Charts and Graphs for Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007

Charts and Graphs for Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007
C o n t e n t s a t a G l a n c e
?usinesssolutions
Charts and
Graphs
for
Microsoft Office
Excel 2007
®
®
Bill Jelen
800 E. 96th Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46240
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Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
Customizing Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Creating Charts That Show Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Creating Charts That Show Differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Creating Charts That Show Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Creating Stock Analysis Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Advanced Chart Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223
Creating and Using Pivot Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Presenting Data Visually Without Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Presenting Your Excel Data on a Map Using Microsoft MapPoint . 307
Using SmartArt Graphics and Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
Exporting Your Charts for Use Outside of Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Using Excel VBA to Create Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 357
Knowing When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart . . . . . . . . . 423
Appendix A: Charting References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 431
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 439
Charts and Graphs for Microsoft® Office Excel® 2007
Copyright © 2007 by Que Publishing
All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system,
or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without written permission from the publisher. No patent liability is assumed with respect
to the use of the information contained herein. Although every precaution has been taken in
the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or
omissions. Nor is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
International Standard Book Number: 0-7897-3610-1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Jelen, Bill.
Charts and graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 / Bill Jelen.
p. cm.
ISBN 0-7897-3610-1
1. Microsoft Excel (Computer file) 2. Business—Computer
programs. 3. Electronic spreadsheets. 4. Charts, diagrams, etc.—
Computer programs. I. Title.
HF5548.4.M523J447 2007
005.54—dc22
2007004763
Printed in the United States of America
First Printing: April 2007
10 09 08 07
4 3 2 1
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Contents
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Choosing the Right Chart Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2
Using Excel as Your Charting Canvas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
This Book’s Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
A Note About Bugs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Special Elements in This Book . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
1 Introducing Charts in Excel 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
What’s New in Excel 2007 Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
New Charting Tools and Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Using the Insert Tab to Select a Chart Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
Using the Expand Icon to Access a Gallery of All Chart Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Understanding the Chart Thumbnail Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Using Gallery Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Creating a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Selecting Contiguous Data to Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Selecting Noncontiguous Data to Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Creating a Chart by Using the Insert Ribbon Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Creating a Chart with One Keystroke . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Working with Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Moving a Chart Within the Current Worksheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Locating a Chart at the Top of Your Dataset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Reversing the Series and Categories of a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Changing the Data Sequence by Using Select Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Leaving the Top-Left Cell Blank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Moving a Chart to a Different Sheet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
Customizing a Chart by Using the Design Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Choosing a Chart Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Choosing a Color Scheme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Modifying a Color Scheme by Changing the Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Creating Your Own Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Choosing Effects for a Custom Theme from an Existing Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Understanding RGB Color Codes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Converting from Hexadecimal to RGB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Finding Complementary Colors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
Specifying a Theme’s Colors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
Specifying a Theme’s Fonts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
Saving a Custom Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Using a Custom Theme on a New Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Sharing a Theme with Others . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
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Charts and Graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
2 Customizing Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Accessing Element Formatting Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Identifying Chart Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Chart Labels and Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Special Elements in a 3-D Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Analysis Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Formatting Chart Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Formatting a Chart Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Formatting an Axis Title . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Formatting a Legend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Adding Data Labels to a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Adding a Data Table to a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
Formatting Axes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51
Using a Date-Based Axis to Represent Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
Displaying and Formatting Gridlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
Formatting the Plot Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61
Creating a Custom Gradient . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .63
Formatting the Chart Walls and Floor of a 3-D Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65
Controlling 3-D Rotation in a 3-D Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .66
Forecasting with Trendlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .68
Adding Drop Lines to a Line or Area Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
Adding Up/Down Bars to a Line Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
Showing Acceptable Tolerances by Using Error Bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
Formatting a Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Formatting a Single Data Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Using the Format Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Converting Text to WordArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Using the Shape Styles Gallery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Using the Shape Fill and Shape Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75
Using Preset Shape Effects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
Replacing Data Markers with Clip Art or Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Using Clip Art as a Data Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Using a Shape in Place of a Data Marker . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .78
Creating a Chart Template . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
3 Creating Charts That Show Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Choosing a Chart Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Understanding a Date-Based Axis Versus a Category-Based Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Accurately Representing Data Using a Time-Based Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Converting Text Dates to Dates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86
Comparing Date Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .88
Dates Not Recognized as Dates: Numeric Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92
Dates Not Recognized as Dates: Dates Before 1900 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
Contents
Using a Workaround to Display a Time-Scale Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98
Converting Dates to Text to Add a Decorative Chart Element . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
Kyle Fletcher: Using a Decorative Element in a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101
Using a Chart to Communicate Effectively . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Using a Long, Meaningful Title to Explain Your Point . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Highlighting One Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
Replacing Columns with Arrows . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Highlighting a Section of Chart by Adding a Second Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
Changing Line Type Midstream . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
Adding an Automatic Trendline to a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113
Showing a Trend of Monthly Sales and Year-to-Date Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
Understanding the Shortcomings of Stacked Column Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
Using a Stacked Column Chart to Compare Current Sales to Prior-Year Sales . . . . . .117
Shortcomings of Showing Many Trends on a Single Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118
Using a Scatter Plot to Show a Trend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
4 Creating Charts That Show Differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121
Comparing Entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121
Using Bar Charts to Illustrate Item Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
Adding a Second Series to Show a Time Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
Subdividing a Bar to Emphasize One Component . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
Showing Component Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
Using Pie Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128
Switching to a 100% Stacked Column Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134
Using a Doughnut Chart to Compare Two Pies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
Dealing with Data Representation Problems in a Pie Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .137
Creating a Pie of Pie Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142
Using a Waterfall Chart to Tell the Story of Component Decomposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144
Creating a Waterfall Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146
5 Creating Charts That Show Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147
Comparing Two Variables on a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148
Adding a Trendline to a Scatter Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
Adding Labels to a Scatter Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150
Joining the Points in a Scatter Chart with Lines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .152
Adding a Second Series to an XY Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153
Drawing with a Scatter Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .155
Using Charts to Show Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .156
Testing Correlation Using a Scatter Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .157
Using Paired Bars to Show Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159
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Charts and Graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Comparing the Relationship Between Discount and Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .162
Kathy Villella: Comparing Three Variables with a Paired Bar Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165
Using Paired Matching Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .167
MAD Magazine: Creating a Paired Comparison Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168
Adding a Third Dimension with a Bubble Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .170
Using a Frequency Distribution to Categorize Thousands of Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .172
Using Radar Charts to Create Performance Reviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .176
Manoj Sharma: Radar Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .178
A Chart from Gene Zelazny . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180
Gene Zelazny: Zelazny Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180
Using Surface Charts to Show Contrast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .183
Using the Depth Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185
Controlling a Surface Chart Through 3-D Rotation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185
6 Creating Stock Analysis Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187
Overview of Stock Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187
Line Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187
OHLC Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188
Candlestick Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189
Obtaining Stock Data to Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .189
Rearranging Columns in the Downloaded Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191
Dealing with Splits Using the Adjusted Close Column . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191
Creating a Line Chart to Show Closing Prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
Adding Volume as a Column Chart to the Line Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194
Creating OHLC Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Producing a High-Low-Close Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Creating an OHLC Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .202
Adding Volume to a High-Low-Close Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .203
Creating Candlestick Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209
Changing Colors in a Candlestick Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210
Adding Volume to a Candlestick Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .210
Manually Creating a Candlestick Chart with Volume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211
Creating a Candlestick Stock Chart Showing Volume and a Competitor . . . . . . . . . . .213
Creating a Live Chart by Using a Web Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216
Making Charts Small for Use in Dashboards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221
7 Advanced Chart Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
Mixing Two Chart Types on a Single Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
Moving Charts from One Worksheet to Another . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .224
Using Shapes to Annotate a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .225
Making Columns or Bars Float . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .227
Contents
Using a Rogue XY Series to Label the Vertical Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .230
Converting a Series to Gridlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .231
Showing Several Charts on One Chart by Using a Rogue XY Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . .236
Using Multiple XY Series to Create a Trellis Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .241
Creating Dynamic Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .245
Using the OFFSET Function to Specify a Range . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .246
Using VLOOKUP or MATCH to Find a Value in a Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .247
Combining INDEX and MATCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .249
Using Validation Drop-Downs to Create a Dynamic Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .250
Using Dynamic Ranges in a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .253
Creating a Scrolling Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .256
Modifying the Scrollbar Example to Show the Last 12 Months . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .258
Creating Advanced Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .259
Thermometer Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .259
Benchmark Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .260
Delta Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .261
Amazing Things People Do with Excel Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265
8 Creating and Using Pivot Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267
Creating Your First Pivot Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267
What’s New in Excel 2007 Pivot Tables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .267
Deciding Which Comes First: The Table or the Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268
Rules for Preparing Underlying Pivot Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268
Creating Your First Pivot Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .269
Changing the Chart Type and Formatting the Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .271
Adding Additional Series to a Pivot Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .272
Returning to a Pivot Table for Advanced Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273
Filtering a Pivot Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274
Filtering Using a Report Filter Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .275
Using the Excel 2007 Filters for Axis and Legend Fields . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .276
Creating a Chart for Every Customer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .278
Stratifying Invoice Amounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .279
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .280
9 Presenting Data Visually Without Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .281
Creating Charts in the Worksheet Cells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .281
Using Data Bars to Create In-Cell Bar Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .282
Customizing Data Bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .282
Controlling the Size of the Smallest/Largest Bar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .284
Showing Data Bars for a Subset of Cells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .286
Using Color Scales to Highlight Extremes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .288
Converting to Monochromatic Data Bars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .288
Troubleshooting Color Scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .290
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viii
Charts and Graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Using Icon Sets to Segregate Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .290
Setting Up an Icon Set . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .291
Moving Numbers Closer to Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .292
Reversing the Sequence of Icons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .293
Creating a Chart Using Conditional Formatting in Worksheet Cells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .293
Creating a Chart Using the REPT Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .296
Creating a Chart Using Scrollbar Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .297
Creating Stem-and-Leaf Plots . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301
Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot with X’s as the Leaves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .301
Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot with Digits as the Leaves Using a Long Formula . . . .303
Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot with Digits as the Leaves Using
Sorting and Formulas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .304
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .306
10 Presenting Your Excel Data on a Map Using Microsoft MapPoint . . . . . . . . . . .307
Plotting Data Geographically . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .307
Building a Map in Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .308
Using a Chart on a Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .312
Using Other Map Styles to Illustrate Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .314
Mapping Your Customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .315
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .316
11 Using SmartArt Graphics and Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .317
Understanding SmartArt Graphics and Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .317
Using SmartArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318
Elements Common Across Most SmartArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .319
A Tour of the SmartArt Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .320
Inserting SmartArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .321
Micromanaging SmartArt Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .324
Controlling SmartArt Shapes from the Text Pane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .326
Adding Images to SmartArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .328
Special Considerations for Organization Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .329
Using Limited SmartArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .332
Choosing the Right Layout for Your Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .333
Exploring Business Charts That Use SmartArt Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334
Illustrating a Pro/Con Decision by Using a Balance Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334
Illustrating Growth by Using an Upward Arrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334
Showing an Iterative Process by Using a Basic Cycle Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335
Showing a Company’s Relationship to External Entities by Using a
Diverging Radial Diagram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .335
Illustrating Departments Within a Company by Using a Table List Diagram . . . . . . .336
Adjusting Venn Diagrams to Show Relationships . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .336
Understanding Labeled Hierarchy Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .337
Using Other SmartArt Layouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .338
Contents
Using Shapes to Display Cell Contents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .339
Working with Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .341
Using the Freeform Shape to Create a Custom Shape . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .341
Using WordArt for Interesting Titles and Headlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .342
Converting SmartArt to Shapes to Allow Dynamic Diagrams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .343
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346
12 Exporting Your Charts for Use Outside of Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347
Presenting Excel Charts in PowerPoint or Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347
Copying a Chart as a Live Chart Linked to the Original Workbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .349
Copying a Chart as a Live Chart Linked to a Copy of the Original Workbook . . . . . .350
Copying a Chart as a Picture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .351
Pasting a Chart as a Linked Object . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .352
Creating a Chart in PowerPoint and Copying Data from Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .353
Presenting Charts on the Web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Exporting Charts to Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Using VBA to Export Charts as Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Using Snag-It or OneNote to Capture Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356
Converting to XPS or PDF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356
13 Using Excel VBA to Create Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .357
Introducing VBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .357
Enabling VBA in Your Copy of Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358
Enabling the Developer Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358
The Visual Basic Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .358
Visual Basic Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .359
The Macro Recorder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .360
Understanding Object-Oriented Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361
Learning Tricks of the VBA Trade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361
Writing Code to Handle a Data Range of Any Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .361
Using Super-Variables: Object Variables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .363
Using With and End With When Referring to an Object . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .364
Continuing a Line . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .364
Adding Comments to Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .364
Coding for New Charting Features in Excel 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365
Referencing Charts and Chart Objects in VBA Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365
Creating a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .366
Specifying the Size and Location of a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .366
Later Referring to a Specific Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .367
Recording Commands from the Layout or Design Ribbons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369
Specifying a Built-in Chart Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369
Specifying a Template Chart Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .372
Changing a Chart’s Layout or Style . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .373
ix
x
Charts and Graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Using SetElement to Emulate Changes on the Layout Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375
Changing a Chart Title Using VBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .380
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .380
Using the Format Method to Access New Formatting Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .380
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .397
Controlling Gap Width and Series Separation in Column and Bar Charts . . . . . . . . .398
Moving a Series to a Secondary Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .400
Spinning and Exploding Round Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .401
Controlling the Bar of Pie and Pie of Pie Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .403
Setting the Bubble Size . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .408
Controlling Radar and Surface Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .409
Using the Watch Window to Discover Object Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .410
Using the Watch Window to Learn Rotation Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .413
Exporting a Chart as a Graphic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .414
Creating a Dynamic Chart in a UserForm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .414
Creating Pivot Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .416
Printing a Chart for Each Customer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .418
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .421
14 Knowing When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .423
Lying with Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .423
Lying with Shrinking Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .425
Lying with Scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .426
Lying Because Excel Won’t Cooperate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .426
Lying by Obscuring the Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .427
Deliberately Using Charts to Lie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .428
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .430
A Charting References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431
Other Charting Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431
Gene Zelazny: The Guru of Business Charting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431
PowerFrameworks.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432
Books by Edward Tufte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .433
Websites with Charting Tutorials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .434
Interactive Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .434
Live Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Blogs About Charting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Visual Design Stores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Professional Chart Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .436
Charting Utilities and Products . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .436
Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 439
About the Author
xi
About the Author
Bill Jelen, Excel MVP and MrExcel, has been using spreadsheets since 1985, and he
launched the MrExcel.com website in 1998. His team provides custom Excel applications
to clients around the world. You can see Bill as a regular guest on The Lab with Leo
Laporte in Australia, in Canada, and on Google Video. Bill produces a daily video podcast
about Excel. He also enjoys taking his show on the road, doing a one- to four-hour power
Excel seminar anywhere that a room full of accountants or Excellers will show up.
xii
Charts and Graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
Dedication
To Josh Jelen
Acknowledgments
I wish to thank Gene Zelazny of McKinsey & Company. Gene was generous with his time
and feedback. He indirectly taught me a lot about charting over a decade ago, when I did a
six-month stint on a McKinsey project team. Kathy Villella and Tom Bunzel also provided
advice on presentations. Mala Singh of XLSoft Consulting vetted the chapter on using
VBA to create charts.
Mike Alexander, my coauthor on the Pivot Table Data Crunching books, helped outline the
table of contents for this book and provided many ideas for Chapter 7, “Using Advanced
Chart Techniques.” You can catch Mike and me on a cool DVD training series by Total
Training.
I enjoy the visual delight of every Edward Tufte book. I apologize in advance to E.T. for
documenting all the chartjunk that Microsoft lets us add to Excel charts.
Dick DeBartolo is the Daily GizWiz and has been writing for MAD Magazine for more
than 40 years, since he was 15. The pages of MAD were not where I expected to find inspiration for a charting book, but why not? Thanks to John Marcinko, my son’s friend who
pointed me, in a random conversation, to the MAD charts. Thanks to Bob D’Amico for
illustrating the charts a la MAD. The pie chart in Chapter 4 is a Dick DeBartolo original,
created especially for this book. Many thanks to Dick for being a contributor.
I was visiting Keith Bradbury’s office in Toronto. Keith makes the completely awesome
PDF-to-Excel utility at InvestInTech.com. Between parking the car and Keith’s office, I saw
the most amazing store, managed by David Michaelides. SWIPE is a bookstore dedicated
to art and design. This is a beautiful store to browse, and if you go in and reveal that you
work in Excel all day, they will sympathetically be very nice to you. In a clash of worlds,
David has the original 1984 Mac way up above his cash register because it was the start of
desktop publishing. I pointed out that the Mac was where Excel 1.0 got its start in 1985, so
we had a common thread in our respective backgrounds. Stop by 477 Richmond Street
West (two blocks west of Spadina) to take a look the next time you are in Toronto.
Thanks to Leo Laporte and everyone else at TechTV in Toronto. By the time this book is
out, production will have moved to Vancouver, so I offer my thanks to Matt Harris and
everyone else at the Vancouver studio, even though I don’t know who you are yet.
Thanks to Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston for inventing the computer spreadsheet.
Thanks to Mitch Kapor for Lotus 1-2-3. Like everyone else who uses computers to make a
living, I owe a debt of gratitude to these three pioneers.
Acknowledgments
xiii
Thanks to Lora White, Tracy Syrstad, and Barb Jelen for keeping MrExcel running while I
wrote. As always, thanks to the hundreds of people answering 30,000 Excel questions a year
at the MrExcel message board. Thanks to Duane Aubin, Wei Jiang, Suat Ozgur, Nate
Oliver, and Jake Hildebrand for their programming expertise.
The Microsoft MVPs for Excel are always generous with their time and ideas. Over the
years, I’ve learned many cool charting tricks from websites maintained by John Peltier,
Andy Pope, and Charley Kyd. Turn to the appendix for links to their respective websites.
MVPs Juan Pablo Gonzalez and Bob Umlas served as great technical editors. I still smile
when I recall Bob pointing out that “9. Repeat step 9 for High, Low, and Close lines.” was,
in itself, a circular reference.
At Pearson, Loretta Yates is an awesome acquisitions editor. Thanks to Judi Taylor, Greg
Wiegand, Michael Thurston, Laura Norman, and Lisa Jacobson-Brown at Que. Jean
Esposito was a great high school English teacher who used up many red pens marking my
papers. Had Kitty Jarrett been around to be my copy editor back then, there would have
been no need for red ink at all. Thanks to my agent, William Brown.
Finally, thanks to Josh Jelen, Zeke Jelen, and Mary Ellen Jelen. I wrote 2,500 pages in
2006—way too many to actually pay attention to anything important in my life. 2007 will
be better.
xiv
Charts and Graphs for Microsoft Office Excel 2007
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As an associate publisher for Que Publishing, I welcome your comments. You can email or
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Introduction
A good chart should both explain and arouse
curiosity. A chart can summarize thousands of data
points into a single picture. The arrangement of a
chart should explain the underlying data but also
enable the reader to isolate trouble spots worthy of
further analysis.
