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Heatmaps

A graphical representation of data where the individual values contained in a matrix are represented as colors.

Step 1

Try an Example

Before getting started with your own dataset, you can check out an example. First, select the 'Type' menu. Hovering the mouse over the chart type icon will display three options: 1) Charts like this by Plotly users, 2) View tutorials on this chart type, and, 3) See a basic example.

Clicking the 'See a basic example' option will show what a sample chart looks like after adding data and editing with the style. You'll also see what labels and style attributes were selected for this specific chart, as well as the end result.

Example after

You can also use the data featured in this tutorial by clicking on 'Open This Data in Plotly' on the left-hand side. It'll open in Chart Studio.

Step 2

Add Your Data to Plotly

Head to Plotly’s Chart Studio and add your data. You have the option of typing directly in the grid, uploading your file, or entering the URL of an online dataset. Plotly accepts .xls, .xlsx, or .csv files. For more information on how to enter your data, see this tutorial.

Step 3

Create a Chart

After adding data, go to the 'Traces' section under the 'Structure' menu on the left-hand side. Choose the 'Type' of trace, then choose 'Heatmap' under 'Simple' chart type.

Choose chart main

Next, select 'X' and 'Y', and fill out the 'Z' values from their respective dropdown menus. This will create a heatmap, as seen below.

Adding axes

Step 4

Style a Chart

The 'Style' menu displays many options to modify characteristics of the overall chart layout or the individual traces. To see more options about styling the chart, visit the style and layout section of the Chart Studio documentation.

To change the properties of the heatmap trace such as colorscale settings, smoothing effect or gaps between cells, go to the 'Traces' section under the 'Style' menu.

Heatmap properties

To set the colorbar's position, size, title text and title location, go to the 'Color Bars' section under the 'Style' menu.

Colorbar properties

To change the general properties of the plot's layout, such as background color, font styling, or margin settings, go to the 'General' section under the 'Style' menu.

To set the plot title, type the title text within the textbox provided under 'Title.'

Plot Title

Another approach is to click and then enter the title directly on the plot interface. The same can be done for the axes title and the colorscale title.

Title direct

Step 5

Save and Share

To save the plot, click the 'Save' button on the left-hand side. A save modal will appear, as seen below, where you can specify the filenames and privacy settings for your plot and data grid.

Save main

For more information on privacy settings and how sharing works, visit Plotly's sharing tutorial.

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