About area

Minitab displays area by default for contour plots and area graphs. You can add area as a data display for histograms, scatterplots, and matrix plots.

Graphs with area by default

Contour plot

Shaded areas (contours) represent the values for the z variable.

Area graph

Shaded areas below the lines represent the cumulative totals.

Graphs with area as an option


In a histogram, the area displays as an outline. You can use area instead of bars to help you visualize the shape of the distribution.


Represent groups using areas. Sometimes areas may be easier to compare than different symbols for groups.

Add area display to a graph

You can add area to scatterplots, matrix plots, and histograms.

  • To add area when you create a graph: in the dialog box for the graph you are creating, click Data View and select Area. If you are adding area to a histogram, deselect Bars.
  • To add area to an existing graph: right-click the graph and choose Add > Data Display. Select Area. If you are adding area to a histogram, deselect Bars.

Change the projection direction of the area

The projection direction is the direction in which the area extends on the graph. By default, the direction is toward the x-axis. However, you can change the projection direction for the area in scatterplots and matrix plots.

  1. Double-click the area and click the Options tab.
  2. Under Projection Direction, choose one of the following:
    Toward X Scale
    Toward Y Scale
  3. Click OK.
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