Excel makes it easy to create charts. But although
the improvements in Excel 2007 allow you to create
a chart with only a few mouse clicks, it still takes
thought to find the best way to present your data.
INTRODUCTION
IN THIS INTRODUCTION
Using Excel as Your Charting Canvas . . . . . . . . .3
This Book’s Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
2
Introduction
C A S E S T U DY
Choosing the Right Chart Type
Say that you are an analyst for a chain of restaurants, and you are studying the lunch hour
sales for a restaurant in a location at a distant mall. The mall is surrounded by corporations
that provide a steady lunchtime clientele during the week. On the weekends, the mall does
well in the holiday shopping months but lacks weekend crowds during the rest of the year.
From the data contained in the chart in Figure I.1, you can spot a periodicity in sales
throughout the year. An estimated 50 spikes indicate that the periodicity might be based on
the day of the week. You can also spot that there is a general improvement in sales at the
end of the year, which you attribute to the holiday shopping season. However, there is an
anomaly in the pattern during the summer months.
Figure I.1
This chart shows the
sales trend for 365 data
points.
After studying the data in Figure I.1, you might decide to plot the sales by weekday in
order to better understand the sales. Figure I.2 shows the same data presented as seven line
charts. Each line represents the sales for a particular day of the week. Friday is the dashed
line. At the beginning of the year, Friday was the best sales day for this particular restaurant. For some reason, around week 23, Friday sales plummeted.
Using Excel as Your Charting Canvas
3
Figure I.2
When you isolate sales
by weekday, you can see
a definite problem with
Fridays in the summer.
The chart in Figure I.2 prompts you to make some calls to see what was happening on
Fridays at this location. You might discover that the city was throwing free Friday
lunchtime concerts from June through August and that the manager of the restaurant was
offered a concession at the concert location but thought that it would be too much trouble.
Using this pair of charts enabled you to isolate a problem and equipped you to make better
decisions in the future.
Using Excel as Your Charting Canvas
Excel 2007 offers a complete rewrite of the 15-year-old charting engine from previous versions of Excel. Although the software offers no new charting types, Excel 2007 provides
plenty of tools that allow you to make eye-catching charts. In Excel 2007, you have the
ability to create better versions of the 11 existing chart types. Maybe in Excel 14, Microsoft
will add support for new chart types.
Creating charts in Excel 2007 basically requires these steps:
1. Set up and select your data in an Excel worksheet.
2. Choose the appropriate chart type from the Insert ribbon.
3. Change the chart layout or color scheme by using the Design ribbon.
4. Customize chart elements by using the Layout ribbon.
5. Micromanage formatting for individual data points by using the Format ribbon.
Most charts require steps 1 and 2. The remaining steps are optional and are used with
decreasing frequency. It should be rare that you will need to venture to step 5. However,
you are likely to change at least a couple items in step 4.
This book covers the improved charting engine in Excel 2007 as well as the new SmartArt
graphics that you can use to create business diagrams. You will also learn to use spreadsheet
cells to present graphical information.
4
Introduction
Besides charts, Excel 2007 offers many other ways to visually display quantitative data. The
new conditional formatting features, such as data bars, color scales, and icon sets allow you
to add visual elements to regular tables of numbers. In Figure I.3, you can easily see that
Ontario has the largest population and that Nunavut has the largest land area. You can add
in-cell data bars such as these with a couple mouse clicks, as described in Chapter 9,
“Presenting Data Graphically Without Charts.”
Figure I.3
In-cell data bars draw
the eye to the largest
values in each column.
This book also takes a look at tools that you can purchase to add functionality to Excel.
Many vendors offer tools to create sparklines, speedometer charts, and specialized stock
analysis tools. Perhaps one of the best tools is a Microsoft product called MapPoint. Using
MapPoint, you can easily plot your Excel data in a geographic orientation on a map. See
Chapter 10, “Presenting Your Excel Data on a Map Using Microsoft MapPoint,” for more
information about the cool tricks available with MapPoint.
This Book’s Objectives
The goal of this book is to make you more efficient and effective in creating visual displays
of information using Excel.
In the early chapters of this book, you will learn how to use the new Excel 2007 charting
interface. Chapters 3 through 6 walk you through all the built-in chart types and talk about
when you can use each chart type. Chapter 7 discusses about creating unusual charts.
Chapter 8 covers pivot charts, and Chapter 9 covers creating visual displays of information
right in the worksheet. Chapter 10 covers mapping, and Chapter 11 covers the new
SmartArt business graphics, as well as Excel 2007’s shape tools. The penultimate chapter
presents macro tools you can use to automate the production of charts using Excel VBA. In
Chapter 14, you will see several techniques that people may use to stretch the truth with
charts. Finally, in Appendix A, I provide you with a list of resources to give you additional
help with creating charts and graphs.
This Book’s Objectives
A Note About Bugs
Microsoft’s complete rewrite of the charting engine for Office 2007 was ambitious. As this
book goes to press in March 2007, about a half-dozen charting bugs have surfaced in the
initial release of Excel 2007. While I will call these bugs out in the relevant sections of the
book, note that most of the bugs should be patched with Service Release 1 in early 2008. If
you are using the service release of the software, you may not be able to reproduce the bugs.
Special Elements in This Book
NOTE
Notes provide additional information outside the main thread of the chapter discussion that might
be useful for you to know.
TIP
This book contains the following special elements:
Tips provide you with quick workarounds and time-saving techniques to help you do your work
more efficiently.
CAUTION
Cautions warn you about potential pitfalls you might encounter. It’s important to pay attention to
these because they alert you to problems that could cause you hours of frustration.
C A S E S T U DY
Case studies provide a real-world look at topics previously introduced in the chapter.
DESIGNING CHARTS LIKE THE PROS
Throughout the book, I’ve asked several non-Excellers to contribute charts unlike those found in Excel. After showing
the designer’s chart, you can walk through how to adjust the Excel settings to create a chart that approximates the
designer’s chart.
5
6
Introduction
Next Steps
Chapter 1, “Introducing Charts in Excel 2007,” introduces the new Excel 2007 interface
for creating charts. You will learn how to create your first chart and understand the various
elements available in a chart.
Introducing Charts in
Excel 2007
What’s New in Excel 2007 Charts
The charting engine has been completely rewritten
in Excel 2007. After 15 years of the same tiredlooking charts, you can now create stunning charts
with just a few mouse clicks.
The following list summarizes the new charting
features in Excel 2007:
■
To create a chart, you usually start with one of
the seven new galleries on the ribbon’s Insert
tab. The first six galleries offer column, line,
pie, bar, area, and scatter charts. The remaining chart types—stock, surface, doughnut, bubble, and radar—are grouped in the Other
Charts gallery.
■
You can display the All Charts gallery, which
shows all 73 chart subtypes.
■
After you have created a chart, you can customize individual elements of the chart by
using the Layout ribbon. The Layout ribbon
offers settings for the chart title, axis titles, legend, data labels, data table, axes, gridlines, plot
area, chart wall, chart floor, 3-D rotation,
trendline, lines, up/down bars, and error bars.
In each case, a drop-down menu offers the
popular choices, and a More Options choice
leads to a formatting dialog that presents all
the choices.
■
If you are in a hurry, you can head to the Chart
Layouts drop-down on the Design ribbon.
This drop-down offers a number of preset
combinations of the elements from the Layout
ribbon. The presets vary from chart type to
chart type. For example, while there are 10
presets for column charts, there are 12 presets
for line charts, and there are fewer for area
charts.
1
IN THIS CHAPTER
What’s New in Excel 2007 Charts . . . . . . . . . . . .7
New Charting Tools and Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Creating a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Working with Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17
Customizing a Chart by Using the Design Ribbon
25
Creating Your Own Theme . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
8
Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
■
There is now a gallery of 48 combinations of color and effects. You can choose from the
Chart Styles gallery on the Design ribbon to quickly apply a color scheme to a chart. If
you don’t like the built-in colors, you can choose a new theme from the Page Layout
ribbon, or you can head to the Format ribbon to change the colors for each data series.
■
If you want micro-control over the shape, fill, outline, or effects of any chart element,
you can use the Format ribbon.
■
It has always been possible to create a chart with a single keystroke—using the F11 key
to build a default chart on a new worksheet. Excel 2007 continues to support this feature,
and it also adds Alt+F1 for building a default chart embedded on the current worksheet.
■
In Excel 2003, you could define custom formatting for charts by using Chart Type,
Custom Types, User Defined, Add. Excel 2007 replaces this functionality with Chart
Type, Manage Templates. The main advantage of this change is that it is now easier to
move templates from one computer to another computer.
■
In many galleries and formatting menus, Excel offers a Live Preview feature. You can
see the effect of a change by simply hovering your mouse over the menu selection. You
will find yourself hovering over several choices until you find one that looks good, and
then clicking that option.
1
New Charting Tools and Menus
The entry point for Excel 2007 charting is the Insert ribbon. After you have created a
chart, three new ribbon tabs appear under the Chart Tools heading. The Design ribbon
allows you to choose a different chart type, layout, or style. The Layout tab allows you to
add various elements to a chart or remove them from a chart. The Format tab allows you
to micromanage individual elements, such as the bevel effect for an individual data series.
In general, the tabs progress from more general to more specific as you move from the
Design tab on the left to the Format tab on the right. Figure 1.1 shows the icons on the
Design, Layout, and Format tabs.
Figure 1.1
Global changes
occur on the Design
tab, formatting of
individual elements
on the Layout tab,
and micro changes
on the Format tab.
A few other ribbon tabs come into play when you’re creating charts. If you don’t like the
colors used in the Chart Styles gallery on the Design tab, you can visit the Theme dropdown on the Page Layout tab to choose a new theme color for the document.
New Charting Tools and Menus
9
CAUTION
Note that changing the theme color affects all charts,shapes,and SmartArt diagrams in the workbook.
1
Also, you can use many of the formatting icons on the Home tab to format titles and labels
on a chart. These same icons appear on the mini toolbar when you select text within a title
on a chart.
Using the Insert Tab to Select a Chart Type
As shown in Figure 1.2, the Insert tab offers seven drop-down menus in the Charts group.
Each drop-down leads to a variety of chart types.
Figure 1.2
Five less-popular chart
types are tucked under
the Other Charts menu.
Table 1.1 describes the contents of each drop-down in the Charts group.
Table 1.1 Contents of Each Charts Group Drop-Down
Ribbon Icon
Contents
Column
19 types of column, cylinder, cone, and pyramid charts
Line
7 types of line charts
Pie
6 types of pie charts
Bar
15 types of bar charts
Area
6 types of area charts
continues
10
Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
Table 1.1 Continued
1
Ribbon Icon
Contents
Scatter
5 types of scatter charts
Other Charts
4 stock charts, 4 surface charts, 2 doughnut charts, 2 bubble charts,
and 3 radar charts
Using the Expand Icon to Access a Gallery of All Chart Types
A dialog launcher icon appears in the lower-right corner of some ribbon groups. This icon
usually allows you to bypass the ribbon and head straight to a legacy-style dialog box.
Figure 1.3 shows the expand icon for the Charts group. Clicking this icon leads to a dialog
box that shows all 73 charting types in one place.
Figure 1.3
You can click the
dialog launcher icon
to bypass the ribbon
and open a charting
dialog box.
Dialog Launcher Icon
Understanding the Chart Thumbnail Icons
Figure 1.4 shows the Insert Chart dialog with all 73 built-in chart types.
Figure 1.4
There are 73 chart
types available in
Excel 2007.
New Charting Tools and Menus
11
The gallery of 73 chart types might seem like a dizzying array of charts. However, in many
cases, there are four variations of a given type. When you understand how Excel uses the
light and dark blue icons to show you these four charting types, you can quickly choose
from the various thumbnails.
For example, consider the fourth through seventh icons in the Column section of Figure 1.4.
The fourth icon in the Column group of Figure 1.4 is for a 3-D clustered column chart. In
this type, series 1 and series 2 are plotted next to each other. When they are plotted with
different colors, it is easy to compare the height of the similar-colored bars in order to see
how a particular value is trending. For example, the top-left chart in Figure 1.5 shows a
3-D clustered column chart. The thumbnail icon shows a light blue element and a dark
blue element next to each other. Icons for clustered charts are shown in Figure 1.6.
Figure 1.5
Many chart subtypes
offer these four variations on how the data is
plotted.
Figure 1.6
Icons for clustered charts
show a dark blue and a
light blue element at
differing heights.
The fifth icon in the Column group of Figure 1.4 is for a 3-D stacked column chart. In this
type of chart, the values from series 2 are added to the values for series 1. This type of
chart makes it easy to compare totals of all series. The lower-left chart in Figure 1.5 shows
this type of chart. Although it is easy to understand how the first series is trending, it is
much harder to understand how the third series is trending. Are the West sales for April
larger or smaller than those for March? It is hard to tell in a stacked chart. The icons for
stacked charts always show the dark blue series on top of the light blue series, and the
heights of the blue series vary from point to point. Icons for stacked charts are shown in
Figure 1.7.
1
12
Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
Figure 1.7
1
Icons for stacked
charts show a dark
blue element on top
of a light blue element.The total
height of the elements differ from
category to
category.
The sixth icon in the Column group of Figure 1.4 is for a 3-D 100% stacked column chart.
These charts are similar to the stacked charts in that they plot series 2 on top of series 1.
However, the total height of all series is scaled so that each data point shows 100%. The
lower-right chart in Figure 1.5 shows a 100% stacked chart. This type of chart illustrates
which regions are contributing to the total. The icons for 100% charts show the dark blue
series on top of the light blue series, and the heights of all bars or points are the same.
Icons for 100% charts are shown in Figure 1.8.
Figure 1.8
Icons for 100%
stacked charts show
a dark blue element
on top of a light blue
element.The total
height is the same
for each point.
The seventh icon in the Column group of Figure 1.4 is available only for 3-D charts. In
3-D column charts, the data for series 2 is plotted behind the data for series 1. A 3-D column chart works best when there are only a few data series. A basic problem occurs when
the values in series 1 are larger than all the values in a later series. The taller bars in the
front of the chart obscure the later values. Because none of the 2-D chart types offer this
subtype of chart, there are fewer examples of icons that plot one series in front of the
other. The six icons are shown in Figure 1.9.
Figure 1.9
Icons for 3-D charts
show a dark blue
element behind the
light blue element.
Because there are four ways to plot multiple series, you can group 46 of the 73 chart types
into 14 groups of types, as shown in Figure 1.10.
New Charting Tools and Menus
13
Figure 1.10
The column, line, bar, and
area chart subtypes are
really variations of basic
types.
1
Using Gallery Controls
The charting tools ribbons contain many instances of a new Office interface element
known as a gallery. A gallery control allows you to scroll through options one row at a time
or click the open gallery button to see all the choices at one time.
For example, the Chart Layouts gallery starts by showing three of the available icons:
There are three control icons on the right side of the gallery. The up and down arrow
icons allow you to move through the gallery one row at a time (see Figure 1.11).
Figure 1.11
To effectively use the
Gallery control, you use
the three controls along
the right side of the
gallery.
Up/Down Icons
More Icon
A quick trick is to use the bottom control icon, the More icon. You can click the More icon
to cause the gallery to open the entire control, as shown in Figure 1.12.
Figure 1.12
When you click the More
icon, you can quickly see
all choices in the gallery
at one time.
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Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
Creating a Chart
The first step in creating a chart is to build a worksheet that contains data to chart. Many
business charts are created from summary data. If your dataset contains transactional data,
you should also consider summarizing the data using either a pivot table or formulas.
In Figure 1.13, the original dataset contained detailed transactional data. In order to create
summary data to be used in a chart, new rows were inserted at the top of the worksheet,
and a summary table was created using the new SUMIFS function. The formulas in C2:E4
create conditional sums to find the total revenue for each combination of product and year.
Figure 1.13
The new SUMIFS
function makes it
easy to create the
summary that can
be used for charting.
NOTE
1
SUMIFS is a new function in Excel 2007. It allows you to perform a SUMIF with multiple condi-
tions. In previous versions of Excel, you had to resort to using a SUMPRODUCT function or an array
formula to perform the calculation now offered by SUMIFS.
The formula in cell C2 in Figure 1.13 is =SUMIFS($G$9:$G$571,$B$9:$B$571,$B2,
$D$9:$D$571,C$1).To use SUMIFS, you specify a range to be summed (in this case, the rev-
enue in G9:G571).You then specify pairs of arguments representing a criteria range and a criteria
value.The second and third arguments of the function specify that the products in B9:B571 should
be compared to the product in B2. Excel sums the values in the sum range where all the criteria for
that row are true.
For example, the $621,845 is the sum of all revenue in the dataset where both the product is B447
and the year is 2005. Similar logic is used to calculate all of the cells in C2:E4.
Selecting Contiguous Data to Chart
It is easiest to create charts when your data is in a contiguous rectangular block of cells.
The left column of the dataset should contain the label for each series to be plotted. The
first row of the dataset should contain values to be plotted along the category axis. The
top-left cell should be blank. The rest of the cells in the dataset should contain values to
be plotted.
Creating a Chart
15
In Figure 1.13, the products in B2:B4 will be plotted as individual series on the chart. The
years in C1:E1 will be points along the category axis.
Selecting Noncontiguous Data to Chart
It is helpful, but not necessary, for your data to be in a contiguous range. In Figure 1.14,
for example, you might want to create a pie chart that includes the category labels in column B and the totals in column F. To select data for creating a chart, you follow these
steps:
1. Click in cell B1 and drag to cell B4 in order to select the range of category labels.
2. While holding down the Ctrl key, click in cell F1 and drag down to cell F4 in order to
add F1:F4 to the selection.
3. If you have additional series to plot, repeat step 2 for each additional series.
Figure 1.14
Selecting noncontiguous
data requires a bit of
dexterity, as you attempt
to drag while holding
down the Ctrl key.
CAUTION
Excel remembers the order in which you selected the data. Although choosing cell B1 and then individually Ctrl+clicking cells F4, F3, F2, F1, B4, B3, and B2 would lead to a selection that looks the
same as Figure 1.14, it would not create an acceptable chart.You must select the category labels
first and then Ctrl+click and drag to select the first series.
Creating a Chart by Using the Insert Ribbon Icons
TIP
After you have selected the data to be included in a chart, you click the Insert tab of the
ribbon. Seven drop-down menus in the Charts group offer a total of 73 different chart subtypes. You can select one of the drop-down menus or click the dialog launcher icon in the
lower-right corner of the group (refer back to Figure 1.3).
The ToolTips in the seven drop-downs are more descriptive than the ToolTips in the Insert Chart dialog. If you are not sure of which chart subtype to use, you can hover your mouse over an icon in a
charting drop-down to see a description of that chart subtype (see Figure 1.15).
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Figure 1.15
NOTE
1
You can hover over
any subtype in the
ribbon drop-down
menus to see a
description of the
subtype.
