Contours on a contour plot represent response (z) values. By default, darker areas represent higher z-values. For example, the following plot shows how reheat time (y) and temperature (x) affect the quality (contours) of a frozen entree.

Edit contour levels

To change the contour levels when you create a graph, click Contour Options, then click the Levels tab. To edit contour levels for an existing contour plot, click the graph and then choose Editor > Graph Options, and then click the Levels tab. You can select one of the following options:
  • Automatic: Minitab determines the optimum levels.
  • Number: Enter the number of levels to display.
  • Values: Enter the boundaries of the levels to display.

Edit contour areas

To edit contour areas, click the graph and then choose Editor > Edit Area, or double-click the data region of the graph. You can change the following.
Edit the contour colors
On the Attributes tab, under Fill Color, indicate how to represent the different contour levels.
  • Spectrum colors: Use many different colors.
  • One-color ramp (default): Use shades of one color. Then, select the color.
  • Two-color ramp: Use multiple shades of two different colors. Then, select the low-end color and the high-end color.
  • Custom colors: Select a color for each of the contour areas.
Edit the contour levels
On the Levels tab, under Contour Levels, select one of the following:
  • Automatic: Minitab determines the optimum levels.
  • Number: Specify the number of levels to display.
  • Values: Specify the boundaries of the levels to display.

Add and edit contour lines

To add contour lines when you create a graph, click Data View. To add contour lines to an existing graph, click the graph and choose Editor > Add > Data Display. To edit contour lines, select and double-click a contour line.
Edit the appearance of contour lines
On the Attributes tab, under Contour Lines, select one of the following:
  • Automatic: Minitab determines the contour line attributes.
  • Solid black lines (default): All contour lines are solid black.
  • Varying attributes: Each contour line has different attributes.
  • Custom attributes: Select a type, color, and size for each contour line.
Show or hide contour labels
On the Contour Labels tab, choose one of the following:
  • Automatic (default): Display contour labels if the plot does not have a legend. Minitab displays a legend if the plot has areas, varying line attributes, or custom line attributes.
  • Show labels: Display contour labels.
  • No labels: Hide contour labels.
Edit contour label font
On the Font tab, you can edit the font, style, size, and color of the contour label.
Edit contour label background
On the Font Background tab, you can edit the fill type, fill color, line type, and line color of the contour label background.
Edit the contour levels
On the Levels tab, under Contour Levels, select one of the following:
  • Automatic: Minitab determines the optimum levels.
  • Number: Specify the number of levels to display.
  • Values: Specify the boundaries of the levels to display.
Note

For information on how to change the appearance of the mesh of the plot by using different methods to interpolate between values, go to Interpolation method for mesh.

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