5

I have a few days of experience with LaTeX. It seems almost everything is possible if you just find out how. So, here is a challenge...

If a plot has many lines it is much more readable to have legends individually placed next to the end of each line. I could make this with dirty hacking and using this - preparing the data and .tex with a hefty Python script - but is it possible to do it in... mm... xetex... or pgfplots... or where ever the "stuff" in the .tex file is "done".

Below is (dirty, copy paste) code, what it gives and what I would like to have.

Notice: if lines end close to one another, "nodes" need to be weighted to avoid overlapping texts (and this makes it complicated, consider font size, newlines...).

Markers after lines

\listfiles 
\documentclass[10pt,margin=5pt]{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\pgfplotsset{compat=1.12}
\usepackage{filecontents}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{lmodern} %,textcomp}
%\usepackage{eurosym}

\renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault}
\usepackage{helvet}
\usepackage[eulergreek]{sansmath}
%\pgfplotsset{grid style={dashed,gray}}

\usepackage{filecontents}
\pgfplotstableset{col sep=semicolon}


\begin{filecontents}{table.txt}
0;{col1};{Mumba};{CLmax};{CLmin};{ZOLOOO};{Bumba};{Dumba};{Zumba};{Oompa};{Loompa};{Hoompa};{Joomba};{Boomba}
1;{Zig};{62};{72};{55};{24};{16};{45};{-27};{41};{47};{57};{74};{28}
2;{Zag};{152};{160};{140};{93};{65};{96};{-21};{93};{96};{126};{-41};{65}
3;{Zog};{100};{110};{94};{27};{33};{94};{-9};{91};{148};{152};{38};{48}
4;{Didii};{115};{149};{100};{88};{169};{93};{-79};{67};{121};{131};{-46};{65}
\end{filecontents}

\newcommand{\tableName}{table.txt}

\usepgfplotslibrary{fillbetween}



\tikzset{every mark/.append style={scale=1.4}}

\begin{document}

%\pgfplotstabletypeset[empty cells with={---}]\joloo

\begin{tikzpicture}
\pgfplotsset{every axis legend/.append style={
at={(1,1)},
anchor=north east},
legend pos=outer north east,
}
\begin{axis}[
    %ybar interval=1,
    x = 3cm,
    %bar width=0.3cm,
    axis y line*=none,
    axis x line*=bottom,
    scaled y ticks = false,
    y tick label style={
        font=\sansmath\sffamily,
        /pgf/number format/fixed,
        /pgf/number format/1000 sep={\,},}, 
    %xticklabel style={xshift=0.1cm,yshift=0.1cm,rotate=45,anchor=east,},
    %xmin=1,
    %ymin=0,
    %enlarge x limits=0.03,
    legend cell align=left,
    legend style={draw=none,/tikz/nodes={text width=90pt,text depth=,anchor=east},},
    xticklabels from table={\tableName}{col1},
    ymajorgrids=true,
    height=15cm,
    %xminorgrids=true,
    xmajorgrids=true,
    ytick style={draw=none},
    xtick style={draw=none},
    %minor grid style={dotted,},
    y axis line style= { draw opacity=0 },
    x axis line style= { draw opacity=0 },
    grid style={dotted},
    %max space between ticks={20},
    minor tick num=1,
    xtick = data,
    mark repeat = 3,
    %const plot mark mid,
]

%   \addplot[fill=gray!40,draw=none,] table {\filledcurve};

    \addplot [blue, ultra thick] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=2, x=0] {\tableName}; 
    \addlegendentry{Zigzig};

    \addplot [name path=A, blue, draw=none, dotted, thin, forget plot] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=3, x=0] {\tableName}; 


    \addplot [name path=B, blue!30!white, draw=none, dotted, thin, forget plot] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=4, x=0] {\tableName}; 


    \addplot [blue!10!white] fill between[of=A and B];
    \addlegendentry{95\% CL};

    \addlegendimage{legend image code/.code=}; 
    \addlegendentry{\\ \,};
    \addlegendimage{legend image code/.code=}; 
    \addlegendentry{\\ \,};