Live Preview does not work when you’re selecting a chart type from either the Ribbon or the Charts
dialog.You have to choose one type and click in order to create a chart.
Excel charts are now automatically created as embedded charts. A chart appears somewhere
in the range currently visible in the window. You will likely have to move most charts after
creating them. In Figure 1.16, for example, the chart has been created in an annoying location. You can also resize a chart to best fit the space by clicking to select it and then dragging a corner handle in or out.
Figure 1.16
Excel randomly
inserts a chart
somewhere in the
visible range of cells.
You can move and
resize a chart.
Working with Charts
17
Creating a Chart with One Keystroke
Previous versions of Excel allowed you to create a chart by selecting the data and pressing
the F11 key. In response, Excel created a default chart on a new sheet.
Excel 2007 still recognizes that F11 shortcut, and it adds an Alt+F1 shortcut, which creates
a default chart as a chart object embedded in the current worksheet. The Alt+F1 keystroke
is a time saver when you need to create charts that match the Excel default. When Excel is
installed, the default chart is a 2-D column chart. You can easily change the default chart
type to best fit the type of charts you create the most. Here’s how:
1. Select an existing chart. In the Design ribbon, click the Change Chart Type icon. If
you do not have an existing chart in your workbook, click the dialog launcher icon in
the Charts group of the Insert ribbon.
2. Click the chart subtype that is closest to the chart type you want to create.
3. In the lower-left of the dialog, click Set as Default Chart. Then click Cancel to leave
the dialog box.
TIP
After you go through this procedure, you can press F11 or Alt+F1 to create the selected
chart type instead of the column chart.
You can define a custom template as the default chart.This enables you to define custom colors,
effects, and settings as the default. See “Creating Your Own Theme” later in this chapter for more
information.
Working with Charts
After creating a chart, you may need to rearrange the data or move the chart to a new location. The following topics will assist with these tasks.
Moving a Chart Within the Current Worksheet
As you will see in the following case study, Excel had an annoying habit of locating new
charts near the bottom of your dataset. With a large dataset, you may need to move the
chart to the proper location thousands of rows away. Some methods are faster than others.
There are several ways to move a chart within the current worksheet. When a chart is
selected, a border appears around the chart. Eight resizing handles appear in the border.
To move a chart, you click the border but avoid the resizing handles. You can then drag
the chart to a new location.
Because it is somewhat difficult to click on a thin chart border, you might try clicking
inside the chart in order to drag the chart to a new location. This approach works as long
as you can click on some whitespace between the plot area and the chart border. The
arrows in Figure 1.17 show areas where you can click and drag in order to move the entire
1
18
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Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
chart. There are many areas inside the chart where clicking and dragging will have a different outcome. For example, if you click on the legend and drag, you move the legend within
the chart area. In addition, if you click anywhere inside the plot area and drag, you can
nudge the plot area within the constraints of the chart area.
Areas Acceptable for Moving Entire Chart
Figure 1.17
If you can find some
whitespace outside
the plot area, you
can click and drag
the whitespace in
order to move the
entire chart to a new
location on the
worksheet.
Areas to Avoid
You can easily drag a chart anywhere in the visible window. If you accidentally drop the
chart just a pixel outside of the visible window, the chart boomerangs back to its original
position.
If you need to move a chart outside of the visible window, drag so that your cell pointer is
within one-half row of the edge of the window. Excel will slowly start to scroll in the
appropriate direction. As with other Windows programs, you can speed up the scroll by
rapidly moving your mouse left and right. However, it is difficult to keep the mouse within
the one-half row tolerance while moving left and right.
One option is to use the Zoom slider to show the worksheet at a 10% zoom. You can then
move the chart about 375 rows at a time.
Instead of dragging and dropping, the fastest way to relocate a chart might be to cut and
paste it. You follow these steps to quickly move a chart within the current worksheet:
1. Select a chart.
2. Press Ctrl+X to cut the chart from the worksheet.
3. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog.
4. Type the address of the cell that you want to contain the top-left corner of the chart
and click OK.
5. Press Ctrl+V to paste the chart in the new location.
Of course, instead of taking steps 4 and 5, you could use your favorite navigation method
to move to the cell that should contain the upper-left corner of the chart.
Working with Charts
19
C A S E S T U DY
Locating a Chart at the Top of Your Dataset
It is easy to build a dataset so you can work along with this case study. Follow these steps to build the dataset.
1. Start a blank worksheet.
2. Type 1 in cell A2.
3. With cell A2 selected, choose Home, Fill, Series….
4. Choose Series in Columns. Enter a Stop Value of 3000. Choose OK to fill in the
numbers from 1 to 3000 in column A.
5. Enter the label Result in B1. Enter the number 10 in B2. In B3, enter the formula
=B2+RANDBETWEEN(-2,2).
6. Select cell B3. Double-click the fill handle to copy the formula down to B3001.
The goal of this case study is to create a chart of the results in A1:B3001. Follow these steps:
1. Start with the cellpointer in A1.While holding down the Shift key, press right arrow, down arrow, End, down arrow.
You will have selected A1:B3001. Depending on your screen resolution, you might see rows 2965 through 3001.
2. Choose Insert, Line, 2-D Line, Line. Excel creates a chart in the center of the visible window, with the upper-left corner roughly around G2976.You now have quite a dilemma.The chart is located 2900 rows away from the proper
location.
There are several approaches for moving the chart.
■
If you grab the border of the chart, drag it to within one-half row of the top of the window, and hold it there,
Excel scrolls to the proper location in 8 minutes and 47 seconds.This clearly is not the best solution.
■
Another option is to change the Zoom to 10%.You can now drag the tiny chart to within one-half row of the top
window and Excel will scroll faster, covering 2900 rows in 1 minute and 40 seconds. Adding in the time to adjust
the zoom to 10% and then back to 100%, this method is 75% faster than scrolling at 100%.
■
Cutting and pasting is much faster.With the original chart selected, type Ctrl+X to cut, Ctrl+Home to move to
cell A1, click in cell D4, and type Ctrl+V to paste the chart at the top of the worksheet.This method takes about
7 seconds, depending on your manual dexterity with the keystroke combinations.
A completely different approach is selecting the original dataset while keeping cell A1 in view.Then, the created chart
will be located at the top of your worksheet. Either of these methods will work:
■
Start in cell A1. Hold down the Shift key while pressing down, End, down, right. Release the Shift key and type
Ctrl+. to move to an opposite corner of the selection.
■
Click in cell A2.Type Ctrl+* to select the current region.This will keep the visible window at the top of your dataset.
This case study is an example of how Excel offers many solutions to a problem, but a few of the solutions are dramatically
faster than the obvious solution.
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Chapter 1
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Reversing the Series and Categories of a Chart
1
Excel follows strict rules in deciding whether rows should be series or categories. Luckily,
you can reverse this decision with a single button click.
If Excel chooses the wrong orientation for the data in a chart, you can click the Switch
Row/Column icon in the Design ribbon. Compare the before and after charts in Figure
1.18. You will see that the years have changed from being category labels to being series
labels. The products have changed from being series labels to being category labels.
Figure 1.18
To reverse the orientation of data in a
chart, you click
Switch Row/Column.
If your data has more columns of data than rows, the headings in the first row become category labels. In Figure 1.19, the eight columns of monthly data become category labels,
and the three rows become series.
If your data has more rows than columns, the headings in the first column become
category labels. In Figure 1.20, the 11 rows of city data become category labels, and the
4 columns become series.
If your data has exactly the same number of rows and columns, the rows become series.
Working with Charts
21
Figure 1.19
If your data has more
columns than rows, the
rows become series in
the chart.
Figure 1.20
If your data has more
rows than columns, the
columns become series
in the chart.
Changing the Data Sequence by Using Select Data
The Select Data icon on the Design ribbon allows you to change the rows and columns of
your dataset, and it also allows you to re-sequence the order of the series. When you click
this icon, the Select Data Source dialog appears.
As shown in Figure 1.21, buttons in the Legend Entries side of the Select Data Source dialog allow you to add new series, edit a series, remove a series, or change the sequence of a
series. A single Edit button on the right side of the dialog allows you to edit the range used
for category labels.
Compare Figure 1.20 to Figure 1.22. The series and categories have been reversed. The
order of the cities has been re-sequenced from alphabetical to descending order by summer
temperature. The month names have been changed to season names.
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Chapter 1
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Figure 1.21
1
You can use the
Select Data Source
dialog box for more
control over data
series.
To convert the chart shown in Figure 1.20 to the chart shown in Figure 1.22, you use the
Select Data Source dialog, as follows:
1. Select the chart and choose Design, Select Data. The Select Data Source dialog
displays.
2. Click Switch Rows/Columns to move the city names to the left side of the dialog.
3. Click Alice Springs on the left side and then the up arrow button until Alice Springs is
the first series.
4. Click Broome and then the up arrow button until Broome is the second series.
5. Continue re-sequencing the cities until they are in the desired order.
6. On the Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels side of the dialog, click the Edit button.
The data initially points to B1:E1. Change the address in the Axis Labels dialog box to
an array by entering the four new labels inside curly braces:
={“Summer”,“Fall”,“Winter”,“Spring”}. Click OK to close the Axis Labels dialog
box and return to the Select Data Source dialog box.
The modified chart in Figure 1.22 shows the cities based on the warmest summer
temperatures.
Working with Charts
23
Figure 1.22
You can control the series
order by using the Select
Data icon.
Leaving the Top-Left Cell Blank
In the past, Excel tipsters would tell you to always leave the top-left cell of your dataset
blank before creating a chart. This requirement has eased up a bit with Excel 2007.
The old guideline was that if your series or category labels contained either dates or
numeric labels, you should leave the top-left cell blank. Excel 2007 has been tweaked a bit.
Now, if your labels contain values formatted as dates, there is no need to leave the top-left
cell blank. In addition, if your data has been converted to a table, using the Format as Table
icon on the Home ribbon, it is impossible to leave the top-left cell blank.
In a few instances, your results improve if the top-left cell is blank. Consider the data in
A1:D4 of Figure 1.23. The years in B1:D1 are numeric. If you look at A1:D1, you have text
in column A, followed by three numbers in B:D. This is remarkably similar to the data in
A2:D4. You have text in column A, followed by numbers in B:D. If you create a chart from
this dataset, Excel assumes that you do not have series labels and assumes that A1:A4 represent four category labels. This erroneously produces the top chart in the figure.
Cells A11:D14 in the figure contain exactly the same data as A1:D4, except the Region
label was cleared from A11. In this case, Excel correctly sees three series and three
categories.
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Chapter 1
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Figure 1.23
Moving a Chart to a Different Sheet
In Excel 2007, charts always start out as objects embedded in a worksheet. However, you
might want to display a chart on its own full-page chart sheet.
There are two options for moving a chart:
■
Choose the Move Chart icon at the right edge of the Design ribbon.
■
Right-click any whitespace near the border of the chart and choose Move Chart.
Either way, the Move Chart dialog appears, offering the options New Sheet and Object In.
The Object In drop-down lists all the worksheets in the current workbook. The New Sheet
option allows you to specify a name for a new sheet. (See Figure 1.24.)
Figure 1.24
Move a chart to a
different worksheet
using the Move
Chart dialog.
NOTE
1
The top data is
charted incorrectly
because of the
Region label in cell
A1.The bottom data
is charted correctly
because cell A11 is
blank.
When you choose to move a chart to a new sheet,the chart is located on a special sheet called a chart
sheet.This sheet holds one chart that can be printed to fill a sheet of paper.You cannot have additional
cells or formulas on a chart sheet.Figure 1.25 shows a chart that has been moved to a chart sheet.
Customizing a Chart by Using the Design Ribbon
25
Figure 1.25
A chart sheet holds one
chart at full screen.There
are no cells on the sheet.
1
Customizing a Chart by Using the Design Ribbon
The Design ribbon allows you to quickly customize a chart with just a couple clicks. For
example, the Chart Styles gallery allows you to change the color scheme and effects for the
entire chart. The Chart Layouts gallery offers professionally designed combinations of
chart elements.
Choosing a Chart Layout
NOTE
Depending on the chart type you have chosen, the Chart Layouts gallery offers 4 to 12
built-in combinations of chart elements. When you choose a new chart layout from the
gallery, you get a predefined combination of title, layout, gridlines, and so on.
Frankly, the combinations offered in the Chart Layouts gallery seem a bit arbitrary.When I look at
the options in the gallery, I am not sure why these 12 were chosen out of the 780 quadrillion possible combinations. Assuming that each chart layout controls four different settings, the odds of any
given chart layout being the style that you would have selected yourself are (1⁄2 ^ 4 ) or less. I do
know that at one point in time, one of the Excel developers showed me some chart samples, and I
was asked to choose my favorites from the various galleries. Perhaps my opinions and the opinions
of thousands of others were combined to choose the styles in the gallery.
26
Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
Figure 1.26 shows 11 charts created by choosing each of the different column chart layouts
from the gallery.
1
Figure 1.26
The Chart Layouts
gallery offers up to a
dozen predefined
layouts for the current chart type.
Choosing a Color Scheme
The Design ribbon is also home to the Chart Styles gallery, which offers 48 variations of
color and effects. The gallery has columns for each of the six accent colors, monochrome,
and mixed colors.
As you proceed down the first four rows of the gallery, each style has a bit more extreme
effect applied to the bars. The styles in row 2 have a white border around the bars. The
styles in row 3 have a dark gradient. The styles in row 4 have a glass-like surface on the
bars. The styles in row 5 have a dark border around the bars, combined with a light tint in
the plot area. The final row has a dark background that is suitable, for example, if you are
using the chart in a dark-themed PowerPoint presentation.
Figure 1.27 shows the 48 thumbnails in the gallery and a sample of the effects available for
accent color 2 in the Office theme.
Customizing a Chart by Using the Design Ribbon
27
Figure 1.27
You can choose from
eight color schemes
when you use the Chart
Styles gallery.
Modifying a Color Scheme by Changing the Theme
The six accent colors and the built-in effects are different in each of the 20 themes that
ship with Office 2007. You can change to any of the 20 themes or create your own theme
in order to easily access new colors and effects.
On the Page Layout ribbon, you can click the Themes drop-down to choose from the 20
built-in themes. If you choose a new theme from the Themes drop-down, Excel applies a
new color and set of effects to all of the charts in the current workbook. If you want to
change only the colors or effects, you can use the Colors or Effects drop-down in the
Themes group.
In Figure 1.28, you can see that the Opulent theme applies a jeweled effect to the columns.
You should keep the following in mind when changing a chart’s theme:
■
Excel, Word, and PowerPoint offer the same 20 built-in themes. If you are building a
document that contains elements from more than one Office 2007 product, you should
apply the same theme in all the documents.
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Chapter 1
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Figure 1.28
1
Applying a new
theme changes the
color and built-in
effects.
■
Changing the theme affects all graphic elements in the workbook. While your Excel
workbook might contain mostly numbers and one or two charts, it could make sense to
change the theme to easily apply new colors to the chart. In Excel 2007, changing the
theme affects any SmartArt graphics in the workbook as well.
CAUTION
In PowerPoint, and to a lesser extent Word, changing the theme affects far more than the occasional
chart.The chosen theme also changes the fonts used in the presentation, the slide background, and
so on.
■
If you want the theme to have an impact on the fonts in your workbook, you should
use the Cell Styles drop-down in the Home ribbon to format your cells.
■
The Effects drop-down on the Page Layout ribbon contains a lot of subtle information
encoded in the thumbnails. See “Choosing Effects for a Custom Theme from an
Existing Theme” for details.
Creating Your Own Theme
You might want to develop a special theme. This is fairly easy to do: you basically need to
select two fonts and six accent colors. For example, let’s say you want to create a theme
to match your company’s color scheme. The hardest part is probably finding six colors to
represent your company because most company logos have two or three colors. The following sections describe how to create a new theme and suggest resources for choosing
complementary colors for your company colors.
Creating Your Own Theme
29
Choosing Effects for a Custom Theme from an Existing Theme
Unless you plan on editing XML files, you will have to re-use built-in effects from an existing theme for your theme. The thumbnails in the Effects drop-down offer very subtle clues
to the types of effects used in each theme.
The formatting galleries generally range from simple effects in the top row, moderate
effects in the middle rows, and extreme effects in the bottom row. If you open the Shape
Styles gallery on the Format ribbon, the first row is simple, the fourth row is moderate, and
the sixth row is extreme.
Open the Effects drop-down on the Page Layout ribbon. You will see three shapes for each
theme: a circle, an arrow, and a rectangle. The appearance of the circle provides an indication of the effects used in simple formats (such as from row 1 of the Shape Styles Gallery).
The appearance of the arrow provides an indication of the effects used in moderate formats
(row 4 of the Shape Styles Gallery). The appearance of the rectangle provides an indication
of the effects used in extreme formats (row 6 of the gallery).
Figure 1.29 shows the Effects drop-down in grayscale. Please open this in your computer
so you can actually see the effects in color.
Figure 1.29
The circle, arrow, and rectangle apply to simple,
moderate, and intense
layouts, respectively.
For example:
■
The circle in the Civic and Equity themes show a faint line. This indicates that shapes
with a simple format applied will have fainter lines when using this theme. The circles
in the Module and Concourse theme have an interior reflection or glow.
1
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Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
■
The arrow in the Trek theme has a gradient that starts out light at the top of the arrow
and becomes darker at the bottom of the arrow. If you apply a moderate effect to a
chart and use the Trek theme, the shapes in the chart will have a similar gradient.
■
The rectangle in the Paper theme has a dark texture applied. The rectangle in the
Metro theme has a glass or jeweled affect applied. The rectangle in the Equity theme
has a thin white outline around a dark rectangle. If you format your chart with extreme
effects, the shapes will have an appearance similar to the rectangle in each thumbnail.
While you can access dialog boxes to control the font and colors in your theme, you simply
have to choose one of the 20 built-in effects as a starting point for your new custom theme.
Choose any theme from the Effects drop-down to start building your custom theme.
Understanding RGB Color Codes
Colors on computer monitors are described as a mix of red (R), green (G), and blue (B).
Each color channel is assigned a value from 0 to 255. For example, a color of R=255, G=0,
B=0 is a bright red. As you add more blue, the red shifts toward a pink or violet color. A
color of R=255, G=0, B=128 is a pinkish violet color.
A color of R=0, G=0, B=0 is black. A color of R=255, G=255, B=255 is white. You can create 16.7 million different colors by using combinations of red, green, and blue.
To see a pertinent example of how this works, open your company’s home page in a
browser. Then, from the View menu in Internet Explorer, choose Source, or, in Firefox,
choose View, Page Source.
You should now see the webpage’s underlying HTML code. You can find the colors used in
the page by searching for a pound sign. A webpage specifies colors in hexadecimal format,
using a pound sign followed by six characters (for example, #4F81BD).
Although every webpage uses the hexadecimal notation for describing colors, Microsoft
Excel’s theme specification instead needs the RGB values for the color. Luckily, as
described in the following section, it is fairly easy to convert between the two.
