It really has been way way way too long since I’ve written a blog post. A lot has been happening in my life: namely a new child. And she is lovely. So lovely. But in the months leading up to her birth, life got uber crazy busy, and in the weeks after her birth, it was a challenge to get time for a shower, much less to write a blog post.
But, as things do, life has settled a bit, and lately, I’ve been doing some fun graphing. I hope to get back into blogging by writing some short posts on little hacks I use to make my graphs more beautiful, or more usable in a custom activity on teacher.desmos.com.
Today’s topic? Label positioning.
One of the things that I both love and hate (ok, maybe more like “am a little annoyed by”) is the auto-positioning labels in Desmos.
Why I love them: They automatically place themselves rather nicely, and get out of each others’ way as you move things around. For diagrams where there are a lot of moving parts that have labels, this is amazing.
Why I sometimes want to have them stay put instead: there are times when a graph looks WAY nicer if the placement of the labels is exact and unchanging.
So. Here’s how to take your labels from scattered, random placement to a beautiful layout (when that sort of thing matters).
Here’s the hack. It’s so simple.
Did you know that when you turn off a point that is labeled, the label will remain positioned centered over that point? So if you want to have a label stay at a specific location, just put a point at that spot, then leave the label on, but turn the point off.
So in the first graph above, I only graphed each of those 8 points once. Each is labeled, but the labels place themselves automatically, leading to a scattered appearance.
In the second, I actually have 16 points graphed…8 which you can see around the circle, and 8 just outside that, where I’ve turned the labels on, but the points themselves off.
It’s a simple hack, but a great one.
Want to do the same for a movable point? Same deal:
That’s it from me! Happy graphing!