I have a table of data with multiple rows and columns, and I have to make a versus data table using two of these columns. Essentially, I have to set one column of data (column 3) as the y-axis and another column of data (column 5) as the x-axis. How do I accomplish this?


Assuming the name of the table is data

data =
   {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6},
   {2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7},
   {3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8},
   {4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9}

The 3rd column would be data[[All,3]] and the 5th data[[All,3]]. All means: take all elements of the given index. Since we need to plot x against y we need a submatrix containing the 3rd and 5th column. Data[[All,{5,3}]] does that.

data[[All, {5, 3}]]

==> {{5, 3}, {6, 4}, {7, 5}, {8, 6}}

There are many plot functions in Mathematica. In this case, ListPlot or ListLinePlot are appropriate.


Mathematica graphics


Mathematica graphics

There are many, many options to tune those plots. I suggest looking up those in the extensive electronic documentation in the Help menu or by selecting a command and pressing F1 (Windows)

Things to look up:

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You could do something like

ListLinePlot[data[[All, {5, 3}]]]
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Short version

Use Part.

Longer version

Let's create a dataset consisting of $x$, $x^2$, $\sin(x)$ and $\exp(x)$.

data = Table[{x, x^2, Sin[x], Exp[x]}, {x, 0, 10, .1}]
{{0., 0., 0., 1.}, <<99>>, {10., 100., -0.544021, 22026.5}}

Now let's plot $\exp(x)$ over $x^2$.

The intuitive way of doing this is extracting two separate lists from the dataset, namely the second and fourth columns, by using data[[All, 2]] (or 4, respectively), combining them into a new list, which then consists of {{x^2 data}, {exp data}}. This has then to be transposed to yield a list of pairs of numbers, which can then be plotted:

ListPlot[{data[[All, 2]], data[[All, 4]]} // Transpose]

A simpler solution however uses the rich syntax of the Part function. You usually don't see Part written explicitly, as it is abbreviated using [[ foo ]]. Here's how this version works:

ListPlot[data[[All, {2, 4}]]]

The output of both of these is exactly the same:

enter image description here

A value table for this can be displayed in a similar way, using Grid:

data = Table[{x, x^2, Sin[x], Exp[x]}, {x, 0., 10}];
Grid[data[[All, {2, 4}]], Dividers->{All, None}]

enter image description here

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It hasn't been mentioned yet, so: the Statistical Plots package features the function PairwiseScatterPlot[], which allows you to compare your data by columns all at once. (If you only need to do two, the other solutions have already given the recipe.)

Here's a sample:

<< StatisticalPlots`

data = Table[{x, x^2, ArcTan[x], Exp[x]} + RandomReal[]/100, {x, 0, 10}];

PairwiseScatterPlot[data, DataLabels ->
                    Map[TraditionalForm, {x, x^2, ArcTan[x], Exp[x]}]]

pairwise scatter plot example

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ or just Map[ListPlot, Outer[Transpose[{#2, #1}] &, data\[Transpose], data\[Transpose], 1], {2}] $\endgroup$ – Sjoerd C. de Vries Feb 1 '12 at 13:04

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