TIP
1
Chapter 1
The color chooser in Photoshop shows the RGB values for any hexadecimal notation.
Converting from Hexadecimal to RGB
Hexadecimal is a numbering system that has digits 0 through 9 and A through F. Including
0, there are 16 digits in the hexadecimal numbering system. In the decimal system, a 2digit number can represent 10×10 different combinations. There are 100 numbers, from 00
to 99. In a hex system, a 2-digit number can represent 16×16 different numbers—that is,
256 numbers, from 0 to 255.
In the #123456 nomenclature, the # sign indicates that the number is in hexadecimal. The
first two digits are the hex representation of the red value. The next two digits are the hex
Creating Your Own Theme
31
representation of the green value. The next two digits are the hex representation of the
blue value.
If you don’t have Photoshop or another tool that converts from a hex color to an RGB
value for you automatically, you can use functions in Excel to do the conversion. For example, the worksheet in Figure 1.30 converts from a hex color in Cell B1 to the RGB values
in B7:B9:
■
The formulas in B2:B4 use the MID function to extract each pair of numbers from the
color code. The formula for Cell B2 is shown in Cell C2.
■
The formulas in B7:B9 use the HEX2DEC function to convert the two-digit hex number
to decimal.
Figure 1.30
This quick Excel worksheet converts from a
six-digit hex color code
to decimal RGB values.
To represent the color #FF9108 in Excel, for example, you would use R=255, G=145, B=8.
Finding Complementary Colors
NOTE
If you look at your company’s logo and website, you can probably identify two or three
colors to use in the theme. You need to come up with a total of six accent colors for a
theme.
You can use the free web-based tool at http://wellstyled.com/tools/colorscheme2/index-en.html#
to find colors that look good together.
To find complementary colors, you follow these steps:
1. Start with a hex representation of one of your logo colors.
2. Open http://wellstyled.com/tools/colorscheme2/index-en.html# in a browser.
3. In the lower-left corner, click the link for Enter RGB (rough conversion).
1
32
Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
4. In the window that pops up, enter the portion of the color code after the pound sign
(for example, FF9108).
1
5. Click each of the five icons under the color wheel on the left (for contrast, triad, tetrad,
and analogic). In the Triad view, the website shows your original color, three others,
and three variations of each, as shown in Figure 1.31. The right side of the website
specifies the hex color codes for all the colors shown.
Figure 1.31
This webpage suggests colors that
complement your
logo colors.
Specifying a Theme’s Colors
To specify new theme colors, you follow these steps:
1. Select Page Layout, Themes, Colors, Create New Theme Colors. The Create New
Theme Colors dialog appears. Remember that a theme is composed of 2 text colors, 2
background colors, 6 accent colors, and 2 hyperlink colors. These 12 colors are shown
in the Create New Theme Colors dialog, as shown in Figure 1.32.
2. To change the first accent color, choose the drop-down next to Accent 1. The color
chooser appears.
3. From the bottom of the color chooser drop-down, choose More Colors. The Colors
dialog appears.
4. On the Custom tab of the Colors dialog, enter values for red, green, and blue, as
shown in Figure 1.33. The New color block shows the color for the values you
entered. Click OK to accept the new color.
5. Repeat steps 2–4 for each of the accent colors.
6. If you want to change the colors for Hyperlink, Followed Hyperlink, and Text, repeats
steps 2–4 for any of those.
Creating Your Own Theme
33
7. In the Name box, give the theme a name, such as your company name.
8. Click Preview to see the theme applied to your workbook.
9. Click Save to accept the theme.
Figure 1.32
The 12 colors in the current theme are shown
here.
Figure 1.33
Specify the RGB values
for the first color.
Specifying a Theme’s Fonts
To specify new theme fonts, you follow these steps:
1. Select Page Layout, Themes, Fonts, Create New Theme Fonts. The Create New
Theme Fonts dialog appears, as shown in Figure 1.34. Remember that a font theme
contains a heading font and a body font.
1
34
Chapter 1
Introducing Charts in Excel 2007
Figure 1.34
A theme is composed of two fonts.
1
2. Select a font from the Heading Font drop-down. If a custom font is used in your company’s logo, using it might be appropriate.
3. Select a font from the Body Font drop-down. This should be a font that is easy to
read. Avoid stylized fonts for body copy.
4. Give the theme a name. It is okay to reuse the same name from the color theme.
5. Click Save to accept the theme changes.
Saving a Custom Theme
In order to reuse a theme in other workbooks, you must save it. From the Page Layout ribbon, you select Themes, Themes, Save Current Theme, as shown in Figure 1.35.
Figure 1.35
The option to save a
theme is at the bottom of the Themes
drop-down.
By default, themes are stored in the Document
Themes
folder. This folder is in
%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes\.
You need to give your theme a useful name and click Save.
Next Steps
35
Using a Custom Theme on a New Document
After saving a custom theme with your company colors, fonts, and effects, the theme will
be available to all workbooks, documents, and slide shows on your computer. The next time
that you access the Themes drop-down, your custom themes will appear first in the menu,
under a heading of Custom.
Excel automatically generates a thumbnail showing the letter A in your headline font, the
letter a in the body text font, and the six accent colors used in the theme.
After saving a theme and opening PowerPoint 2007 or Word 2007, the new custom themes
will be available in those applications as well.
Sharing a Theme with Others
TIP
If you want to share a theme with others, you need to send them the .thmx file from
%AppData%\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes\.
Using %AppData% in Windows Explorer is a shortcut to the application data folder in your operating system. On a Windows XP machine, this might be C:\Documents and Settings\your
name\Application Data\. On a Windows Vista machine, this might be C:\Users\Your
Name\App Data\Roaming. By typing $AppData%,Windows Explorer will navigate to the
proper folder.
The people you share the theme with can either copy the .thmx file to their equivalent
folder or save the .thmx file to their desktop and use the Browse for Themes option by
choosing Page Layout, Themes, Themes, Browse for Themes.
Next Steps
Chapter 2 describes how to use the Layout tab of the ribbon in order to toggle on or off
individual elements of the chart. It also describes how you can micromanage individual elements by using the Format ribbon.
1
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Customizing Charts
Accessing Element Formatting Tools
In Chapter 1, “Introducing Charts in Excel 2007,”
you learned how to create a chart using the Insert
ribbon and then how to choose from built-in layouts and styles on the Design ribbon. In real life,
you usually want to have some control over the various elements in a chart. Excel provides three additional levels of control:
■
■
■
The Layout ribbon contains a few popular
choices for formatting 15 chart elements. In
80% of cases, you can choose from the dropdown menus on the Layout ribbon in order to
create the perfect chart.
The Format ribbon contains icons that enable
you to micromanage the color, fill, outline, and
effects for any individual chart element. If you
want to apply a soft glow, a metallic finish, and
a reflection to the January data point, for example, you can do so using the Format ribbon.
Powerful format dialog boxes exist for every
element in the chart. These dialog boxes provide the ultimate control over individual elements. You can access these dialog boxes in
several different ways: You can select an element and press Ctrl+1. Or, simply right-click a
chart element and choose Format or use the
new Format Selection icons on the Layout and
Format tabs. Most of the drop-downs on the
Layout tab also lead to a More option.
This chapter walks you through the various chart
components that you can customize and offers tips
and tricks for creating eye-catching but meaningful
results.
2
IN THIS CHAPTER
Accessing Element Formatting Tools . . . . . . . .37
Identifying Chart Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38
Formatting Chart Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Formatting a Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
Using the Format Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Replacing Data Markers with
Clip Art or Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
38
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Identifying Chart Elements
Many elements of a chart can be customized. You rarely want to include all the available
elements in a single chart because having too many elements takes away from the meaning
of the data in the chart. You should judiciously use titles, axes, and gridlines to help the
reader understand the data presented in a chart.
Chart Labels and Axis
2
To help you identify the various elements in a chart, Figure 2.1 shows a chart that has too
many elements.
Figure 2.1
This chart shows the
various components
available in a 2-D
chart.
1. Chart Title
2. Chart Area
3. Plot Area
4. Data Label
5. Legend
6. Horizontal Gridlines
7. Horizontal Axis
8. Data Table
9. Horizontal Axis Title
10. Vertical Gridlines
11. Vertical Axis
12. Vertical Axis Title
Figure 2.1 contains the following elements:
■
Chart area—The chart area is the entire range shown in Figure 2.1. This includes all
the area outside the plot area. It is where labels and legends often appear.
■
Plot area—The plot area is the rectangular area that includes the data series and data
markers.
■
Chart title—The chart title typically appears in a larger font and near the top of the
chart. Whereas Excel 2003 always included the chart title outside the plot area, choices
in Excel 2007 encourage you to have the title overlaying the plot area.
Identifying Chart Elements
39
■
Horizontal axis title—The horizontal axis title identifies the type of data along the
horizontal axis. In case it is not clear that “2005 2006 2007” represents years, you can
add a horizontal axis title such as the one shown near number 9 in Figure 2.1.
■
Vertical axis title—It is common to use the vertical axis title along the left side of a
chart to identify the units along the axis. In Figure 2.1, the word “Sales” near number
12 is the vertical axis title.
■
Legend—The legend initially appears to the right of the plot area. It helps identify
which color in the chart represents which series. You can drag the legend anywhere in
the chart area or plot area, freeing up space for the plot area to extend further to the
right.
■
Data label—If you want the actual value for each bar or point to appear on the chart,
you turn on the Data Labels option. Data labels frequently get overwritten by gridlines
and other charting elements. Far too often, I find myself nudging individual data labels
so that they can be read.
■
Data table—Instead of using data labels, you can ask Excel to add a spreadsheet-like
data table beneath the plot area. The data table frequently takes up too much space in
the chart area and reduces the size available for the plot area.
■
Horizontal axis—The horizontal or category axis is along the bottom of the chart for
column and line charts and along the left side for bar charts. Your main choice is
whether the axis contains a time series. If it does, Excel varies the spacing between the
points to represent actual dates.
■
Vertical axis—This is the axis along the left side of the chart in a column or line chart.
In some advanced charts, as discussed in Chapter 7, “Advanced Chart Techniques,” you
might have a second vertical axis on the right side of the chart. This axis typically contains values, and your main choice is whether you want the axis scaled in thousands,
millions, and so on.
■
Horizontal gridlines—Horizontal gridlines run horizontally across the plot area and
line up with each number along the vertical axis. If you do not have data labels on a
chart, the horizontal gridlines are particularly useful for telling whether a particular
point is just above or below a certain level. It is best to keep gridlines unobtrusive.
Some of the best charts include gridlines in a faint color so that they do not obscure
the main message of the chart.
■
Vertical gridlines—Vertical gridlines are used less often than horizontal gridlines. If
you are considering using them in a line chart or a surface chart, you should consider
using drop lines instead.
2
40
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Special Elements in a 3-D Chart
Some chart elements are editable only in 3-D charting styles. Figure 2.2 shows a 3-D
column chart.
Back Wall
Figure 2.2
2
This chart shows the
various components
available in a 3-D
chart.
Column Depth
Side Wall
Floor
The following are the 3-D chart elements:
■
Back wall—The back wall in Figure 2.2 is formatted with a texture. In previous versions of Excel, any formatting applied to the back wall also applied to the side wall. In
Excel 2007, these are now two separate elements.
■
Side wall—The side wall in Figure 2.2 is formatted with a dark fill.
■
Floor—The floor is the surface below the 3-D columns.
■
Column depth—Column depth is one of the many 3-D rotation settings you can
change. In Figure 2.2, each column appears to be a deep rectangular slab. You create
this effect by increasing the column depth. The chart has also been tipped forward a
bit, so that it appears that the viewer is at a slightly higher viewing angle.
Analysis Elements
The Analysis group on the Layout ribbon includes elements that are of particular importance to scientists. However, some of the elements, such as the trendline, can also be useful
in business charting. Figure 2.3 illustrates some of the analysis elements.
Formatting Chart Elements
41
Error Bars
Up/Down Bars
Figure 2.3
This chart shows the various analysis elements.
Trendline
2
Droplines
The following are the analysis elements:
■
Trendline—If you ask for a trendline, Excel uses regression analysis to fit your existing data points to a statistical line. You can have Excel extend this line into future time
periods. In Figure 2.3, the dotted trendline shows that unless you alter the systemgenerating actuals, you will likely miss the goal.
■
Drop lines—Drop lines are vertical lines that extend from the data point to the horizontal axis in either line or area charts. These lines are helpful because they enable the
reader to locate the exact point where the line intersects the axis.
■
Up/down bars—When you are plotting two series on a line chart, Excel can draw rectangles between the two lines. In Figure 2.3, the actual exceeds the goal in Days 2
through 11, and the up/down bars are shown in a dark color. The goal exceeds the
actual in Days 11 through 15, and the up/down error bars are shown in a contrasting
color. If the up/down error bars seem too wide, you can try using high/low lines.
■
Error bars—The error bar feature is popular in scientific analysis to show the error of
an estimate. You might see these used in business charts to indicate the acceptable tolerance from a quality goal. For example, a quality goal might be to achieve 99.5%
quality, with anything between 99% and 100% being acceptable. The error bars could
be added to the 99.5% goal series in order to show whether the actual quality falls
within the acceptable tolerance.
Formatting Chart Elements
When formatting chart elements, you generally start with some of the built-in choices
available on the Layout ribbon. This section describes how to do this, as well as how to use
the mini toolbar, Home ribbon, Format ribbon, or Format dialog to further customize certain elements.
42
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Formatting a Chart Title
By default, a chart with more than one series is created without any title, as shown in the
upper-right chart in Figure 2.4.
2
To add a title, you use the Chart Title drop-down on the Layout tab. Your choices are a
centered overlay title or a title above the chart. When you add the title above the chart,
Excel has to shrink the plot area to make room for the title (see the lower-right chart in
Figure 2.4). If your title fits, using a centered overlay title leaves more space for the title,
but there is the chance that the words in your title and the points plotted in the series will
collide, as they do in the chart shown on the left in Figure 2.4.
Figure 2.4
Excel offers two
built-in locations for
chart titles.
Typing a Title
After you select a title location from the drop-down, Excel adds the generic “Chart Title”
placeholder text to the top of your chart. The title is selected by default, so you can immediately start typing the actual title. You see the typed characters appear in the formula bar.
When you press the Enter key, Excel replaces “Chart Title” with the words you typed.
Moving a Title
You single-click a title to select it. Then you move the mouse pointer so that it is above the
outline of the title. When the mouse pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, you click and
drag the title to a new location.
Formatting Chart Elements
43
Note that the outline contains only four handles instead of the usual eight. This means
you cannot use the handles to resize the title bounding box. However, you do have some
control over the size of the title bounding box. If you press the Enter key in the middle of
the title, you will force the title bounding box to become vertically larger.
Formatting a Title with the Mini Toolbar
You triple-click a title in order to select all the words in the title. When you move your
mouse pointer slightly up and to the right, the mini toolbar appears, allowing you to select
the font and other formatting to use in the title (see Figure 2.5).
Figure 2.5
You select text in a title
and then move the
mouse up and to the
right, toward the nearly
invisible mini toolbar, to
make the toolbar appear.
Formatting a Title with the Home Ribbon Tab
TIP
If getting the mini toolbar to display is too frustrating for you, you can use the Home ribbon instead. To do so, you select characters in the title and then display the Home tab of
the ribbon. You can use the icons in the Font and Alignment groups to format the title.
If you use the Orientation drop-down to angle your title, there is no setting on the Home ribbon to
return to horizontal text.To turn off a selection such as vertical text, you have to re-select that item
from the Orientation drop-down.
Formatting a Title with the Format Ribbon
Many options on the Format ribbon allow you to change the fill, font, and line style used
in the title. The settings in the Shape Styles group affect the currently invisible rectangle
that surrounds the title. You cannot add a reflection, but all the other settings are available.
To add effects to the actual words in a title, you use the drop-downs in the WordArt Styles
group of the Format ribbon (see Figure 2.6). You can control the font color, the outline
color of the font, shadow, reflection, and glow. Other WordArt features, such as Bevel and
Transforms, are not available in charting titles.
2
44
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Figure 2.6
You select a title and
then use the three
drop-downs in the
WordArt Styles
group to format
the title.
2
More Title Options
You can right-click a title and then choose Format Chart Title to access the Format dialog.
This dialog offers Fill, Border Color, Border Styles, Shadow, 3-D Format, and Alignment
sections. The Shadow section gives you micro-control over the shadow transparency, size,
blur, angle, and distance.
The Alignment tab allows you to rotate the text in 1 degree increments.
Formatting an Axis Title
Excel has three built-in options for the vertical axis. Figure 2.7 shows these options:
Rotated Title (top left), Vertical Title (bottom left), and Horizontal Title (bottom right). In
many cases, the Rotated Title option looks the best.
For a horizontal axis title, the only built-in option is to turn the title on or off.
TIP
All the formatting options available for the chart title also apply to the axis titles. You can
use the mini toolbar, the Home ribbon, or the Format ribbon to change the font, color, fill,
and effects for the axis title.
You may see charts with “Thousands,”“Millions,”“Billions,” and so on near the top of the vertical
axis title area.You should know that this is not part of the vertical axis title.You control this setting
by selecting Layout, Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, Show Axis in Thousands.
Formatting Chart Elements
45
Figure 2.7
The vertical axis title can
be oriented in three
ways, using the Axis
Titles drop-down on the
Layout tab.
2
Formatting a Legend
My favorite legend trick is more difficult in Excel 2007 than in previous versions. Although
it takes a few more clicks now than it used to, you can still float a legend in an unused portion of the plot area.
The built-in choices for the legend include having the legend outside the left, right, bottom, or top of the plot area. If you move the legend to the top or the bottom, Excel
rearranges the legend in a horizontal format, as shown in Figure 2.8.
Figure 2.8
The built-in choices
include moving the legend to the top or bottom, which works well in
this chart.
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
NOTE
46
There are two other built-in options: Overlay Legend at Right and Overlay Legend at Left. Neither of
these seems to work well with column charts because the legend and the columns collide.
Floating a Legend in the Plot Area
Due to the yearly growth of the data in Figure 2.8, there is room above the 2005 columns
for the legend. You follow these steps to move the legend there:
1. From the Layout ribbon, select the Legend drop-down and then Overlay Legend at
Right. This keeps the legend in a vertical arrangement and stretches the plot area out
to the right edge of the chart.
2. Carefully click on an edge of the box surrounding the legend. When the mouse pointer
is a four-headed arrow, drag the mouse and drop the legend in a free spot on the chart.
A new problem in Excel 2007 is that the legend has a transparent fill, so the underlying
gridlines may tend to show through.
3. While the legend is still selected, click the Format ribbon tab. Choose Shape Fill,
White to convert the transparent fill to a solid fill. The fill prevents gridlines from
overwriting your legend titles.