   \addplot [black!80!white, ultra thick] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=5, x=0] {\tableName}; 
    \addlegendentry{BLing}

    \addlegendimage{legend image code/.code=}  
    \addlegendentry{\\ \,}      
    \addlegendimage{legend image code/.code=}  
    \addlegendentry{\\ \,}  

    \pgfplotstableread{\tableName}{\table}
    \pgfplotstablegetcolsof{\tableName}
    \pgfmathtruncatemacro\numberofcols{\pgfplotsretval-1}

    \pgfplotsinvokeforeach{6,...,\numberofcols}{
        \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{#1}\of{\table}\to{\colname}
        \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=#1, x=0] {\tableName}; 
        \addlegendentryexpanded{\colname};

      }  
     %\addlegendentry{polloo} 



\end{axis}
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

Lines with grouped legend box

  • 3
    If I can, I superdisagree that it is more readable. Usually it is just distracting as if you have a second y axis on the rigth side. – percusse Feb 27 '15 at 15:32
  • @Fusili: You could try to add an individual legend for each plot and place those legends using the pgfplot's grid. However, this could be kind of unreadable if you have different end points of different plots on the same values. – albert Feb 27 '15 at 19:06
  • You could store \coordinates for the end points. but locating the legends close to the endpoint but not overlapping is non-trivial. See tex.stackexchange.com/questions/215322/… – John Kormylo Mar 2 '15 at 2:08
  • Using code from tex.stackexchange.com/questions/54794/… together with "legend to name" one could write the legend to the aux file (using a different name each time) after each entry, and reset the counters. Each legend should consist of a single entry. One can then place these using \ref{} or \pgfplotslegendfromname – John Kormylo Mar 3 '15 at 21:27
  • 1
    @percusse: you can, but I superdisagree with your superdisagreement :) This is not adding any new information – or y-axis – to the image. According to the Gestalt principles this would provide very intuitive grouping of already present information. – Fusili Mar 4 '15 at 9:39
7

This solution is based on using proportional glue instead of distances. It is easier to set up than a true least squares solution, but when two legend entries are too close together, all the other entries are thrown off slightly.

I use \coordinate to convert axis coordinates to absolute coordinates which I can use outside the axis environment. However, if I use macros for the coordinate names or location, I have to use a different name each time. Consequently, I was never able to get the loop to work.

Lastly, the code is rather ugly so I put it into a separate file (sortedlegend.tex).

sorted legend

\documentclass[10pt,margin=5pt]{standalone}
\usepackage{pgfplots}
\pgfplotsset{compat=1.12}
\usepackage{filecontents}

\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage{lmodern} %,textcomp}
%\usepackage{eurosym}

\renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault}
\usepackage{helvet}
\usepackage[eulergreek]{sansmath}
%\pgfplotsset{grid style={dashed,gray}}

\usepackage{pgfplotstable}
\pgfplotstableset{col sep=semicolon}


\begin{filecontents}{table.txt}
0;{col1};{Mumba};{CLmax};{CLmin};{ZOLOOO};{Bumba};{Dumba};{Zumba};{Oompa};{Loompa};{Hoompa};{Joomba};{Boomba}
1;{Zig};{62};{72};{55};{24};{16};{45};{-27};{41};{47};{57};{74};{28}
2;{Zag};{152};{160};{140};{93};{65};{96};{-21};{93};{96};{126};{-41};{65}
3;{Zog};{100};{110};{94};{27};{33};{94};{-9};{91};{148};{152};{38};{48}
4;{Didii};{115};{149};{100};{88};{169};{93};{-79};{67};{121};{131};{-46};{65}
\end{filecontents}

