Range plots display ranges of values or error bars related to specific data points in the form of boxes or whiskers.

Unlike the standard box plots or means with error plots, the ranges or error bars are not calculated from data but defined by the raw values in the selected variables. One range or error bar is plotted for each case.

In the simplest instance, three variables need to be selected, one representing the mid-points, one representing the upper limits and one representing the lower limits, as illustrated in the example below:

Absolute vs. Relative values. The range variables can be interpreted either as absolute values or values representing deviations from the midpoint.

Absolute values. When absolute values are used, the actual values of the middle point, minimum, maximum values will be plotted. For example, for a middle point value of 9, a minimum value of 1, and a maximum value of 12, the absolute range would start at 1 and end at 12, with the middle point at 9.

Relative to the Mid-Point. Use this type of variable interpretation to display the range relative to the middle point value. For the three points given in the above example, the range relative to the mid-point would start at 8 (the value that is 1 less than the mid-point of 9) and end at 21 (the value that is 12 more than the mid-point) with the mid-point at 9.

Graph Types. Four types of range plots can be created: Boxes, Columns, Whiskers, or High-Lo Close. Simple or multiple variables can be represented in the graph. To produce simple graphs of sequences of values (without range or error bars) for either style or multiple variables use Bar/Column Plots.

See also, Graphs - 2D Range Plots and the Conceptual Overview for 2D Range Plots.