Violin Plot Tool Icon

Violin Plot Tool

Last modified: December 23, 2019

The Violin Plot tool shows the distribution of a single numeric variable, and conveys the density of the distribution based on a kernel smoother that indicates the density of values (via width) of the numeric field. The inner portion of each violin is a box and whisker plot of the data, where the bottom and top of the inner box are at the first and third quartiles, and the white circle inside the box is at the median for the measure. The vertical bars that extend above and below the box indicate the range of the data that is within 1.5 times the interquartile range (where the interquartile range is the difference between the values of the third and first quartiles).

In addition to concisely showing the nature of the distribution of a numeric variable, violin plots are an excellent way of visualizing the relationship between a numeric and categorical variable by creating a separate violin plot for each value of the categorical variable.

This tool uses the R tool. Go to Options > Download Predictive Tools and sign in to the Alteryx Downloads and Licenses portal to install R and the packages used by the R Tool. See Download and Use Predictive Tools.


An Alteryx data stream with at least one numeric field.

Configuration Properties

Main Configuration

  • Field to plot: The numeric field to plot.
  • Plot by groups: Indicates whether a categorical variable will be used to group observations based on its levels to create a violin plot for each level. If this option is selected, the user is asked to indicate which categorical variable to use to create groups.
  • Enter a title for the plot: An optional main title for the plot.

Graphics Options

  • Plot size: Specify the width and height dimensions of the resulting plot, using either inches or centimeters.
  • Graph resolution: Select the resolution of the graph in dots per inch: 1x (96 dpi); 2x (192 dpi); or 3x (288 dpi). Lower resolution creates a smaller file and is best for viewing on a monitor. Higher resolution creates a larger file with better print quality.
  • Base font size (points): The point size of the base font used to produce the title and labels of the plot(s) to be produced. The plotting functions will expand the size of the plot title to be larger than the base font automatically.


An Alteryx graph object.

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