\usepgfplotslibrary{fillbetween}

\input{sortedlegend}

\tikzset{every mark/.append style={scale=1.4}}

\begin{document}

\pgfplotstableread{table.txt}{\mytable}
%\pgfplotstabletypeset[empty cells with={---}]\mytable
\pgfplotstablegetcolsof{\mytable}
\pgfmathtruncatemacro\numberofcols{\pgfplotsretval-1}
\pgfplotstablegetrowsof{\mytable}
\pgfmathtruncatemacro\last{\pgfplotsretval-1}

\begin{tikzpicture}
\begin{axis}[name=border,
    %ybar interval=1,
    x = 3cm,
    %bar width=0.3cm,
    axis y line*=none,
    axis x line*=bottom,
    scaled y ticks = false,
    y tick label style={
        font=\sansmath\sffamily,
        /pgf/number format/fixed,
        /pgf/number format/1000 sep={\,},}, 
    %xticklabel style={xshift=0.1cm,yshift=0.1cm,rotate=45,anchor=east,},
    %xmin=1,
    %ymin=0,
    %enlarge x limits=0.03,
    xticklabels from table={\mytable}{col1},
    ymajorgrids=true,
    height=15cm,
    %xminorgrids=true,
    xmajorgrids=true,
    ytick style={draw=none},
    xtick style={draw=none},
    %minor grid style={dotted,},
    y axis line style= { draw opacity=0 },
    x axis line style= { draw opacity=0 },
    grid style={dotted},
    %max space between ticks={20},
    minor tick num=1,
    xtick = data,
    mark repeat = 3,
    %const plot mark mid,
]

%   \addplot[fill=gray!40,draw=none,] table {\filledcurve};

    \addplot [blue, ultra thick] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=2, x=0] {\mytable}; 
    \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{[index]2}\of{\mytable}%
    \let\tempa=\pgfplotsretval
    \coordinate (zigzig) at (axis cs: 1,\tempa);% one must use a different global csname for y each time
    \SLentry{Zigzig}{zigzig}

    \addplot [name path=A, blue, draw=none, dotted, thin, forget plot] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=3, x=0] {\mytable}; 

    \addplot [name path=B, blue!30!white, draw=none, dotted, thin, forget plot] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=4, x=0] {\mytable}; 

    \addplot [blue!10!white] fill between[of=A and B];
    \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{[index]3}\of{\mytable}%
    \let\tempk=\pgfplotsretval
    \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{[index]4}\of{\mytable}%
    \pgfmathtruncatemacro\tempk{0.5*(\pgfplotsretval+\tempk)}
    \coordinate (between) at (axis cs: \last,\tempk);% one must use a different csname for y each time
    \SLentry{95\% CL}{between}

   \addplot [black!80!white, ultra thick] table [unbounded coords=jump, y index=5, x=0] {\mytable}; 
   \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{[index]5}\of{\mytable}
   \let\tempb=\pgfplotsretval
   \coordinate (bling) at (axis cs: 2,\tempb);
   \SLentry{BLing}{bling}

% the problem with using a loop is getting \coordinate to expand macros for coordinates and names immediately
   %\pgfplotsinvokeforeach{6,...,\numberofcols}{

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{6}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname , x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \let\tempc=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col6) at (axis cs: \last,\tempc);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col6}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{7}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \let\tempd=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col7) at (axis cs: 3,\tempd);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col7}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{8}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \global\let\tempe=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col8) at (axis cs: 3,\tempe);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col8}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{9}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \global\let\tempf=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col9) at (axis cs: 3,\tempf);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col9}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{10}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \global\let\tempg=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col10) at (axis cs: 3,\tempg);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col10}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{11}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \global\let\temph=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col11) at (axis cs: 3,\temph);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col11}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{12}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \global\let\tempi=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col12) at (axis cs: 3,\tempi);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col12}

  \pgfplotstablegetcolumnnamebyindex{13}\of\mytable\to\colname
  \addplot table [unbounded coords=jump, y=\colname, x=0] {\mytable};
  \pgfplotstablegetelem{\last}{\colname}\of\mytable
  \global\let\tempj=\pgfplotsretval
  \coordinate (col13) at (axis cs: 3,\tempj);
  \SLentry{\colname}{col13}

