, improved manual with tutorials; drag-and-drop of graphs to Cocoa projects in the Interface Builder; and other features.
Grace is a WYSIWYG 2D plotting tool for the X Window System that runs on “practically any version of Unix-like OS.”
Ctioga is an open source command-line plotting system written in Ruby. It has been designed to make rapidly publication-quality graphes.
Abandoned Mac graphing and data visualization software
See the dead zone.