4. Choose Format, Shape Outline, Black to add a border around the legend.
Figure 2.9 shows the legend floating over a vacant area of the plot area. Notice that this
allows the plot area to extend nearly to the right edge of the chart area.
Figure 2.9
You can drag the
legend over the
chart and then format the legend so it
has a border and no
transparency.
TIP
2
I recommend going outside the built-in legend options. Although the legend usually starts
on the right side of the chart, you can often find a corner of the plot area that has whitespace.
Having the legend to the left or above your chart allows the reader’s eyes to see the legend before
reading the chart.
Formatting Chart Elements
47
Changing the Arrangement of a Legend
In the top-left chart in Figure 2.10, a new series is added to the chart. This causes the floating legend to obscure part of the columns. To fix this problem, you click the Legend to
activate the resizing handles. Then you drag the bottom-right corner of the legend up and
out to produce a legend with the labels arranged in a 2-by-2 grid, as shown in the lowerleft chart in the figure.
If you keep dragging, the legend becomes a 1-by-4 arrangement, as shown in the top-right
chart in the figure.
Figure 2.10
You have some control
over the arrangement of
the labels in the legend
when you resize the legend border.
Formatting Individual Legend Entries
A new feature in Excel 2007 is the ability to format or resize the individual legend entries.
This is particularly useful when one entry is longer than the others.
To format an individual legend, you follow these steps:
1. Click the legend, and the entire legend is selected.
2. Click the legend entry you want to change.
3. To change the font size, right-click the text and use the options in the mini toolbar. To
change anything else, use the Home ribbon or the Format ribbon.
In the chart at the bottom right of Figure 2.10, each legend entry is a different font size.
You can also apply effects such as glow to the legend entries.
You can also remove certain legend entries. When an individual legend entry is selected,
press the Delete key. This becomes useful when you are using extra series to add elements
to a chart. Several examples in Chapter 7, “Advanced Chart Techniques,” utilize this
method.
Using the Format Legend Dialog
To use the Format Legend dialog, you choose More Legend Options from the Legend
drop-down on the Layout ribbon. This dialog allows you to change the fill color, the border color, the border styles, and the shadow behind the legend.
2
48
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Adding Data Labels to a Chart
The reader of your chart might be able to discern whether one of two adjacent columns is
taller than the other. However, it is difficult to compare a column in the center of a chart
with numbers along the left axis. That’s where data labels can be an advantage. This feature
works best if you have only a few data points on the chart.
2
Traditionally, data labels for a single-series column chart would appear above each column.
In Excel 2007, this choice is known as Outside End. The other built-in choices on the Data
Labels tab are Center, Inside End, Inside Base, and None (see Figure 2.11).
Figure 2.11
Data labels look best
when placed above
the bars in a column
chart.
The three “inside” choices are useful when you have a stacked column chart. Rather than
placing the label for the bottom column inside the top column, the inside choices keep
each label inside the appropriate bar.
Figure 2.12 compares the Inside End, Inside Base, and Center options on a single chart.
Figure 2.12
When you have multiple series in a
stacked column
chart, you should
use one of the inside
locations for the
data label.
TIP
Formatting Chart Elements
49
Charting gurus suggest that you should have either numeric labels along the axis or data labels, but
not both. Numeric labels along the value axis allow the reader to get a general feel for the location
of a marker. A data label allows the reader to know the exact location of a marker. After you add
data labels, you can remove the axis labels.
Nudging a Label to Avoid a Gridline
If your chart has dark gridlines, you may find that the data label appears to be crossed out
by the gridline. It is a slightly tedious process to fix the labels, but doing so ensures that
your data labels are readable. You follow these steps to nudge a data label out of the way of
the gridline:
1. Click a data label in the chart. Excel selects all the labels for that particular series.
2. Again click the data label to be moved. Excel now selects just that data label (see
Figure 2.13).
Figure 2.13
A second click selects just
one data label.
3. Carefully position the mouse pointer over the border of the label. When the mouse
pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, click and drag the data label above or below
the gridline.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for any other labels that are running into the gridlines. (If the next
label is in the same series, you can skip step 1.)
Using the Format Data Label Dialog
There are many important settings you can access in the Format Data Labels dialog to customize data labels on a chart:
■
On the Label Options tab, you can change the content of the label. In Figure 2.14, for
example, the pie chart is labeled with the category name and the value. For other pie
charts, you might want the percentage instead.
2
50
Chapter 2
■
Customizing Charts
On the Number tab, you can change the number format or simply choose to have the
format be the same format as in the original dataset.
Figure 2.14
You can control the
text in the data
labels by using the
Format Data Labels
dialog.
TIP
2
In all cases, the Format dialog box contains the built-in choices on the Layout ribbon menus, plus
many more options. As I create more charts, I find myself often automatically heading to the Format
dialog box so that I have full control over the format of the selected element.
After you have selected an element in the chart, pressing Ctrl+1 takes you to the appropriate
Format dialog box. Further, when a Format dialog box is displayed, you can click a new element in
the chart.The Format dialog box will change to reflect the properties available for the newly
selected element.
Adding a Data Table to a Chart
A data table is a mini-worksheet that appears below a chart. In it, Excel shows the values
for each data point in the table. One advantage of a data table is that you can show the
numbers that would normally be shown with data labels without adding any elements to the
plot area.
There are two built-in options in the Data Table drop-down on the Layout ribbon: you can
show the data table with legend keys or without legend keys.
The data table takes up a fair amount of space at the bottom of the chart. Putting the
legend keys in the table allows you to regain some of that space by eliminating the legend
element from the chart.
In the chart on the left in Figure 2.15, the legend keys appear in the chart. In the chart on
the right in Figure 2.15, the data table appears without legend keys, requiring a separate
legend element to appear—in this case, above the chart. This causes the plot area to shrink
and makes it more difficult to interpret the data on the chart.
Formatting Chart Elements
51
Figure 2.15
A data table provides a
concise grid for the
actual values without
adding extra data to the
plot area itself.
2
Special Options for Data Tables
If you select the More Data Table options in the Data Table drop-down, you have the usual
options for fill, border color, border styles, shadow, and 3-D format, plus special data table
options. You can decide to hide or show the horizontal or vertical gridlines in the table and
to show or hide the outline around the data table. In Figure 2.16, the outline and horizontal gridlines are turned off, which gives the data table a cleaner look.
Figure 2.16
Special options in the
Format Data Table dialog
allow you to turn on or
off various elements of a
data table.
Formatting Axes
Unlike the previously described elements, which are fairly cosmetic, the axis options have
major ramifications on the display of data and the ability of the chart reader to interpret
data in a chart.
The built-in choices in the Axes drop-down of the Layout ribbon do not begin to touch on
the powerful choices in the Format Axis dialog box. To start with, there are four kinds of
axes, although the most that you will find in a single chart is three. A pie chart actually has
no axes. A radar chart has one axis. A surface chart has three axes. An X-Y chart has two
axes. All other charts have two axes, with the possibility of adding an optional third axis.
52
Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
The horizontal axis contains the category labels. In most charts, it appears along the bottom
of the chart. In most programs, this axis is also referred to as the x-axis. (Note that in a
bizarre twist, Microsoft calls this axis the primary vertical axis in a bar chart.) Your most
important choice for this axis is whether it should be time based or text based. In a chart with
a text-based axis, the points along the axis are equally spaced. In a chart that uses a time-based
axis, the points are spaced based on the relative time distance between the points. Other
choices include selecting whether the data should be plotted left to right or right to left.
2
The vertical axis contains the scale for the numbers plotted in the chart. The primary vertical axis generally appears along the left side of the chart. In a bar chart, this axis appears
along the bottom of the chart and is called a horizontal axis. Choices for this axis include
scaling of the axis, the minimum and maximum value for the axis, and the distance between
tick marks on the axis. If your data has numbers of different scales, you should specify a
logarithmic axis.
In some charts, where one data series is of a vastly different order of magnitude than the
others, you may want to plot that series on a secondary vertical axis. This axis has the same
choices as the primary vertical axis. It usually appears along the right side of a chart or the
top of a bar chart.
The depth axis is a special axis that appears in 3-D surface charts.
Built-in Axis Choices for the Horizontal Axis and Depth Axis
Excel 2007 provides a few built-in options on the Layout ribbon for each axis. As mentioned previously, these options are a tiny fraction of the ones available. It is interesting to
note that the options chosen for the built-in menus are a few of the obscure options that
you may not have discovered before.
For the horizontal axis, the built-in menu choices allow you to specify that the data should
be plotted left to right or right to left. The other choice is for the horizontal axis to appear
without any tick marks or labeling. This choice seems remarkably similar to the choice
None (see Figure 2.17).
Figure 2.17
The choices in the
Primary Horizontal
Axis menu are interesting but obscure.
Formatting Chart Elements
53
This is one of the few built-in charting menus where you can choose one item and then
alter that selection by choosing another menu item. If you choose Show Right-to-Left Axis
and then Show Axis Without Labeling, you get a right-to-left axis without labeling. If you
reverse those choices, however, the axis labels reappear.
The choices for the depth axis in a surface chart are similar to those for the horizontal axis.
Instead of calling the choices Left-to-Right and Right-to-Left, however, the depth axis
menu offers the options Normal Axis and Reverse Axis.
Built-in Choices for the Vertical Axis
For the vertical axis, Excel offers the choices None, Default, Thousands, Millions, Billions,
and Logarithmic.
The different scales are interesting and allow you to prevent having excess zeros along the
vertical axis. In the bottom chart shown in Figure 2.18, there are so many zeros that it is
difficult to figure out the numbers at a glance. In the top chart, the zeros are reduced, and a
label indicates that the numbers are in billions.
Figure 2.18
Rather than fill your
chart area with zeros,
you can use an axis
scaling factor.
If you access the Format Axis dialog, the Display Units drop-down offers nine scaling
options instead of Thousands, Millions, and Billions. You can use Hundreds, Ten
Thousands, or even Trillions, which would have been the appropriate scaling factor in
Figure 2.18.
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NOTE
54
You can also achieve this effect by using a custom number format with commas at the end of the
code. Each comma at the end of the number format divides values by 1,000.
Logarithmic is a useful choice when you need to compare numbers of different scales along
the same series. This is described in the next section.
2
Using a Logarithmic Axis
While the concept of logarithmic axes sounds scary, there is a simple use for logarithmic
axes. (A logarithm is the power to which a base, such as 10, must be reduced to produce a
given number.)
Say that you have a series of data with both large and small data values (for example, sales
by model line). Your company probably has the high-flying models that account for 80% of
your revenue and then some older-model lines that you are still hanging around. When you
try to plot these items on a chart, Excel must make the axis scale large enough to show the
sales of the best-selling products. This causes the detail for the smaller product lines to
become lost because the values are a small relative percentage of the entire scale.
In Figure 2.19, there is important data regarding the first three product lines, but no one
will be able to tell when they look at the chart whether the sales of these products were
near the forecast.
Figure 2.19
It’s impossible to
make out the detail
of the smaller product lines because
they are relatively
too small compared
to the largest product line.
The solution is to convert the axis to a logarithmic axis. In a logarithmic axis, the distance
from 1 to 10 is the same as the distance from 10 to 100, and so on. This allows you to easily see detail of the product selling a few hundred units as well as the products selling
100,000 units.
To convert to a logarithmic scale, you choose Layout, Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, Show
Axis with Log Scale. The result is a chart such as the one in Figure 2.20. Notice how you
can now see that the actual sales were lower than the forecast in the A107 and A106 product lines.
Formatting Chart Elements
55
Figure 2.20
If you convert to a log
scale, you can see detail
for small items as well as
large items.
NOTE
2
You cannot use the log scale if your data contains negative numbers.There is no way to raise 10 to a
power and get a negative number.It would actually be cool if Excel could use the log concept in order
to show negative numbers—sort of a pseudo-log scale.Maybe Microsoft will add this in Excel 2009.
Considering Date Versus Text-Based Axes
In most Excel charts, the points along the horizontal axis are equidistant. This makes sense
when you are comparing departments or regions or even when you are comparing months
of the year.
Other times, your horizontal axis might be based on dates, and these points may not be
equally spaced. Figure 2.21 shows the results of random quality control audits. Because the
audits are supposed to be a surprise, they do not happen at regular periods. In the top
chart, the axis uses a text-based setting and shows the points at equal distances from each
other. In the bottom chart, the axis uses a date-based setting, and you can see that certain
audits happened closer to or farther away from each other.
Figure 2.21
You can explicitly control
whether the horizontal
axis is equally spaced, as
in the text-based axis
here, or if it is date
based.
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Excel often auto-selects which type of axis to use. To control the axis setting, you can select
Layout, Axes, Primary Horizontal Axis, More Primary Horizontal Axis Options, Axis
Options, and choose Text Axis or Date Axis from the Axis Type section.
C A S E S T U DY
Using a Date-Based Axis to Represent Time
2
Frustratingly, Excel does not offer a time-based axis. If you wanted to plot values that occur at certain times of day, there
is no automatic method for achieving this effect.To create the chart in Figure 2.22, for example, you follow these steps:
1. Convert your time values to whole numbers, using =HOURS(A2)*60+MINUTES(A2). Use this column as your
category values.
2. Create a line chart.
3. Change the horizontal axis to a date-based axis.
4. Using the built-in styles on the Layout ribbon, turn off the horizontal and vertical axes.
5. Turn on data labels for all points. Specify that the data labels should be above the point.Turn off the labels.
6. Find individual points that represent key times. (For example, Figure 2.22 uses 7 a.m., noon, 5 p.m., and 10 p.m.)
Click twice to select the corresponding data point. Right-click and choose Add Data Label.This adds a silly label
such as 459 to the point; you will fix this in the next step. Repeat this step for the other three key points in the day.
7. Click a data label, and all labels are selected. Click a second time to select the individual label.Type a new value for
the label, such as 7AM, and press Enter.The label changes to the text you typed. (Note that while you are typing,
you cannot see the value being typed.You have to wait until you press Enter to see the value.) Repeat this step for
the other visible data labels.
Figure 2.22
Creating a timebased axis require a
massive kluge.
Changing the Scale of an Axis
Typically, a chart has a vertical axis that runs from zero to a value larger than the largest
value in the dataset. This is not ideal for some datasets.
The chart in Figure 2.23 shows daily changes in a measurement that typically fluctuates
from 802 to 804. If you use a zero-based vertical axis, as in the top chart, you cannot make
out any variability. If you instead change the vertical axis to run from 801 to 804.5, you can
see the daily fluctuations in the value, as shown in the bottom chart in the figure.
Formatting Chart Elements
57
Figure 2.23
Altering the scale of the
axis allows you to see
detail in certain datasets.
2
Clearly, altering the axis in Figure 2.23 makes sense. If you didn’t change the axis, the chart
reader would not be able to make out the variability in a value that is clearly fluctuating
wildly within the expected range of values.
In other cases, altering the axis is a great way to mislead people. For example, the top chart
in Figure 2.24 shows a 50% increase from 1997 to 2006. If someone wants to manipulate
the reader’s opinion, he or she can change the minimum and maximum values along the vertical axis. The bottom chart contains the same data as the top chart, but the increase looks
far more severe because the scale has been adjusted to focus on values between 5 and 9.
The spin-meisters behind political candidates are experts at manipulating the vertical axis
in order to lie or mislead with charts.
When you create a chart, Excel automatically decides whether the vertical axis should reach
to zero. The rule is fairly simple: If the range between the lowest and highest values in the
dataset is less than 20% of the lowest value, Excel automatically chooses a scale that is not
zero based. For example, say that you are plotting data that ranges from 100 to 198. This is
a range of 98. Because 98 is almost 50% of the lowest value, Excel automatically creates a
vertical axis that extends to 0. As another example, say that you are plotting data that
ranges from 1,000 to 1,098. This is a range of 98, but 98 is less than 10% of the lowest
value. Excel creates a vertical axis that brackets the range—perhaps 950 to 1,150.
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Figure 2.24
2
Two charts of the
same data paint different pictures when
the range of the
vertical scale is
adjusted. (The single
vertical line
between ‘99 and ‘00
is actually drawn in
using Insert,
Shapes.)
If you are not trying to mislead with your chart, you can usually accept Excel’s decision on
the vertical axis scale. However, if you need to override the setting, you follow these steps:
1. Select the chart.
2. Choose Layout, Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, More Primary Vertical Axis Options.
Excel displays the Format Axis dialog. The axis scale options are in the Axis Options
category.
3. To override the minimum value on the axis, choose the Fixed option button for
Minimum. You can then type a value for the minimum value to show on the axis.
Figure 2.25 shows the options that are available in the Format Axis dialog.
In Figure 2.25, note the settings Major Unit and Minor Unit. These values are used to
control the placement of horizontal gridlines on the chart.
Formatting Chart Elements
59
Figure 2.25
You can control the minimum and maximum values along the vertical
axis by using this dialog.
2
Displaying and Formatting Gridlines
Gridlines help the reader to locate data on a chart. Without gridlines, it is difficult to follow the plotted points over to the vertical axis in order to figure out the value of a point.
Gridlines work in conjunction with the Major Unit and Minor Unit settings in the Format
Axis dialog (refer to Figure 2.25). The built-in options in the Layout ribbon allow you to
turn on major, minor, major and minor, or no gridlines.
Figure 2.26 shows four versions of the same chart. In this chart, the major axis unit is 50
and the minor axis unit is 10.
Figure 2.26
The built-in choices
allow you to display
major gridlines, minor
gridlines, both, or none.
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Choosing to display minor gridlines, as in the chart shown in the upper right of Figure
2.26, causes Excel to draw 25 horizontal lines on the chart. This seems like overkill as it is
difficult to follow the gridlines across the chart.
Initially, both major and minor gridlines are formatted as 0.75-point lines. This means that
selecting Major & Minor Gridlines looks the same as choosing just Minor Gridlines. To
make the major gridlines stand out, as in the lower-right chart in the figure, you have to
format the major gridlines.
Creating Unobtrusive Gridlines by Using Format Gridline
Gridlines start out as 0.75-point lines. If you plan to display major and minor gridlines on a
chart, you likely want to format the gridlines differently.
CAUTION
Using the More Primary Horizontal Gridline Options selection in the built-in menu on the Layout
ribbon always leads to a dialog to format the major gridlines.This is particularly frustrating when
your chart displays only the minor gridlines. For trouble-free access to the Format Minor Gridlines
option, you select Vertical (Value) Axis Minor Gridlines from the drop-down in the Current Selection
group of the Layout ribbon. After you have selected the minor gridlines, you click the Format
Selection button, which is immediately below the drop-down.
Each Format Gridlines dialog box has three tabs:
■
Line Color—You can choose a solid-color line in any color, a gradient line in a variety
of colors, or an automatic line. When you choose a gradient, Excel applies a slightly
different shade to each gridline.
■
Line Style—You can control the width of each gridline, in 0.25-point increments.
You can choose Dash Type to make the gridlines appear as dots, dashes, or various
combinations.