\end{axis}
\SortedLegend{border}
\end{tikzpicture}

\end{document}

Here is the code for sortedlegend.tex

% ***************************  Sorted Legend  *******************************
% Creates a lagend beyond the right side of the plot aligned vertically
% (more or less) with coordinates from the plot: \coordinate (A) at (axis cs: 0,0);
% One must call \SLentry instead of \addlegendentry and pass both the legend text
% and coordinate name.
% One must use the [name] option for axis and pass the name to \SortedLegend
%
% This algorithm uses box, dimen and count registers arbitrarily starting at 200.
\newcounter{SLnew}
\newcounter{SLused}
\newcount{\SLindex}% need a global count for nested loops
\newlength{\SLheight}% need a global dim for \pgfextracty

\makeatletter
\newcommand{\muheight}{0pt plus \strip@pt\SLheight fil}% create glue from length
\makeatother

\newcommand{\SLentry}[2]% #1 = legend text, #2 = coordinate name
{\stepcounter{SLnew}%
 \label{SLlabel\theSLnew}%
 \global\expandafter\edef\csname SLentry\theSLnew\endcsname{#1}%
 \global\expandafter\edef\csname SLcoord\theSLnew\endcsname{#2}%
}
\newcommand{\SortedLegend}[2][0pt]% #1 = offset distance (optional), #2 = axis name
{\node[right=#1,inner sep=0pt] at (#2.east) {\bgroup
% allocate registers
  \countdef\limit=1
  \countdef\sort=2
  \countdef\swap=3
  \dimendef\SLwidth=0
  \dimendef\tempdima=1
  \SLindex=255\relax% fill last registers backwards
  \loop\stepcounter{SLused}% copy legneds into boxes
    \savebox{\SLindex}{\ref{SLlabel\theSLused} \csname SLentry\theSLused\endcsname}%
    %\usebox{\SLindex}% debug
    \dimendef\y=\SLindex
    {\pgfextracty{\SLheight}{\pgfpointdiff{\pgfpointanchor{#2}{south}}%
      {\pgfpointanchor{\csname SLcoord\theSLused\endcsname}{center}}}% distance from bottom
    \global\SLheight=\SLheight}% probably overkill
    \y=\SLheight
    %\the\y{ }% debug
    \advance\SLindex by -1
  \ifnum\value{SLused}<\value{SLnew}\repeat
  \limit=\SLindex
% get max width and initialize sort array
  \SLindex=255\relax
  \SLwidth=0pt
  \loop\tempdima=\wd\SLindex
    \ifdim\tempdima>\SLwidth \SLwidth=\tempdima\fi
    \countdef\i=\SLindex
    \i=\SLindex
    \advance\SLindex by -1
  \ifnum\SLindex>\limit\repeat
 % sort entries from top to bottom
  \sort=255\relax
  \loop\countdef\i=\sort
    \dimendef\y=\i
    {% nested loop
      \SLindex=\sort
      \swap=\sort
      \loop\countdef\j=\swap
        \dimendef\test=\j
        \ifdim\test>\y
          \SLindex=\swap
          \dimendef\y=\j
        \fi
        \advance\swap by -1
      \ifnum\swap>\limit\repeat
      \global\SLindex=\SLindex}% end of nested loop
    \ifnum\sort=\SLindex\relax\else% swap array indexes
      \swap=\i
      \countdef\j=\SLindex
      \i=\j
      \j=\swap
    \fi
    \advance\sort by -1
  \ifnum\sort>\limit\repeat
 % ready to display legend
  {\pgfextracty{\SLheight}{\pgfpointdiff{\pgfpointanchor{#2}{south}}%
   {\pgfpointanchor{#2}{north}}}%
  \global\SLheight=\SLheight}% probably overkill
  \parbox[c][\SLheight][s]{\SLwidth}{%
    \SLindex=255\relax
    \loop\countdef\i=\SLindex
      \dimendef\y=\i
      \advance\SLheight by -\y
      \ifdim\SLheight<\ht\i\relax\else
        \advance\SLheight by -\ht\i
        \vskip\muheight
      \fi
      \hbox to \SLwidth{\usebox{\i}}
      \SLheight=\y% remaining distance to bottom
      \advance\SLheight by \dp\i
      \advance\SLindex by -1
    \ifnum\SLindex>\limit\repeat
    \ifdim\SLheight>0pt\relax
      \vskip\muheight
    \fi
  }% end of parbox
\egroup};}

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