In this Session…

Before you begin…

  • Using Layouts to organize and visualize data:

    • Pinning and Releasing nodes

    • Using Force directed, Parametric, Geometric,and Tree layouts.

To follow along, download:




How To GraphXR 8. Layout and Pinning


Before You Begin…

Ideally, you’ll have worked through Module 7. Preferences.

If you’re starting here, and you want to follow along, you’ll need to:

  • Log in to GraphXR, create a Project, and open its graph space.

  • Download starting data (HowTo_08_START.graphxr) for this module and drag and drop it onto the graph space. 

  • Optionally, download the file, which contains the Game of Thrones .CSV data used in our tutorials. 


You can move nodes around the graph space by left mouse dragging them. The remaining nodes are rearranged as you do so, unless you disable force layout with the Enable/Disable Force Layout toggle.


After you move a node it becomes pinned, that is, locked to that xyz location in the graph space. You can click Pin in the toolbar to pin or release nodes. The number of currently pinned nodes is displayed at the upper right of the Pin icon.


Now open the Layouts panel. Layouts allow you to control the distribution  of data in your graph. By default, Force Layout is used. Adjusting the force layout affects all the data, except for any pinned nodes.


Adjust the Link Strength slider to control how strongly the edges of the graph pull the nodes together.


Edge length can also be controlled by the Link Distance slider.


The Gravity slider controls how strongly all nodes are attracted to a central point.


The Charge slider adjusts how strongly nodes are attracted to each other. Moving the slider to the left results in a repulsive force between the nodes.


Adjust how 3-dimensional the graph appears with the 3D–2D slider. Move it to the to flatten the node layout to 2 dimensions, though still within 3D space.


Restore Default Settings resets slider controls to their defaults. The graph data also returns to the default Force layout, except for any pinned nodes.


To use randomized node positions instead of force layout, un-check the Force Layout checkbox, then click Randomize Node Positions. Again, any pinned nodes are unaffected.


Now go to Parametric layouts, which let you display property values of nodes on x, y, and z axes of a 3D graph. Use the X, Y, and Z dropdown menus to select parameters, and click Apply. Your choices are saved so that you can apply that layout again.


Use the Axis slider to adjust the layout size, and the Show Axes and Show Grid checkboxes  to toggle the labeled axes and grid on and off.


Nodes that don’t have the properties you specified or which have null values will stack up at the origin point. To show those nodes  in a force layout, you can check Apply force layout to null parametersReset sets the graph back to the default force layout.


Now let’s look at Geometric layouts. A Line, Grid, Circle, Spiral,or Cube layout can be applied to any selection of nodes. You can also adjust the orientation, position, and scale of a selection. 


Select a category (House) and choose Line to arrange linearly. Optionally, to arrange nodes by a property value, you can first click the Order by Property checkbox, select a category and property, and click the Ascend or Descend checkbox.


Now select another category (Episodes) and choose the Grid layout. For all the geometric layouts, unselected nodes remain in a force layout around the selected nodes (unless you disable force layout using the Force Layout icon in the toolbar).


Select another category (Characters) and click Circle to arrange the selected nodes in a circle. All the Geometric layouts Pin the selected nodes, in addition to any nodes already pinned.


Rotate, Scale, and Shift controls let you adjust the orientation, scale, and position of a selection in the 3D space. Select the Character category that’s in a circle layout and click Rotate Z to rotate the default 90 degrees. 


Select the House category that’s in a line layout and click Expand or Contract to expand or contract the line by the default 1.5 times. 


Select the Episodes category that’s in a grid layout and click the Shift  X, Y, and/or Z buttons to shift the position of the nodes by the default 1.1 times.


You can enter positive or negative values for Rotate, Scale, and Shift, to fine-tune position of geometric layouts in the graph space, and more easily work with high-dimensional or complex data. 


You can choose a different layout for a selection, or the entire graph at any time. Select the Characters category and click Cube to display the nodes in a 3D cube.


If no nodes are selected a geometric layout arranges all the nodes. To see this, deselect all nodes and click Spiral. Click Expand several times to see the arrangement of the nodes.


At any time you can click Force to return all nodes to the default force layout. Any pinned nodes are automatically released.


The Tree layout arranges nodes as a hierarchy along the X axis. Selected nodes (e.g. House) form the base of the tree and unselected nodes follow level by level according to their connection to the selected nodes.


Use the Axis slider and click Apply to scale the Tree layout.

Next Steps…