gplotexe.bmp (13110 bytes)GraphPlot Overview  

draft.gif (18863 bytes)GraphPlot is a spreadsheet and a drawing tool for sociometric data that has been designed to handle unlimited numbers of individuals and objects. As in commerical designing, it draws sets of shapes (nodes) that are arranged spatially, with lines (edges) connecting them "on the dime" to other shapes. As data are entered a sociogram emerges connecting lines from subject to subject illustrating the communication network.

The shapes represent people and significant objects from the real world, and the lines represent relationships between the shapes. GraphPlot allows you to edit graphs interactively in an intuitive manner. It works much like a drawing program. As you add data to the database, GraphPlot re-arranges shapes (circles, trianges, etc.,) automatically so shapes are connected by lines that are in close proximity. This is significant in organizing an effective sociogram to help the viewer percieve the relationships within the communication network. Shapes representing 'closer' relationships are placed near one another, while those that are 'distant' are arranged further apart.

The information outlined on the following pages provide a step by step procedures to input your data. Keep in mind that there is a help menu built into GraphPlot, and you can access it by clicking on the ? symbol at the far right on the tool bar.

5.1 Opening Graphplot:

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1. Double click on GraphPlot icon on the desktop.


5.2 EDITING data:

  1. Click File and then – New.
  2. Your screen should look like this.
  3. Note that there are two screens:
  • Manual.GPD - Data on your left and
  • Manual.GPD - Graph on your right.
  1. Manual.GPD - Data - is the spread sheet where sociometric data are entered.
  2. Manual.GPD - Graph - is where the sociogram will be drawn.


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2. Click on Relationships - Add Relationship Category (column):
  • Relationships are equivalent to choice ranking for sociometric questions.
  • Repeat this procedure until there are lettered blocks for sociometric choices & questions.

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  1. To label each column point the mouse on the top of the column (selecting columns A or B ). The column has been selected when it is highlighted. Click once with right mouse button that brings up a menu, choose "Label Selected Relationship Category."
  1. "Input Dialog" box appears allowing you to label sociometric questions.


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  • In the "Input Dialog" box type in the label you want (e.g., 1-1, 1-2,). Choose OK.
  • The example label means: Question 1, Choice 1, Question 1, Choice 2.
  • For this example, three questions have been entered. 
  • Repeat this procedure until all columns are labled.
  1. Subjects – Add a Subject or Add Multiple Subjects:
  • To enter the number of subjects click the right mouse button and this menu appears.   Select "Add Multiple Subjects." 
  • The "Input Dialogue" box appears. Enter the number of subjects.
  • The illustration below means there are three members in the group.

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  • A sociometric question with two choices and three subjects will apear like this.

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  1. Add Cell Data Information:
  • Click on the cell to enter data.
  • Subject # 1 - Enter the data for the first and second choices for question # 1 in each cell.
  • Subject # 1 chose subject # 2 as first choice and subject # 3 as second choice.
  • Use the Arrow Keys or Mouse to move from cell to cell to enter remaining data.


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  1. Drawing the Sociogram. 
  • Move to the graph window and click on the  Upper Right Grey bar - it will turn Blue.  This shows that the graph spread sheet has been activated. 
  • Move pointer to the lower right hand box.
  • Click the Right Mouse Button and "Select Relationship Categories."
  • The "Select Line Category" Menu appears.


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  • Check the sociometric questions (with mouse pointer) to be graphed and click OK.  See illustration below.

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  • Questions (relationships) 1-1, 1-2 have been selected and the Sociogram is drawn.


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5.3 SAVING the document:

*It is important to save data set at this point to prevent loss of data. *

1. Choose File - Save As.
2. At the top of the box - Save In: Make sure you choose the correct disk drive. See example below:
3. Under File Name: type in the name of your file. For example, graph.GPD.
4. Click on Save.

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5.4 EDITING the graph:

* Located at the bottom of the graph window on the left side of the screen you will see two columns:



  1. Click and highlight the column to make changes.
  2. To distinguish 1st from 2nd choices using colors click the RIGHT mouse button. Choose "Line Properties for Selected Items" (see example below.)

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3. To change the Line Properties, Thickness or Color of a particular column:

Select the appropriate column located to the right of the Default & Mutual Columns.   Select one column at a time. Click on the RIGHT mouse button. Select "Line Properties." Choose the color, thickness, and whether or not you want the lines hidden. Click OK.

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  • Questions (Relationships) 1-1 and 1-2 are graphed showing blue lines representing 1st choices and black indicating 2nd choices.

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5.5 USING shortcuts:

Click anywhere on the data window with the right mouse button to bring up the menu:

  • Add Relationship Categories
  • Delete Selected Relationship Categories
  • Label Selected Relationship Categories
  • Format Cells
  • Add a Subject
  • Add Multiple Subjects

Click anywhere on the graph window with the right mouse button to bring up the menu:

  • Graph Properties
  • Shape Properties
  • Line Properties

For detailed information click on Help located at the far right of the Title Bar and a Help Topics Menu will drop down.


5.6 PRINTING the document:

1. Choose File - Print....

2. You may choose the number of copies to be printed. You may also choose to print the entire document or only selected pages.

3. Once you have made your selection click on OK.

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(You already saved the data set, now you must save again to save all of your work)

A. To Close a Document:

  1. Choose File - Close.
  2. - This closes the document but keeps GraphPlot open.

B. To Exit GraphPlot altogether:

  1. Choose File - Exit.
  2. - This closes both the document and the program.


5.8 GLOSSARY/terms:

Add Multiple Nodes - adds any number of rows, adds any number of subjects.

Add Node - adds a row, adds a subject.

Arrange Lines - enables or disables the "nice lines" feature.

Close - closes the active document.

Cut - removes the selected data from the document and puts it on the "invisible clipboard".

Copy - copies selected data from the document onto the "clipboard".

Line Key - allows one to select relationship categories or line properties.

Move Shapes Tool - allows one to manually set the positions of shapes in the graph by overriding the graph optimizer.

New - creates a new document.

Nice Lines - lines are drawn so that they do not intersect any shapes and so that they do not collide with each other.

Open - opens an existing document.

Optimizer - minimizes the length of the lines between the shapes.

Optimizer On/Off - toggles the optimizer on or off.

Paste - inserts a copy of the clipboard contents at a selected point in the document.

Print - prints the entire document or selected pages, allows one to choose the number of copies to be made.

Relationships - equivalent to the rankings on each sociometric question.

Save - saves the active document to its current name and directory.

Save As - saves the active document to the name and directory of your choice.

Select Tool - allows one to select certain elements of the graph.

Subjects - allows one to add a shape or any number of shapes to the graph.

ttreadwell 2000