The Graph Editor is a Bee Plus / Beemium feature that gives you an interface for making very specific changes to your bright red line. Take a Break lets you change the rate temporarily, ratcheting lets you immediately make the bright red line jump closer to your data, and you can use the commitment dial to change the rate more permanently. The Graph Editor lets you do all of those things in one tool, and with a lot more precision!
You may want to skip all this and just use the visual graph editor, which allows clicking and dragging, and lets you see a preview of your changes before you make them. You even have a step-by-step undo button, and it won't allow you to submit a graph matrix with an error.
Reading the Graph Editor
There are three sections:
- Start date & value: the date and value at which your bright red line begins
- Graph rows: each of these defines one segment of the bright red line, which ends on the date specified
- End date/rate/value: defines the final segment of the bright red line
Each of the three-part graph segments is combined to create the entire graph. The segments take two values and infer the third, and can be understood as follows:
- a date-rate segment ( X _ Z ) makes the line have Z slope until X date
- a date-value segment ( X Y _ ) jumps the line to Y value on X date
- a value-rate segment ( _ Y Z ) makes the line have Z slope until it reaches Y value
Using the Graph Editor
Because the graph editor is how Beeminder goals are represented in the database, you can recreate any standard Beeminder features using it!
- A derailment, for example, is usually created by adding a date-rate segment followed by a date-value segment. It creates a row that preserves the shape of the bright red line you were following until you derailed, then a second row that moves the line position to your current value. There might be a second date-rate if you have a respite period set for your goal.
- A ratchet usually adds a date-rate segment, to preserve the shape of your graph up until you hit the button, and a date-value segment, using today's date and the value that best corresponds to the amount of respite you've requested.
- Take a break adds two date-rate segments: one that ends the day before your break to preserve the current shape of your graph, and one that ends the final day of your break that uses your break rate instead.
(The above subset of rows is from a goal with rate 5. A break was taken from 2016-08-27 through 2016-09-05. The rate went back to 5 per week after the break, but then it derailed on the 11th and got a week off. Then it derailed again on 2016-10-11, and got another week off!)
All of the above are changes to the present or future state of the goal. You can also use the graph editor to change the past, if you're so inclined — you could smooth out previous rate changes, or remove breaks that weren't necessary, or deemphasize prior derailments if you caught up after the fact and you don't like the way things look! With the Graph Editor, you have complete control over how the bright red line is drawn (as long as you don't make it easier in the next 7 days).
To make changes to existing rows, edit the values inside. If you need to add or remove a row, use the +/- buttons on the right-hand side, or the Add Row button to add a row directly to the bottom. Once you've made all your changes, click Update Graph to submit!
Debugging the Graph Editor
There's no "preview changes" functionality, so you can instantly derail your goal if you make a bad change. The Undo Graph Edit button will restore your graph to its previous state, and you'll need to reply to the legitimacy check for support to cancel the charge. You'll probably prefer to use the visual graph editor instead, which will not allow you to submit a bad change, allows previews, and allows you to drag the lines around rather than having to figure out the row system!
If you do prefer the in-page editor, and you've accidentally busted your goal and are trying to self-diagnose, some common error triggers to check for are:
- Illogical rate/value combinations (e.g., trying to lose weight at -1 pound per week until you reach 200, when your last datapoint was 196). Usually this is fixable by changing the rate from negative to positive, or vice versa — but make sure the final graph image looks reasonable, or you may end up committed to something you didn't intend! If it looks wrong, use the undo button to go back.
- Duplicate row included
- Graph row with 1 or 3 values was submitted, rather than 2
- Graph rows submitted with dates out of order
- Final graph row has a date that is earlier than the last middle graph row
Still have questions, or want to read more? Check out the Graph Editor's introduction blog post for more history and more ideas on how to use it, or contact support for more help!
Keywords: directly editing the bright red line, previously known as road editor, graph matrix, previously known as road matrix