■
Shadow—You can add a shadow to your gridlines. Settings allow you to change the
shadow color, transparency, size, blur, angle, and distance. Nothing shouts “chartjunk”
more than a shadow on gridlines.
Figure 2.27 shows four varieties of horizontal gridlines and the Line Style tab of the
Format Gridlines dialog box.
TIP
2
The best gridlines are unobtrusive and accent your message instead of overpowering it. Using a
dashed thin gridline in a subtle color allows someone to use the gridlines if necessary but makes
sure that the gridlines do not overpower the message.
Formatting Chart Elements
61
Figure 2.27
You can make the gridlines as subtle or prominent as you wish.
2
Controlling Placement of Major and Minor Gridlines
You can use the settings in the Format Axis dialog to control the placement of major and
minor gridlines. For the vertical axis, you can change the Major Unit and Minor Unit settings to control the spacing of the horizontal gridlines. Although you are allowed to choose
something else, for best results, the major unit should be a multiple of the minor unit.
In Figure 2.28, the top and left charts show various settings for the major and minor units
and their impact on the gridlines.
Figure 2.28
By changing the units on
the Format Axis dialog,
you can control the spacing between horizontal
gridlines.
In order to control the placement of vertical gridlines, you have to format the horizontal
axis. There is a setting called Interval Between Tick Marks. In the lower-right chart shown
in Figure 2.28, the interval has been increased to 5. This causes Excel to display a vertical
gridline after every five points.
Formatting the Plot Area
Thankfully, Excel 2007 creates a simple white plot area as the default. In previous versions
of Excel, the plot area always started as a gray background, which looked horrible when the
chart was printed on a monochrome printer.
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When the plot area was gray, I almost always customized the plot area, simply to do away with
the gray. Now it is your call if you want to change the white to something a bit more fancy.
The built-in choices on the Layout menu are to either turn off the plot area, resulting in a
white background, or to use a fill of the default color, as defined by the chart style chosen on
the Design ribbon. In many cases, this default is white, so both choices lead to the same result.
2
To have better control over the plot area, you have to choose the More Plot Area Options
from the built-in menu. Format Plot Area allows you to choose either No Fill, Solid Fill,
Gradient Fill, or Picture or Texture Fill.
Some of the cool plot area options involve changing the transparency of the plot area. This
actually works in conjunction with the formatting of the chart area. If you make the plot
area 90% transparent, then you can see the formatting of the chart area. If you format the
chart area to be transparent, then you actually see through to the spreadsheet.
Using a Gradient for the Plot Area
Setting up a simple two-color gradient has become far more difficult in Excel 2007 than it
used to be. Microsoft offers many more choices for controlling the gradient, but this causes
the process of setting up the gradient to be much more difficult.
The first set of choices involves choosing whether the gradient should be linear, radial, or
rectangular, or whether it should follow a predefined path. Within the linear gradients, you
can specify a direction, such as 90 degrees for top to bottom, or 180% for right to left.
With the radial and rectangular gradients, you can specify whether the gradient radiates
from the center or from a particular corner. The path type creates a shape similar to using
Rectangular, from Center. Figure 2.29 shows a variety of gradient types.
Figure 2.29
The gradient types
can be linear, radial,
or rectangular.
The next choices involve the number of colors. You can either choose a predefined color
scheme from the Preset drop-down, or you can specify your own color scheme by defining
a number of gradient stops. Each stop is assigned a color, a transparency, and a position
ranging from 0% to 100%. You can edit only one gradient stop at a time.
Formatting Chart Elements
63
C A S E S T U DY
Creating a Custom Gradient
Say that you want the plot area to contain a two-color gradient, flowing from green on the top to white on the bottom.
This was simple in Excel 2003. It is difficult to set up in Excel 2007 for the first chart. However, if you have many charts to
format in the same Excel session, the settings from the first gradient will remain in the Format Plot Area dialog box, making it easier to format subsequent charts.You might decide that the top 5% of the chart should be solid green, the bottom 5% of the chart should be solid white, and everything in between should be a gradient from green to white.The first
gradient stop would indicate a color green and 5% as the position.The second gradient stop would indicate a color of
white and 95% as the position. Everything from 5% to 95% would be a blend from green to white.To use a lighter color
green, you can increase the transparency of the green stop.
If you have previously created a chart with a predefined gradient, you might find that the default gradient has 3 through
6 stops already defined. If this is the case, you select the later stops and click Remove to remove them.
To set up a two-color gradient, you follow these steps.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Select a chart. From the Layout tab, choose Plot Area, More Plot Area Options.
Change the Fill setting from Automatic to Gradient Fill.
Choose Linear gradient.
Change the angle to 90 degrees.
Open the Gradient Stops drop-down. If there are more than two stops, select the last stop and click Remove.
Continue removing any stops higher than Stop 2.
6. Choose Stop 1 from the drop-down. Choose a green color. Set the stop position at 5%. Set the transparency to 25%
to make a lighter green.
7. Choose Stop 2 from the drop-down. Choose white as the color. Set the stop position at 95%.
The result is a two-color gradient ranging from dark green at the top to white at the bottom. Figure 2.30 shows the
gradient and the setting for Stop 2.
Figure 2.30
Creating a simple twocolor gradient requires
far more steps in Excel
2007 than in previous
versions.
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Chapter 2
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NOTE
64
After you have created a gradient, Excel remembers the settings and automatically applies them to
future gradients that you set up.
Using a Picture or Texture for the Plot Area
2
You now have many more options available when you want to use a texture or a picture for
the plot area. When you choose Picture or Texture Fill, a Texture drop-down appears, with
the same two dozen textures that have been in Office for years. To use a picture instead,
you click the File button and browse your drives to locate a picture to insert.
When you choose a picture, it is stretched or shrunk to completely fill the plot area. This
might end up causing your logo to be a little squashed, as in the top-left chart in Figure
2.31. To make your picture keep its correct aspect ratio, you choose the Tile Picture as
Texture check box in the Format Plot Area dialog.
When you choose to tile the picture, you have a number of choices available in the Tiling
Options section. In the top-center chart in Figure 2.31, the Scale X and Scale Y options are
set to 10% in order to create a repeating pattern of logos. The first logo is aligned with the
top left of the plot area.
Figure 2.31
When you choose a
picture, clip art, or
texture, you can
choose to show a
single stretched
image or to tile the
image at various
sizes.
Although it is not appropriate with logos, you can choose for alternating tiles of the image
to be mirror images of the first. You can have every other column show horizontal mirror
images, as in the top-right chart, have every other row show vertical mirror images, or turn
on both horizontal and vertical mirror images, as in the bottom-right chart shown in
Figure 2.31.
Formatting Chart Elements
65
To lighten the picture, you adjust the Transparency slider to the right. The bottom-center
chart in Figure 2.31 has a 40% transparency.
Mixing the Plot Area Color with the Chart Area Color
The Transparency slider on the Format Plot Area dialog allows you to see through the plot
area to view whatever formatting has been applied to the chart area.
You may notice that there is not an icon on the Layout ribbon for formatting the chart
area. Select the chart area by clicking any white space just inside the border of the chart.
Click Format Selection in the Layout ribbon, press Ctrl+1, or choose Format from the
right-click menu to access the Format Chart Area dialog.
In the top three charts in Figure 2.32, the chart area includes the default opaque white formatting. If you specify that the black formatting of the plot area be 75% transparent, you
have a plot area that is 25% black and 75% white. If you choose a black plot area that is
100% transparent, you see through the plot area, to the white chart area background.
Figure 2.32
Increasing the transparency of the plot area
allows the formatting of
the chart area to show
through.
The transparency options become more interesting if you first format the chart area. In the
bottom-center chart in Figure 2.32, the chart area has been formatted with a wood grain
effect. You achieve this by making the plot area black, with a 60% transparency.
In the bottom-right chart in Figure 2.32, the chart area has been formatted with the None
option or using a solid color with 100% transparency. When the plot area is formatted as
100% transparent, you can see through the plot area and the chart area to the underlying
cells in the spreadsheet.
Formatting the Chart Walls and Floor of a 3-D Chart
With a 3-D chart, you can format the chart wall and chart floor instead of the plot area.
Drop-downs on the Layout ribbon offer built-in choices to turn on the formatting of
either the chart wall or the chart floor. Three different components can be formatted:
the back wall, the side wall, and the chart floor.
2
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If you use the Current Selection drop-down on the left side of the Layout ribbon, you can
select the floor, back wall, side wall, or walls. Selecting Walls is the same as selecting both
the back wall and the side wall.
After you have selected an element, you can use the Format Selection button under the
drop-down to format the element. As with the plot area, you can specify a solid fill, a gradient, a texture, or a picture.
Figure 2.33 illustrates the various elements that can be individually formatted.
2
Figure 2.33
In a 3-D chart, you
can format the walls
individually or as a
single unit.
Controlling 3-D Rotation in a 3-D Chart
You have a number of options for rotating a 3-D chart. Of the available options, you are
most likely to change the X rotation and leave the other angles alone:
■
X rotation—You can choose a value from 0 to 359.9 degrees to rotate the floor of the
chart counterclockwise. The chart at the top-right of Figure 2.34 has been rotated 30
degrees from the default rotation. This rotation forces the series names to move clockwise to the left. In some cases, you might be able to better see a short series by rotating the x-axis.
■
Y rotation—You can choose a value from –90 degrees to 90 degrees to change the
height of the viewer with respect to the chart. In the default 15% Y rotation, it appears
that the reader is slightly above the chart. For a 0-degree rotation, the view appears as
if you are at about eye level with the chart, as shown in the chart at the top left of
Figure 2.35. At a 90-degree rotation, you appear to be looking straight down on the
chart, making it impossible to judge the height of any columns, as shown in the chart
at the bottom right of Figure 2.35. Negative rotations create a view where you are
Formatting Chart Elements
67
actually looking up at the chart from underneath a transparent floor, as shown in the
bottom-left chart in Figure 2.35. For best results, you should stick with values from 0
to 20 degrees for the Y rotation.
Figure 2.34
Rotating the x-axis turns
the floor of the chart
clockwise.
2
Figure 2.35
You can change your
angle of view by using
the Y rotation.
■
Perspective—You can choose a value from 0 to 120 in order to further distort a chart.
If you have ever used a wide-angle lens on a camera, you might have noticed that items
in the foreground appear unusually large, while items in the background appear unusually small. Increasing the perspective is similar to using a wide-angle camera. The
chart at the top right of Figure 2.36 has an increased perspective. Note how the Q4
bars seem to shrink in this view.
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Chapter 2
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Figure 2.36
Settings for perspective, depth, and
height let you twist
and stretch a chart.
2
■
Depth—You can choose a value from 0% to 2000% of the base. Decreasing the ratio
of depth to the base creates a chart where the columns become wide rectangles, as
shown in the chart at the lower left of Figure 2.36.
■
Height—You can uncheck the Autoscale check box to enable the Height setting. You
can choose a value from 0% to 500% of the base. The bottom-right chart in Figure
2.36 shows a chart with an increased height:width ratio.
Forecasting with Trendlines
A trendline attempts to fit existing data points to a formula and extend that formula into
the future. When you add a trendline to a chart, Excel uses least-squares regression to find
the best line to represent the data points. Excel can either draw the trendline for existing
points to indicate whether the points are trending up or down, or it can extend the trendline into the future to project whether you will meet a goal.
In Figure 2.37, actual progress toward a goal is tracked in column B. Note that because the
project is in process, several points in the dataset are not yet filled in.
Adding a trendline allows you to project where the project will finish if you continue working at the current pace. To add a trendline, you select Layout, Trendline, Linear Trendline.
Excel asks to which series it should add a trendline. If you choose the actual series, Excel
adds a new virtual series to the chart. This series is plotted out to the end of the data series.
In Figure 2.38, you can see that the linear trendline is projecting that you will have only 50
units complete by the 20th day.
Although creating a trendline requires only a few clicks, there are several trendline options
worth learning. These are described in the following sections.
Formatting Chart Elements
69
Figure 2.37
This chart shows the
actual points and a goal
line that indicates how
much progress should be
made each day in order
to reach the project
completion.
2
Figure 2.38
The trendline says that,
based on your current
run rate, you will severely
miss the deadline.
Formatting a Trendline
To format a trendline, you right-click the trendline and choose Format Trendline. Options
in the Format Trendline dialog allow you to change the line color and the line style. I usually change the dash type on the Line Style category to show a dashed line. This indicates
that it is not actual data but is a computer projection. I also change the color, often to red.
When a project is falling behind schedule, the red dashed trendline becomes a call to
action. The trendline says, “You need to pick up the pace of production—not just for one
day, but for several sustained days.”
Say that you suddenly do 10 units of production on the 11th day. Even though this brings
the project back on track with 42 units complete and 41.25 needed to stay headed toward
the goal, the trendline looks at your average daily production, sees that you spend 10 days
only averaging 3 a day, and is not convinced that just because you had 1 good day, you will
make the final goal. In this case, the trendline adjusts the projection from 50 to about 57.
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This makes the trendline seem like a bit of a cynic, when in reality, it is just using simple
math to analyze your behavior thus far in the project.
Adding the Trendline Equation to a Chart
To help understand how a trendline is calculated, you can display the equation on the chart.
CAUTION
While you can usually click the More item from most Layout drop-down menus in order to format an
item,this does not work with a trendline.If you click the More button,Excel adds a second trendline to
your chart.Instead,you should select Series “Actual”Trendline from the Current Selection drop-down
on the left side of the Layout ribbon and then choose Format Selection to access the dialog box.
2
In the Trendline Options category of the Format Trendline dialog, you choose Display Equation on the Chart. For a linear trendline, Excel displays a trendline in the form of y = mx + b.
You can optionally choose to force the y-intercept to be zero or display the R-squared
value on the chart. R-squared is a measure of how closely the trendline fits the existing
points. While R-squared can range from 0 to 1, values closer to 1 indicate that the trendline is doing a good job of representing the data points.
In Figure 2.39, the equation predicts that you magically started with 6.8 units done on Day
0 and then have averaged 2.5 units a day since then. This is pretty good because in this
case, several units were finished in the previous month but did not make up a full case
pack, so their totals were added to Day 1 of the current month. The R-squared of 0.85 says
that the trendline is a pretty good fit. The bottom line is that you need to focus on production for the next nine days if you want to make the goal.
Figure 2.39
You can add an
equation to a chart
to see how Excel is
fitting the chart to
the line.
Choosing a Forecast Method
In business, you most often use a linear trendline, which assumes a constant rate of progress
throughout the life of the chart. Several other forecast methods are available for trendlines:
Formatting Chart Elements
71
■
Exponential—An exponential trendline, most often found in science, describes a population that is rapidly increasing over successive generations, such as the number of
fungi in a Petri dish over time.
■
Logarithm—A logarithmic trendline results when there is an initial period of rapid
growth that levels off over time.
■
Polynomial—This trendline can describe a line that undulates due to two to six external factors. When you specify a polynomial trendline, you have to specify which order
of polynomial. For example, in a third-order polynomial, the line is fit to the equation
y = b + c1x + c2x2 + c3x3.
■
Power—A power trendline fits the points to a line, where y = cx . This describes a line
that increases at a specific exponential rate over time.
■
Moving average—A moving average trendline is used to smooth out data that fluctuates over time. A typical trendline would use a three-month moving average.
b
Adding Drop Lines to a Line or Area Chart
Area and line charts are great at showing trends, but it is often difficult for the reader to figure
out the exact values for data points. Because the line is floating in space, you are counting on
the viewer’s eye being able to travel from the horizontal axis straight up to the data series line.
A drop line is a vertical line that extends vertically from a line or area chart and extends
down to the horizontal axis. As shown in the lower chart in Figure 2.40, the drop lines help
you see that the March point is exactly at 300. This would be difficult to discern in the
chart shown at the top of the figure.
To add a drop line, you select the chart and then choose Layout, Lines, Drop Lines.
Figure 2.40
Drop lines help you visualize the exact value of
each point along the
horizontal axis.
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Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Adding Up/Down Bars to a Line Chart
If you have a line chart with two different data series, you might want to compare those
series at each point along the horizontal axis. There are two different options for this, available in two locations along the Layout tab of the ribbon.
In the lower chart in Figure 2.41, high-low lines extend from one line to the other line.
These are created using Layout, Lines, High-Low Lines.
2
In the chart at the right in Figure 2.41, up/down bars extend from one line to the other
line. These bars appear in contrasting colors, depending on which line is higher at that particular point. To add up/down bars, you choose Layout, Up/Down Bars, Up/Down Bars.
Figure 2.41
High-low lines and
up/down bars help
show the relationship between two
series at specific
points along the
x-axis.
Showing Acceptable Tolerances by Using Error Bars
I used to run monthly sales and operations planning meetings. In these meetings, the leaders of the sales, marketing, engineering, and manufacturing departments would meet in
order to decide on the production plan for each sales model. During the next month’s
meeting, a chart would compare the previous month’s forecast to actual demand. If the
demand was more than 20% above or below the plan, someone had to present the root
causes for that variance. The discussion was often lively: Did the east region really have no
clue that Customer XYZ was about to order 1,000 units, or was it sand-bagging so that it
could have a lower quota?
To figure out which products required this scrutiny, both the forecast and actual performance were plotted for each product line. Error bars showing the acceptable 20% tolerance were added to the forecast line. If the actual line was within the 20% tolerance, no
discussion was needed.
Formatting a Series
73
Excel 2007 makes it easy to add error bars: You select one series in the chart and choose
Layout, Error Bars, More Error Bar Options. In the Format Error Bars dialog, you can
choose whether the error bars should extend up, down, or both from the line. You can add
a cap or have no cap. In the lower section, you can specify one of five methods for calculating the size of the error bar. You can specify that the error bars should extend a fixed number of units, base this on standard deviation, and so on. In the sales and operations planning
meetings, it was appropriate to add an error bar that was 20% of each data point. Thus, if
someone had forecast 200 units of a product, anything from 160 to 240 was an acceptable
demand, and for the products with a forecast of 8,000, the acceptable tolerance was 7,400
to 9,600.
Figure 2.42 shows a chart with 20% error bars.
Figure 2.42
The error bars show an
acceptable tolerance, or a
margin of error around
each point.
Formatting a Series
It is somewhat strange that there is not a button on the Layout ribbon for the most popular
charting element—the Series element.
NOTE
In order to format the series, you use the Current Selection drop-down on the left side of
either the Layout or Format ribbon. Choose the appropriate series from the list to select
the series. Click the Format Selection button to access the Format Data Series dialog.
There are alternate ways to format the data series. If you can click on an element in the chart to
select it, you can type Ctrl+1 or right-click and choose Format. Using the Current Selection dropdown is usually more reliable. If several data series are plotted as lines that are very close together,
it is often difficult to select the correct line.
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Chapter 2
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The Series Options category allows you to plot a series on a secondary axis. This is useful if
your one data series contains data that is of a different order of magnitude than the other
series. For example, you might chart revenue and gross profit percent. By moving the gross
profit percent to the Secondary Axis, you can see detail of revenue in millions and gross
profit percentages in the 50% range.
