The point of it…
This shows where the search word occurs in the file which the current entry belongs to. That way you can see where mention is made most of your search word in each file. Another case where the aim is to promote the noticing of linguistic patterning.
What you see
The plot shows:
File source text file-name
Words number of words in the source text
Hits number of occurrences of the search-word
per 1,000 how many occurrences per 1,000 words
Dispersion the plot dispersion value
Plot a plot showing where they cropped up, where the left edge of the plot represents the beginning of the text file ("Once upon a time" for example) and the right edge is at the end ("happily ever after". Though not in the case of Romeo and Juliet.).
Here we see a plot of "O" and another of "AH" from the play Romeo and Juliet. They are on separate lines because there were 2 search-words. There are more "O" exclamations than "AH"s.
As the status bar says, you can get the word numbers for the plot by double-clicking the plot area:
Using View | Ruler, you can switch on a "ruler" splitting the display into segments.
The plot below is of one search-word (beautiful) in lots of texts.
The status-bar gives details of the highlighted text.
Multiple Search-words or Texts
If there are 2 or more search-words or texts, you will see something like this:
where the File column supplies the file-name and the search-word in that order. If you want it with the search-word first, go to the Concord settings in the Controller, What you see, and click here:
and re-sort the File list:
Double-click to see the source text
Just double-click in the File column:
There are two ways of viewing the plot, the default, where all plotting rectangles are the same length, or Uniform Plot (where the plot rectangles reflect the original file size -- the biggest file is longest). Change this in the View menu at the top. Here is the same one with Uniform plot. The blue edge at the right reflects the file size in each case.
If you don't see as many marks as the number of hits, that'll be because the hits came too close together for the amount of screen space in proportion to your screen resolution. You can stretch the plot by dragging the top right edge of it. You can export the plot using Save As and can get your spreadsheet to make graphs etc, as explained here.
Each plot window is dependent on the concordance from which it was derived. If you close the original concordance down, it will disappear. You can Print the plot. There's no Save option for the plot alone but you can of course save the concordance itself. You can Copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C) and then put it into a word processor as a graphic, using Paste Special.
When you first compute a concordance, the plot will assume you want a dispersion plot of each text file on a separate line and each different search-word on a separate line as seen above. If you have more than one text file or search-word, when you choose the Compute | Plot menu item afterwards, you will get a chance to merge your plots and omit some text files or search-words.
A first view of the plot settings may resemble this. All the files have by default been sorted into separate sets and so have all the search-words. The red colour indicates files or search-words which have been included in each list of sets at the right.
Now if you Clear them,
you can either select and drag or select and press the central button to get your preferred selections. (The button showing a green funnel will put all into one set, the other one will use one set for each, by the way.)
Here is a set of preferences with lots of files and two search-words: