Quick Start

All of the graph features described in this chapter may be accessed by selecting View/Graph... from a series or graph (or vector or matrix) object menu, or by double clicking on a series or group graph view.

For example, let us consider the example workfile “Housedebt.WF1”, which contains quarterly data on household debt and financial obligations from 1980 to 2006. The series DSR is an estimate of the debt service ratio representing the ratio of the total of mortgage and consumer debt payments to personal income.

We begin our example by opening DSR, selecting View/Graph... from the series menu and clicking on OK to accept the defaults. By default, EViews will display a simple (observation) line graph showing the data in the series.

Note that the titlebar of the window shows that we are looking at a view of the series DSR, and that the horizontal axis shows the dates associated with the current workfile sample range. The steep upward trend in the debt service ratio beginning in the early 1990s is readily apparent from the graph.

Note the presence of the slider bar at the bottom of the graph window. The slider, which appears in sample based graph views, allows you to control the visible sample in the graph window (see for further discussion). By default, the slider will be set to show the entire workfile sample.

We can more closely examine the start of the trend by hovering the cursor over the data point we wish to identify. EViews will popup a box in the graph showing the observation label and value. Here, we see that the 1992Q4 value for DSR is 10.80.

Alternately, if you hover over any point inside the graph frame, EViews will display the location of that point in the statusline located in the lower left-hand corner of your EViews window.

Typically, the flyover display will vanish when you move your cursor. To keep the flyover text with the graph, you may right mouse-click and select Pin flyover.

We may change the graph type to show a histogram of the data by double-clicking on the graph area or by selecting View/Graph... to access the Graph Options dialog.

The graph options are broken into several categories, appearing on the left-hand side of the dialog. Make certain that you are displaying the Basic type page, then change the specific type to Distribution. Notice that there is a dropdown on the right-hand side that offers you choices on which type of distribution graph to produce. Since we want to display the default histogram, simply click on OK.

The view of the series will change to show a histogram of the data in the series.

The histogram is an example of an analytic graph in which the data are plotted against a data scale, not the workfile observation scale; note that the horizontal axis in the graph no longer corresponds to dates in the workfile, but instead represents intervals of data values observed from data included in the workfile sample. In this case, we show bars whose heights represent frequencies for the data intervals depicted on the horizontal axis.

Similarly you may display graphs for a group of series by opening the group, selecting View/Graph... and choosing an appropriate type.

First, open the group object GROUP01 in the workfile, then select View/Graph... from the group menu and click on OK to accept the defaults. By default, EViews will display line graphs of the two series within a single graph frame.

As before, we may change the graph to a histogram view by double-clicking on the graph or selecting View/Graph... to display the dialog.

Change the specific type to Distribution and click OK to accept the default settings.

The group view will change to show histograms of the data in the two series. Note that by default, the histograms are displayed in separate frames (we have rearranged the graphs horizontally for presentation by right-clicking on the graph and selecting Position and align graphs...; see
“Working with Multiple Graphs”). Note also that each of the frames has its own vertical and horizontal axis scale.

Displaying other graph views is generally just as easy. Most graphs can be displayed with a few mouse clicks and a couple of keystrokes. In general, you can simply open the series or group object, display the graph dialog, select the graph type, set a few options if necessary, and click OK to produce acceptable results.