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Make a Contour Plot Online with Plotly and Excel

Contour Plots with Plotly

Step 1

Upload your Excel data to Plotly's grid

Open the data file for this tutorial in Excel. You can download the file here in CSV format

Excel view

Step 2

Head to Plotly

Head to Plotly's Workspace and sign into your free Plotly account. Go to 'Import', click 'Upload a file', then choose your Excel file to upload. Your Excel file will now open in Plotly's grid. For more about Plotly's grid, see this tutorial

Import data

Step 3

Creating the Chart

After importing the data, select the 'heatmaps' option from 'Choose Plot Type' dropdown.

Select heatmap from menu

Select 'Z Matrix' as the data shape, click on 'Select all columns', and then on the 'Make Heatmap' button to create the plot.

Select data shape

This will create a heatmap chart using the data. To convert the heatmap to a contour plot, we need to select 'Contour map' from the TRACE popover, as shown in the figure below.

 Change heatmap to contour plot

Step 4

Optional styling of the plot

We should have a contour plot created like the one below. Now we are going to style it to make it more presentable.

 Raw Plot

In the 'Traces' popover, under the 'style' tab, toggle 'auto-color' to off, and then select one of the styles from the list below.

Change Colorway

This is how the final chart looks like!

Final Plot

Step 5

Export & Share

You can also export a static image of your plotly graph. Download an image of your Plotly graph by clicking EXPORT on the toolbar.

Export

To add the chart inside an excel sheet, click where you want to insert the picture inside Excel. On the INSERT tab inside Excel, in the ILLUSTRATIONS group, click PICTURE. Locate the Plotly graph image that you downloaded and then double-click it.

Plot in Excel

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