Using the remaining categories, you can edit the Marker style for a series, including the
marker color, the line color, the line style, shadow, and 3D formatting.
2
Formatting a Single Data Point
The first click on a data series selects the entire series. If you pause for a moment and then
perform a second click on a data point, the Current Selection drop-down indicates that you
have selected an individual data point. The drop-down might say Series “Profit” Point
“2006”.
It is interesting that the only way to perform this selection is by performing two single
clicks on the chart. The Current Selection drop-down does not offer a list of all the data
points.
After selecting a data point, use the Format Selection button located on the left side of the
Layout or Format ribbon. You can then change the color or marker style of a single point.
Using the Format Ribbon
When you first install Excel 2007, all the new chart options allow you to create fresh and
new-looking charts. If you stay on the Design ribbon, you can easily create 21,600 different
charts. If you expand to the Layout ribbon, you can create 601 billion different charts. If
you include the 20 themes on the Page Layout ribbon, you can create 12 trillion different
chart types. If this is not enough variability for you, if you ever get tired of these built-in
options, you can head to the Format ribbon and have micro-control over the formatting for
any element of the chart.
There actually are a few really cool settings on the Format ribbon. If you venture there,
you can create amazing translucent charts to wow your co-workers who have become bored
with the standard Excel 2007 charts.
Converting Text to WordArt
You use the WordArt Styles group on the Format ribbon to apply WordArt styles to any
text on a chart. You are not allowed to use the type-twisting options in the Transform
menu, but you can add shadow, glow, or reflection to the 20 styles in the WordArt menu.
Using the Shape Styles Gallery
The Shape Styles gallery contains 36 built-in styles that can be applied to any shape.
There are really six styles for each of the six accent colors in the current theme. The six
Using the Format Ribbon
75
styles progress from simple on the first row of the gallery to extreme on the last row of the
gallery.
To quickly format a particular element, you click that element and choose a new style from
the gallery.
When using the Shape Styles gallery, keep these tips in mind:
■
The colors and effects available in the gallery change if you select a new theme from
the Page Layout ribbon.
■
The first time you click a column, you select the entire series. A second click selects
only one column or data point.
■
If you find it difficult to select a particular item on a chart, you can select the item
from the Current Selection drop-down at the left edge of the Format ribbon.
■
Live Preview works in this gallery. Although you see the effect after hovering over a
tile in the gallery, you actually have to click the tile to apply the style.
Figure 2.43 shows the Shape Styles gallery and six charts that represent the six styles available when the Office theme is active.
Figure 2.43
The Shape Styles gallery
offers six effects for each
of six accent colors.
Using the Shape Fill and Shape Effects
Some of the best effects don’t seem to be available in the built-in charts. You can access a
myriad of other effects by using the Shape Fill, Shape Outline, and Shape Effects dropdowns on the Format ribbon. Figure 2.44 shows a chart in which each bar has a different
effect from these drop-downs applied.
2
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Chapter 2
Customizing Charts
Figure 2.44
These effects are
available on the
Format ribbon.
2
Using Preset Shape Effects
The Preset menu on the Shape Effects drop-down offers 12 built-in combinations of
shadow, reflection, glow, soft edges, bevel, and rotation. Figure 2.45 shows the 12 preset
thumbnails, plus several charts created with the various presets.
Figure 2.45
The 12 charts on the
sheet match the
sequence of built-in
presets on the
menu.
For more control of the effects, you can choose the 3-D Options selection at the bottom of
the menu. In the 3-D Format category, the Material drop-down offers 11 textures. The final
three textures are translucent textures that give a glass appearance when applied to a bar.
Replacing Data Markers with Clip Art or Shapes
77
In Figure 2.46, the five bars are formatted as wire frame, powder, translucent powder, clear,
and plastic.
Figure 2.46
These bars were formatted
by changing the surface
material in the Format
Data Point dialog.
2
Replacing Data Markers with Clip Art or Shapes
Rather than using columns or cylinders for your data markers, you can use a different
shape, such as a Shape or clip art. To achieve this effect, you can change the fill of a data
series and then turn off the border around the data point.
Using Clip Art as a Data Marker
Office Online offers thousands of free clip art images. If you have an Internet connection,
you can easily insert any of these images in a chart to replace the data markers. Follow
these steps to create a pictograph:
1. In a 2-D column chart, select a data series. Right-click the data series and choose
Format Data Series.
2. In the Format Data Series dialog that appears, choose the Fill category in the left
panel. In the right panel, choose Picture or Texture Fill.
3. Click the Clip Art button. Excel displays a shortened version of the clip art pane,
called Select Picture.
4. Select the Include Content from Office Online check box.
5. In the Search Text box, type a keyword to describe the clip art and then click Go.
6. Browse through the returned images. You are looking for something that is cartoonish
and, preferably, narrow. Rather than clip art with a detailed background, look for clip
art where only the character appears. When you find an acceptable image, click OK.
7. Click the Border Color category and choose No Line.
8. Click Close to close the Format Data Series dialog.
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Chapter 2
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The result is a chart similar to the bottom chart in Figure 2.47. The clip art is stretched to
indicate the height of the bar.
Figure 2.47
You can replace the
data markers with
shapes or clip art for
visual interest.
TIP
For best results, don’t combine a picture with translucent surfaces.
NOTE
2
Fans of Edward Tufte may point out that he rails against pictographs in his books. However, what
Tufte complained about was both the width and height of the clip art changing in response to
increased numbers. Microsoft does not increase the width of the bars, only the height, ensuring that
the area of the image stays roughly proportional to the data that it is representing.
Using a Shape in Place of a Data Marker
NOTE
Replacing a data marker with one of the 175 shapes in the Shape dialog box is slightly
more difficult than replacing a data marker with clip art. The fill settings on the Format
Data Series dialog do not allow you to specify a shape. However, they allow you to import
a shape from the Clipboard.
The AutoShapes from Excel 97 through Excel 2003 have been renamed shapes in Excel 2007.
You follow these steps to create the top chart in Figure 2.47:
1. Create a 2-D column chart.
2. Select a cell in the worksheet. From the Insert menu, choose an upward arrow from
the Shapes drop-down.
Replacing Data Markers with Clip Art or Shapes
79
3. Click and drag to draw an arrow on the worksheet.
4. Right-click the shape and choose Copy
5. Click the data series in the chart. Right-click and choose Format Data Series.
6. In the Format Data Series dialog that appears, choose the Fill category in the left
panel. In the right panel, choose Picture or Texture Fill.
7. In the Insert From section, click the Clipboard button. Excel replaces the columns
with the arrows.
8. Click Close to close the Format Data Series dialog.
This technique works best with 2-D charts. If you attempt to apply a shape to a 3-D column, the shape is pasted to each vertical face of the column.
C A S E S T U DY
Creating a Chart Template
Say that you need to create a series of charts.You like the look of the translucent glass effect available in Excel 2007.
There is not a built-in style for this effect, but you would like to be able to create charts quickly using the glass effect.
The solution is to build one chart and then save that chart as a template. If you then indicate that the template is the
default chart type, you can quickly create new charts simply by using the Alt+F1 keyboard shortcut.
You follow these steps to create the template:
1. Create a chart. Use a 3-D column chart as the chart type.
2. Using the tools on the Layout ribbon, remove the legend.
3. Click one of the columns in the chart to select the data series.
4. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Effects, Bevel, Soft Round.
5. Choose Shape Effects, Bevel, 3-D Options. In the Format dialog, in the 3-D Options category, open the Material dropdown and choose Clear.
6. On the Design ribbon, choose Save As Template. Give the template a name, such as 3DGlass.
7. On the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart Type. Click the Templates category. Click 3DGlass icon in the My
Templates window. Choose Set as Default Chart.
After completing these steps, you can create a 3-D glass chart by simply selecting the data to be charted and pressing
Alt+F1. Excel creates a chart modeled on your glass chart.
Next Steps
In Chapter 3, “Creating Charts That Show Trends,” you will see examples of charts that
show trends, such as column and line charts. You will also learn how to use a trendline to
project a trend into the future.
2
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Creating Charts That Show
Trends
Choosing a Chart Type
You have two excellent choices when creating charts
that show the progress of some value over time.
Because Western cultures are used to seeing time
progress from left to right, you are likely to choose
a chart where the axis moves from left to right—
whether it’s a column chart, line chart, or area
chart.
NOTE
If you have only a few data points, you can use a
column chart. Column charts work easily for 4
quarters or 12 months. Within the column chart
category, you can choose between 2-D and 3-D
styles. If you want to highlight one component of a
sales trend, you can use a stacked column chart.
This book recommends not using pyramid charts or cone charts
because they distort your message. For an example, see “Lying with
Shrinking Charts” in Chapter 14.
3
IN THIS CHAPTER
Choosing a Chart Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
Understanding a Date-Based Axis Versus a
Category-Based Axis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84
Using a Chart to Communicate Effectively . .104
Adding an Automatic Trendline to a Chart . .113
Showing a Trend of Monthly Sales and
Year-to-Date Sales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
Understanding the Shortcomings of Stacked
Column Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
Shortcomings of Showing Many Trends on a
Single Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118
Using a Scatter Plot to Show a Trend . . . . . .119
When you get beyond 12 data points, you should
strongly consider switching to a line chart. A line
chart can easily show trends for hundreds of periods. Line charts can be designed to show only the
data points as markers or to connect the data points
with a straight or smoothed line.
Figure 3.1 shows a chart of 9 data points. This is
few enough data points that a column chart is
meaningful. Figure 3.2 shows a chart of 100+ data
points. With this detail, you should switch to a line
chart in order to show the trend.
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
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Chapter 3
Creating Charts That Show Trends
Figure 3.1
With 12 or fewer
data points, column
charts are viable and
informative.
Figure 3.2
3
When you go
beyond 12 data
points, it is best to
switch to a line chart
without individual
data points.The
bottom chart in this
figure shows the
same data set as a
line chart.
An area chart is a line chart where the area under the line is filled with a shading or color.
This can be appropriate if you want to highlight a particular portion of the time series. If
you have fewer data points, adding drop lines can help the reader determine the actual
value for each time period.
If you are plotting stock market data, you can use stock charts to show the trend of stock
data over time. You can also use high-low-close charts to show the trend of data that might
occur in a range (for example, if you have to track a range of quality rankings for each day).
You might think that a bar chart could be used to show time trends. However, that would
confuse your readers because they expect time to be represented from left to right. In very
rare cases, you might use a bar chart to show a time trend—for example, if you had 40 or
50 points, all with very long category labels, and you needed a printed chart to legibly show
detail for each point. As an example, Figure 3.3 shows sales for 45 daily dates. The chart
would not work as a PowerPoint slide, but if it were printed as a full page on a letter-size
piece of paper, the reader could analyze sales by weekday. Note that in the chart in Figure
3.3, weekend days are plotted in a different color than weekdays.
Pie charts are great for comparisons. If you are thinking about using a series of pie charts to
show changes over time, however, you should instead use a 100% stacked column chart.
Consider the charts in Figure 3.4. It is difficult for the reader’s eye to compare the pie
wedges from year to year. Did market share increase in 2005?
Choosing a Chart Type
83
Figure 3.3
Although time series
typically should run
across the horizontal
axis, this chart allows 45
points to be compared
easily.
3
Figure 3.4
It is difficult to compare
one pie to the next.
In Figure 3.5, the same data is plotted as a 100% stacked bar chart. Series lines guide the
reader’s eye from the market share from each year to the next year. The stacked bar chart is
a much easier chart to read than the series of pie charts.
Figure 3.5
In a 100% stacked
bar chart, the same
data from Figure 3.4
is easier to read.
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Chapter 3
Creating Charts That Show Trends
Understanding a Date-Based Axis Versus a Category-Based Axis
Excel offers two types of horizontal axes in a trend chart. Having the proper setting can
ensure that your message is accurate.
If the spacing of events along the time axis is uniform, it does not matter whether you
choose a date-based axis or a text-based axis. The results will be the same. In this case, it is
fine to allow Excel to automatically choose the type of axis.
However, if the spacing of events along the time axis is haphazard, you definitely want to
make sure that Excel is using a date-based axis.
C A S E S T U DY
Accurately Representing Data Using a Time-Based Axis
3
Figure 3.6 shows the spot price for a certain component used in your manufacturing plant.To find this data, you downloaded past purchase orders for that product.Your company doesn’t purchase the component on the same day every
month; therefore, you have an incomplete dataset. In the middle of the dataset, a strike closed one of the vendors, spiking the prices from the other vendors.Your purchasing department had stocked up before the strike and was able to dramatically slow its purchasing during the strike.
Figure 3.6
The top chart uses a
text-based horizontal axis: Every event
is plotted an equal
distance from the
next event.This
leads to the shaded
period being underreported.
In the top chart in Figure 3.6, the horizontal axis is set to a text-based axis, and every data point is plotted an equal distance apart. Because your purchasing department made only two purchases during the strike, it appears as if the time
affected by the strike is very narrow.The bottom chart uses a date-based axis. In this axis, you can see that the strike
actually lasted for half of 2005.
NOTE
Understanding a Date-Based Axis Versus a Category-Based Axis
85
To learn how to highlight a portion of a chart as shown in Figure 3.6, see “Highlighting a Section of
Chart by Adding a Second Series,” later in this chapter.
Usually, if your data contains dates, Excel defaults to a date-based axis. However, you
should explicitly check to make sure that Excel is using the correct type of axis. A number
of potential problems force Excel to choose a text-based axis instead of a date-based axis,
such as dates that are stored as text in a spreadsheet and dates represented by numeric
years. (See the list following Figure 3.7 for other potential problems.)
To explicitly choose an axis type, you follow these steps:
1. Right-click the horizontal axis and choose Format Axis.
2. In the Format Axis dialog box that appears, choose the Axis Options category.
3. Choose either Text Axis or Date Axis, as appropriate, from the Axis Type section (see
Figure 3.7).
Figure 3.7
You can explicitly choose
an axis type rather than
letting Excel choose the
default.
Axis Type Settings
A number of complications that require special handling can occur with your date fields.
The following are some of the problems you might encounter:
■
Dates stored as text—If your dates are stored as text dates instead of real dates, a
date-based axis will never work. You have to use date functions to convert the text
dates to real dates.
■
Dates represented by numeric years—All your trend charts may have category values of 2005, 2006, 2007, and so on. Excel doesn’t naturally recognize these as dates,
but you can trick it into doing so.
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Chapter 3
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■
Dates before 1900—If your company has been around long enough that you are
charting historical trends before January 1, 1900, you are sunk. In Excel’s world, there
are no dates before this time period.
■
Dates that are really time—It is not difficult to imagine charts in which the horizontal axis contains periodic times throughout a day. You might want to use such a chart to
show the number of people entering a bank. For such a chart, you need a time-based
axis, but Excel will group all of the times from a single day into a single point. See
“Using a Workaround to Display a Time-Scale Axis” for the rather complex steps
needed to plot data by periods smaller than a day.
■
Dates that you need to appear as text in order to draw in a decorative element—
The case study, “Using a Decorative Element in a Chart,” later in this chapter, shows a
chart by designer Kyle Fletcher in which the dates are forced to be text.
Each of these situations is discussed in the following sections.
3
Converting Text Dates to Dates
If your cells contain text that looks like dates, the date-based axis will not work. In Figure
3.8, the data came from a legacy computer system. Each date was imported as text instead
of as dates.
Figure 3.8
These dates are
really text, as indicated by the apostrophe before the
date in the formula
bar.
This is a frustrating problem because text dates look exactly like real dates. You may not
notice that they are text dates until you see that changing the axis to a date-based axis has
no effect on the axis spacing.
If you select a cell that looks like a date cell, look in the formula bar, and see an apostrophe
before the date, you know you have text dates (refer to Figure 3.8). This is Excel’s arcane
code to indicate that a date or number should be stored as text instead of a number.
CAUTION
Selecting a new format from the Format Cells dialog does not fix this problem, but it may prevent
you from fixing the problem! If you import your data from a .txt file and choose to format that column as text, Excel changes the numeric format for the range to be text.After a range is formatted as
text, you can never enter a formula, a number, or a date in the range.People try to select the range,
change the format from text to numeric or date, and hope that this will fix the problem, but it
Understanding a Date-Based Axis Versus a Category-Based Axis
87
doesn’t.After you change the format, you still have to use a method described in the section
“Converting Text Dates to Real Dates,”later in this chapter, to convert the text dates to numeric dates.
However, it is still worth changing the format from a text format to anything else. If you do not
change the format, and you then insert a new column to the right of the bad dates, the new column
inherits the text setting from the date column.This causes your new formula (the formula to convert text to dates) to fail. So, even though it doesn’t solve your current problem, you should select
the range, click the Dialog Launcher icon in the lower-right corner of the Number group on the
Home ribbon, and change the format from Text to General. Figure 3.9 shows the More icon.
Dialog Launcher Icon
Figure 3.9
Many groups on the ribbon have this tiny More
icon in the lower-right
corner. Clicking this icon
leads to the legacy dialog box.
Understanding How Excel Stores Dates and Time
On a Windows PC, Excel stores dates as the number of days since January 1, 1900. For a
date such as 9/15/2007, Excel actually stores the value 39,340, but it formats the date to
show you a value such as 09/15/2007.
On a Mac running Mac OS, Excel stores the dates as the number of days since January 1,
1904. The original designers of the Mac OS were trying to squeeze the OS into 64K of
ROM. Since every byte mattered, it seemed unnecessary to add a couple lines of code to
handle the fact that 1900 is not a leap year. Excel for the Mac adopted the 1904 convention. Excel for Windows, which needed to be compatible with Lotus 1-2-3, adopted the
1900 convention. As you will read in the next case study, the 1900 convention incorrectly
made 1900 a leap year.
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C A S E S T U DY
Comparing Date Systems
To see firsthand how important this information really is, try the following:
1. Enter the number 1 in cell A1.
2. Select cell A1. Press Ctrl+1 to access the Format Cells dialog. Change the numeric formatting to display the number
as a date, using the *Wednesday, March 14, 2001 type. On a PC, you see that the number 1 is January 1, 1900.
NOTE
3. Type 2 in cell A1.The date changes to January 2, 1900.
3
If you type 60 in cell A1, you see Wednesday, February 29, 1900—a date that did not exist! When
Mitch Kapor was having Lotus 1-2-3 programmed in 1982, the programmers missed the fact that
there was not to be a leap year in 1900. Lotus was released with the mistake, and every competing
spreadsheet had to reproduce exactly the same mistake to make sure that the billions of spreadsheets using dates produced the same results.While the 1900 date system works fine and reports
the right day of the week for the 39,000 days since March 1, 1900, it reports the wrong day of the
week for the 59 days from January 1, 1900, through February 28, 1900.
