Create Static and Dynamic Graphics

Learn how to create visualizations in course material for a more interactive learning experience.

Engage your students with interactive elements in your course materials. We include visualizations in both courseware and assessments to help students more easily gain intuition for learning concepts. We will review:

  1. Regular input and output
  2. Static and dynamic output
  3. Hidden code input
  4. Selecting and sharing interactive tools

Regular input and output

Open CREO. We will create new courseware content.

By clicking anywhere in the notebook, we can input regular code.

Let's add:

  1. A regular sin plot
  2. An interactive sin plot with manipulate

Run each cell. The outputs will show in the following cells.

Static and dynamic output

Based on the output, we decide if the output should be a static or dynamic graphic.

  • Static graphics are stored as an SVG image and are optimized for viewing online.
  • Dynamic graphics are stored as an embedded iframe and are hosted on the cloud. Students and educators can manipulate the graphics in real time directly in the course material.

In our example, the regular sin plot output should be a static graphic.

The sin plot with manipulate should be a dynamic graphic.

Static graphic

For the regular sin plot, click the cell bracket of the output.

Click the (+) button on the main toolbar on the upper lefthand side.

On the drop-down window, select Static Graphic.

The output is converted to a static graphic. Note the cell is no longer white.

Dynamic graphic

For the second example using a sin plot with manipulate, we will convert the output to a dynamic graphic.

Highlight the output cell bracket.

Click (+) on the main toolbar and select Dynamic Graphic.

A pop-up window will open to select the cell type. There are three options for dynamic graphics:

  1. Demonstration -
  2. Tool -
  3. Animation -

For our example, select Demonstration. The output cell now has an orange border. We will now be able to manipulate the plot in real time directly in the course material on SYLVA.

Hidden code

In our example, the input code for both plots is displayed in the courseware for students.

Let's deploy the courseware to preview the lecture content just as students would see. We can see the input code is displayed.

We have the option to show or not show the original code to the students.

Return to CREO. Let's hide the second input code for the dynamic sin plot.

Click the cell bracket for the input code.

Click the (+) on the main toolbar. Select Hidden Code.

The input cell now has a red frame.

Deploy the courseware again to preview the lecture content. This time the input code for the first plot is displayed, and the input for the manipulate is not shown.

Selecting and sharing interactive tools

Wolfram Demonstrations Projects is the open directory of 11,000-12,000 interactive demonstrations usable for the classroom. Browse by topic for visuals and demonstrations for mathematics, physical sciences, engineering, creative arts, and more. Access the directory for free here:

The Wolfram Language Documentation Center provides code assistance and basic visuals. Search by topic category:


SYLVA makes it very easy to include visualizations in course material for hands-on learning. We used the authoring tool CREO to show how to create course content using a standard input and output. After, we covered how to create static graphics, which are great for building basic intuition, and dynamic graphics, which provide an interactive learning experience for students. Get inspired and discover interactive tools in the open Wolfram Demonstrations Project to use right away in the classroom.