questions about nodexl

Mar 22, 2011 at 12:01 AM

This looks like a nice piece of software. I was working with it today and have some questions however. I have a network I'd like to graph but the node size needs to be a function of a column of numbers I could put into an Excel spreadsheet. The node color needs to be a function of a different column of numbers. Any body know how I might do that? Also, I want to add little icons around each node (anywhere from 1-6 icons). Is this possible? And is it possible to do the final network layout by hand? None of the layouts in NodeXL provide the strucutre I'm looking for. Finally, the graphs in the gallery are outstanding. Any body know if there are any walk throughs for how to produce those graphics? Thanks in advance.       J.

Mar 22, 2011 at 5:19 AM
Edited Mar 22, 2011 at 5:25 AM


* On the vertex sizes:

There is a Size column on the Vertices worksheet that you could fill in manually or with an Excel formula, based on the values in your numerical column.  But that's too much work, so don't do it.  Instead, go to NodeXL, Visual Properties, Autofill Columns in the Excel ribbon, select the name of your numerical column for "Vertex Size" in the Autofill Columns dialog box, and click the Autofill button.  This will fill in a small Size for the smallest number in your numerical column, a large Size for the largest number, and a smooth range of sizes for the numbers in between.  If you don't like the range of sizes it fills in, click the Options button to the right of Vertex Size in the Autofill Columns dialog box, select Vertex Size Options, and change the options.

* On the vertex color:

Same as above, but use the Vertex Color entries in the Autofill Columns dialog box.

* On the little icons around each vertex:

NodeXL will let you provide an image for each vertex, so if you can use an image editing program to create an image that includes your little icons, then NodeXL will display it.  To show an image for a vertex, set the vertex's Shape cell on the Vertices worksheet to Image and fill in the Image File cell for the vertex.  Each vertex can have its own image.  Allowable image formats are BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG, and TIFF.

* On laying out by hand:

I'm not sure what you mean here, but NodeXL does offer a number of layout options.  You can click and drag an individual vertex, or drag a box around a set of vertices and then drag one of the vertices to move them all.  And if you click the down-arrow to the right of the Lay Out Again button at the top of the graph pane, there are options for laying out only the selected vertices, only the selected vertices within their current bounding box, and only the visible vertices.  You can change the Layout algorithm as you use these options.  Also, NodeXL, Graph, Layout, Layout Options offers some other possibilities for improving the graph's layout.

* On the graphs in the Graph Gallery:

These were created by several people, most of whom have probably forgotten how they were done.  I did a few of them myself and I sure can't remember.  Sorry I can't provide more details here.

-- Tony