Friday, August 5, 2011

Scientific Graphing Software- help?

I had Origin 6.0 all through grad school, dragged it to my post-doc lab on my laptop, and now my laptop is over, done. To buy Origin 8.5 for a single user license is $500. Ouch!! on my lab budget. I am looking at Graph Pad Prism ($450), and Kaleidagraph ($140, but can only be installed on ONE computer). I need it for graphing and fitting dose-response curves. Bringing traces in from pClamp seamlessly is a huge bonus, and why I started with Origin.

Do you know of any cheaper or open-source alternatives?  What do you use? Do you have opinions and suggestions?


  1. I look forward to the suggestions. I'm a grad student and have been renewing a one year student license for Origin Pro and love it, but my future postdoc lab doesn't use Origin, and the individual license is definitely going to be out of my price range to keep using it myself. Grad Lab has a license for Origin 6 that I could try to go back to on my laptop, but not sure if it would be Windows 7 compatible. I'm dreading not being able to go back to my Origin files for more analysis if needed on my thesis work. I'm wondering if there's any open source that will read Orign files.

  2. You CAN look at any Origin files with a free Origin Viewer, You just can't modify them. I learned that today in my research.

  3. Igor Pro!

    I've been a patch clamper since 1997, and honestly don't know how to do any analysis in Clampfit. Because I've done it all in Igor.

    I think initial copy is ~500-600 bucks (but it's been a while). Then I've used an add on to load the Clampex files into it.

    There's no copy protection on it, so you can install on however many computers you want. And upgrading the version is like a hundred bucks or so.

    Great for fitting dose-responses. But there is a bit of a learning curve. Beautiful figure making though. Every figure I've ever made was with Igor.

  4. Don't know any cheaper alternatives, but I've used Prism for 8 yrs and I would recommend it. You can use one license on 2 computers if you register both copies under the same name & email. Prism occassionally does some quirky things, but it has a lot of normalization and nonlinear fitting options and will run ANOVA tests and post-process analysis. It also makes nice graphs for publication-just export as PDFs to keep label and line quality, for some reason the tiff export sucks.

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