Now try this:
1. Select cell B5. Press Ctrl+; to enter today’s date in the cell.
2. Again select cell B5. Press Ctrl+1 to display the Format Cells dialog. Change the number format from a date to a
number.
Your date changes to a number in the 39,000 range (assuming that you are reading this in the 2007–2009 time frame).
This might sound like a lot of hassle, but it is all worth it. If you store your dates as real dates (that is, numbers formatted
to display as a date), Excel can easily do all kinds of date math.You can figure out, for example, how many days exist
between a due date and today by simply subtracting one date from another. Or you can use the WORKDAY function to
figure out how many workdays have elapsed between a hire date and today.
Excel provides a complete complement of functions to deal with dates, including functions
that convert data from text to dates and back.
Excel stores times as decimal fractions of days. For example, you can enter noon today as
=TODAY()+0.5. You can enter 9 a.m. as =TODAY()+0.375. Again, the number format handles
converting the decimals to the appropriate display.
Converting Text Dates to Real Dates
The DATEVALUE function converts text that looks like a date into the equivalent serial number. You can then use the Format Cells dialog to display the number as a date.
Comparing Date Systems
89
The text version of a date can take a number of different formats. Say that your international date settings call for a month/day/year arrangement of the dates; Figure 3.10 shows a
number of valid text formats that can be converted with the DATEVALUE function.
Figure 3.10
The DATEVALUE function can handle any of
the date formats in
column J.
After using the DATEVALUE function, you need to format the result as a date in order to display the numbers as dates.
Figure 3.11 shows a column of text dates. You follow these steps to convert them to real
dates:
Figure 3.11
You need to convert
these text dates to real
dates before creating a
chart.
1. Insert a blank column B by selecting cell B1 and then choosing Insert, Insert Sheet
Columns on the Home ribbon. (Alternatively, use the Excel 2003 shortcut Alt+I+C.)
2. In cell B2, enter the formula =DATEVALUE(A2). Excel displays a number in the 39,000
range in cell B2. You are halfway to the result (see Figure 3.12).
Figure 3.12
The result of the DATEVALUE function is a serial number.You still have
to format the result as a
date.
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Chapter 3
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3. Select cell B2. On the Home ribbon, select the drop-down at the top of the Number
group and choose either Short Date or Long Date. Excel displays the number in cell
B2 as a date (see Figure 3.13). (Alternatively, press Ctrl+1 and select any date format
from the Number tab.)
Figure 3.13
You can choose a
date format from
the Number dropdown on the Home
ribbon.
3
4. Double-click the fill handle in the lower-right corner of cell B2. (The fill handle is the
square dot in the lower-right corner of the active cell indicator.) Excel copies the formula from cell B2 down to your range of dates.
5. If some of the dates appear as #######, you need to make the column wider. To do so,
double-click the border between the column B and column C headings.
6. To convert the live formulas in column B to be static values, while the range of dates in
column B is selected, press Ctrl+C to copy and then on the Home ribbon, select Paste,
Paste Values to convert the formulas to values. (Alternatively, you could use this shortcut: Right-click the right border of the selected range and hold the mouse button down
as you drag right one column and then back to the original location. When you release
the mouse button, choose Copy Here as Values Only from the contextual menu.)
7. Delete the original column A.
After you have converted the text dates to real dates, you can insert a line chart with markers. Excel automatically formats the chart with a date-based axis. In Figure 3.14, the top
chart reflects cells that contain text dates. The bottom chart uses cells in which the text
dates have been converted to numeric dates.
Comparing Date Systems
91
Figure 3.14
When your original data
contains real dates, Excel
automatically chooses a
more accurate datebased axis.The bottom
chart reflects a datebased axis.
TIP
3
There are other methods for converting the data shown in Figure 3.11 to dates. Here are some
examples:
■
Select any empty cell. Press Ctrl+C to copy. Select your dates. On the Home ribbon, select Paste,
Paste Special. In the Paste Special dialog, choose Values in the Paste section and Add in the
Operation section. Click OK.
■
Select the text dates and then, on the Data ribbon, select Text to Columns, Finish.
Converting Bizarre Text Dates to Real Dates
When you rely on others for your source data, you are likely to encounter dates in all sorts
of bizarre formats. While gathering data for this book, for example, I found a dataset where
each date was listed as a range of dates. Each date was in the format 2/4-6/06, indicating
that the data was collected from February 4 through the 6, 2006.
A number of functions, used in combination, can be useful when you’re converting strange
text dates to real dates:
■ =DATE(2006,12,31)—This
■ =LEFT(A1,2)—This
returns the serial number for December 31, 2006.
returns the two leftmost characters from cell A1.
■ =RIGHT(A1,2)—This
returns the two rightmost characters from cell A1.
■ =MID(A1,3,2)—This
returns the third and fourth characters from cell A2. (You read
the function as “return the middle characters from A1, starting at character position 3,
for a length of 2.”)
■ =FIND(“/”,A1)—This
finds the position number of the first slash within A1.
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You follow these steps to convert the text date ranges shown in Figure 3.15 to real dates:
Figure 3.15
A mix of LEFT,
RIGHT, MID, and
FIND functions
parse this text to be
used in the DATE
function.
1. Because the year is always the two rightmost characters in column A, in cell B2, enter
the formula =RIGHT(A2,2).
2. Because the month is the leftmost one or two characters in column A, ask Excel to find
the first slash and then return the characters to the left of the slash. Enter
=FIND(“/”,A2) to indicate that the slash is in second character position. Use
=LEFT(A2,FIND(“/”,A2) to get the proper month number.
3. For the day, you can either choose to extract the first or last date of the range. To
extract the first date, ask for the middle characters, starting one position after the slash.
The logic to figure out if you then need one or two characters is a bit more complicated. You need to find the position of the dash, subtract the position of the slash, and
then subtract 1. Therefore, use this formula in cell D2:
=MID(A2,FIND(“/”,A2)+1,FIND(“-”,A2)-FIND(“/”,A2)-1)
4. Use the DATE function, as follows, in cell E2 to produce an actual date:
=DATE(B2,C2,D2)
NOTE
3
Alternatively, you could use =DATEVALUE(LEFT(A2,FIND("–",A2)-1)&RIGHT(A2,3)).
Dates Not Recognized as Dates: Numeric Years
If you are plotting data where the only identifier is a numeric year, Excel does not automatically recognize this field as a date field.
In Figure 3.16, for example, data is plotted once a decade for the past 50 years and then
yearly for the past decade. Column A contains four-digit years, such as 1955, 1965, and so
on. The default chart shown in the top of the figure does not create a date-based axis. You
know this to be true because the distance from 1955 to 1965 is the same as the distance
from 1995 to 1996.
Comparing Date Systems
93
Figure 3.16
Excel does not recognize
years as dates.
3
There are two solutions to this problem:
■
Convert the years in column A to dates by using =YEAR(A2,12,31). Format the resulting value with a yyyy custom number format. Excel then displays 2005 but actually
stores the serial number for December 31, 2005.
■
Convert the horizontal axis to a date-based axis. Excel then thinks that your chart is
plotting daily dates from May 8, 1905, through June 27, 1905. Because no date format
has been applied to the cells, they show up as the serial numbers 1955 through 2005.
Excel displays the chart properly, even though the settings show that the base units are
days.
Dates Not Recognized as Dates: Dates Before 1900
In Excel 2007, dates from January 1, 1900, through December 31, 9999, are recognized as
valid dates. If you happen to be a company that was founded more than a demisesquicentennial before Microsoft was founded, however, you will potentially have company history
going back before 1900.
Figure 3.17 shows a dataset stretching from 1787 through 1959. The accompanying chart
would lead the reader to believe that the number of states in the United States grew at a
constant rate, a statement that would cause Mr. Kessel, my eighth-grade geography teacher,
to give me an F for this book.
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Chapter 3
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Figure 3.17
Dates from before
1900 are not valid
Excel dates. A datebased axis is not
possible in this case.
Formatting the chart to have a date-based axis does not work because Excel does not recognize dates before 1900 as valid dates. The next two sections discuss possible workarounds.
3
Using a Date-Based Axis with Dates Before 1900 Spanning Less Than 100 Years
In Figure 3.18, the dates in column A are text dates from the 1800s. Excel cannot automatically deal with dates from the 1800s, but it can deal with dates from the 1900s.
Figure 3.18
Transforming the
1800s dates to
1900s dates and
using clever formatting allows Excel to
plot this data with a
date axis.
One solution is to transform the dates to be dates in the valid range of dates that Excel can
recognize. You can use a date format with two years and a good title on the chart to explain
that the dates are from the 1800s.
To create the chart in Figure 3.18, you follow these steps:
1. Insert a blank column B to hold the transformed dates.
2. Enter the formula =DATE(100+RIGHT(A4,4),LEFT(A4,2),MID(A4,4,2)) in cell B4. This
formula converts the 1836 date to a 1936 date.
3. Select cell B4. Press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog. Choose the date format
3/14/01 from the Date category on the Number tab. This formats the 1936 date as
6/15/36. (You will later add a title to indicate that the dates are in the 1800s.)
4. Double-click the fill handle in cell B4 to copy the formula down to all cells.
5. Select the range B3:C17.
Comparing Date Systems
95
6. From the Insert ribbon, choose Charts, Line, 2-D Line, Line.
7. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, No Legend.
8. Right-click the vertical axis along the left side of the chart and choose Format Axis
from the context menu.
9. In the Format Axis dialog that appears, on the Axis Options page, choose the Fixed
option button next to Minimum and enter a fixed value of 20.
10. Without closing the Format Axis dialog, click the dates in the horizontal axis in the
chart. Excel automatically switches to formatting the horizontal axis, and the settings
in the Format Axis dialog redraw to show the settings for the horizontal axis. In the
Axis Type section, choose Date Axis. Click Close to close the dialog box.
11. From the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title.
12. Click the State Count title. Type the new title Westward
1845-1875 Added 13<enter>New States to the Union.
Expansion<enter>During
Click outside the title to exit
Text Edit mode.
13. Click the title once. You should have a solid selection rectangle around the title. On
the Home ribbon, click the Decrease Font Size button. Click the Left Align button.
14. Carefully click the border of the title. Drag it so it appears in the top-left corner of the
chart.
15. Select the dates in B4:B17. Press Ctrl+1 to access the Format Cells dialog. On the
Number tab, click the Custom category. Type the custom number format ‘yy. This
changes the values shown along the horizontal axis from m/d/yy format to show a twodigit year preceded by an apostrophe.
The result is the chart shown in Figure 3.18. The reader may believe that the chart is
showing dates in the 1800s, but Excel is actually showing dates in the 1900s.
This method fails when you are trying to display more than 100 years of data points.
Using a Date-Based Axis with Dates Before 1900 Spanning More Than 100 Years
If you attempt to use the technique described in the preceding section on a chart that
contains more than 100 years’ worth of dates, the technique will fail.
Microsoft Excel 2007 doesn’t do well with large datasets that span 100+ years. While I
managed to create a date-based axis covering 630 years with 10 data points, a dataset covering 102 years and 40 points cannot display a date-based axis. As Figure 3.19 shows, however, it is possible to create this chart. To do so, you must transform your date axis into a
scale that shows months, hide the axis, and add your own axis, using text boxes. These steps
are not for the faint of heart.
You first need to transform the dates from the 1800s to the 1900s. You then transform the
dates spanning 172 years into a range where each month in real time is represented by a single
day. This results in a time span of six years. You then need to use care to completely hide the
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Chapter 3
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labels along the horizontal axis and to replace them with text boxes showing the centuries. You
then add a new data series to draw vertical lines at the change of each century.
To create the chart in Figure 3.19, you follow these steps:
Figure 3.19
This chart appears to
show a date-based
axis that spans
200+ years.
3
1. Insert new columns B and C.
2. In cell B4, enter the formula =DATE(113+RIGHT(A4,4),LEFT(A4,2),MID(A4,4,2)). This
transforms the dates from 1787 to a valid Excel date in 1900. Format this cell with a
short date format.
3. In cell C4, type the formula =(YEAR(B4)-1899)*12+MONTH(B4) to calculate a number of
months. Format this cell as a short date. This formula now reduces 172 years into
172×12 into 2,064 days, where each day represents 1 month of real time.
4. Select cells B4:C4 and double-click the fill handle to copy the formula down to your
range of data. The dates in column B span 1900 to 2072. The dates in column D span
1900 to 1907. Although the relative position of the data points is correct, you have to
hide the axis labels that Excel draws in for the horizontal axis. It would therefore be
helpful to draw in vertical lines to show where the axis switches from the 1700s to the
1800s and another line to show where the axis switches from the 1800s to the 1900s.
5. Insert a new column E to hold the data for the second series. This series contains just
two nonzero points: one at 1800 and one at 1900. Enter the heading Divide
cell E3.
Line
in
6. Look through the dates in column A. Insert a new row before the first date in the
1800s. In this new row, enter 01/01/1800 in column A. Copy the formulas in columns
B and C. In column D, copy the point from the row above. In column E, enter the
value 50. This draws a single vertical bar from the horizontal axis up to a height of 50.
7. Repeat step 6 to add a new data point for January 1, 1900, and January 1, 2000.
8. Select C4:E55.
9. From the Insert ribbon, choose Charts, Line, Line.
10. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
Comparing Date Systems
97
11. Right-click the numbers along the vertical axis and choose Format Axis. Change the
Maximum option button to Fixed and enter the value 50. This changes the vertical axis
to show from 0 to 50.
12. On the Layout ribbon, use the Current Selection drop-down to select Series. There
are now only two data points selected in the chart.
13. On the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart Type. Select the first icon in the column
section—for a clustered column chart. This draws narrow columns—actually lines—at
1800 and 1900 on the chart. Note that the chart type change affects only the second
series because you selected the Divide Line series in step 12.
14. Click the labels along the horizontal axis. These labels show wrong dates such as
1/23/02. On the Home ribbon, from the Font Color drop-down choose a white font.
This causes the axis labels to disappear.
15. On the Insert ribbon, click the Text Box icon. On the chart, draw a text box from the
1800 line to the 1900 line, just below the horizontal axis. The mouse pointer changes
into a crosshairs as you draw. You can make sure the vertical line in the crosshairs corresponds to the vertical dividing lines. After you create the text box, a flashing cursor
appears inside the text box.
16. Type 1800s. Click the edge of the text box to change it from a dashed line to a solid
line.
17. While the text box is selected, choose Center Align from the Home ribbon. Choose
Vertical Center Align. Choose Increase Font Size from the Home ribbon.
18. While the text box is still selected, choose Format, Shape Outline, Black on the Layout
ribbon in order to outline the text box.
19. Click the text box and start to drag to the right. After you start to drag, hold down the
Shift key to constrain the movement to the right. Hold down the Ctrl key to make an
identical copy of the text box. When the left edge of the new text box is aligned with
the vertical line at 1900, release the mouse button. (Note that you must start dragging
before you hold down the Ctrl+Shift keys. Microsoft interprets Ctrl+Click as the
shortcut to select an object’s container.)
20. Click in the text box and change the text from 1800s to 1900s.
21. On the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title. The title Chart
Title appears, and it is selected.
22. Click inside the Chart Title text area to enter Text Entry mode. Overwrite the default
text in the title by typing Growth of USA, pressing Enter, typing by
pressing Enter, and typing 1787-1999.
# of States,
23. Click on the border of the chart title to exit Text Entry mode.
24. Drag the chart title to a new location in the lower-right corner of the chart.
The result is a chart that appears to show a line chart that spans 217 years. The line is
appropriately scaled, using a date-based axis.
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Using a Workaround to Display a Time-Scale Axis
The developers who create Microsoft Excel are careful in the Format Axis dialog box to call
the option a date axis. The technical writers who write Excel Help refer to a time-scale axis.
The developers get a point here for accuracy because Excel absolutely cannot natively handle an axis that is based on time.
The data in Figure 3.20 is used to analyze queuing times. In column A, it logs the time that
customers entered a busy bank. Times range from when the bank opened at 10 a.m. until
the bank closed at 4:00 p.m.
After you enter planned staffing levels in column C, the model calculates when the customer will move from the queue to an open teller window and when he or she will leave,
based on an average of three minutes per transaction.
3
Data in columns I:M record the number of people in the bank every time someone enters
or leaves. This data is definitely not spaced equally. Only a few customers arrive in the
10:00 hour, while many customers enter the bank during the lunch hour.
The top chart in Figure 3.20 plots the number of customers on a text-based axis. Because
each customer arrival or departure merits a new point, the one hour from noon until 1 p.m.
takes up 41% of the horizontal width of the chart. In reality, this one-hour period merits
only 16% of the chart. It sounds like a perfect use for a time-series axis, right?
The bottom chart is an identical chart where the axis is converted to show the data on a
date-based axis. This is a complete disaster. In a date-based axis, all time information is discarded. The entire set of 300 points is plotted in a single vertical line.
Figure 3.20
Excel cannot show a
time-series axis that
contains times.
Comparing Date Systems
99
The solution to this problem involves converting the hours to a different time scale (similar
to the 1800s date example in the preceding section). Perhaps each hour could be represented by a single year. The 10:00 hour could be represented by 2010, and the 3:00 hour
could be represented by 2015 (because 3:00 is the 15:00 hour on a 24-hour clock).
In this example, you manipulate the labels along the vertical axis using a clever custom
number format. A few new settings on the Format Axis dialog ensure that an axis label
appears every hour.
NOTE
You follow these steps to create a chart that appears to have a time-based axis:
In the original chart, a time appeared in column I, and a formula in column L simply copied this
time so that it would be adjacent to the customer count in column M. In step 1, the transformation
formula is applied to column L.
1. In cell L2, enter the following formula to translate the time to a date:
=ROUND(DATE(HOUR(I2)+2000,1,1)+MINUTE(I2)/60*364,0)
Because each hour will represent a single year, the years argument of the DATE function
is =HOUR(I2)+2000. This returns values from 2010 through 2013. The other arguments
in the date function are 1 and 1 to return January 1 of the year. Outside the date function, the minute of the time cell is scaled up to show a value from 1 to 365, using
MINUTE(I2)/60*36. The entire formula is rounded to the nearest integer because Excel
would normally ignore any time values.
2. Select cell L2. Double-click the fill handle to copy this formula down to all the data
points. The results of this formula ranges from January 1, 2010 (representing the customer who walked in at 10 a.m.), to 12/25/2015 (representing the customer who
walked in at 3:57 p.m.).
3. Select cells L1:M303.
4. From the Insert ribbon, choose Charts, Line, Line with Markers.
5. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None. (I hope that after studying Software
Quality Metrics (SQM) data for Excel 2007, Microsoft finally realizes that 500 million
people instantly turn off the legend in every chart that has a single data series.)
6. Right-click the labels along the horizontal axis and choose Format Axis to display the
Format Axis dialog box, where you make the following selections:
• In the Axis Type section, choose Date Axis.
• For Major Unit, choose Fixed, 1 Years.
• For Minor Unit, choose Fixed, 1 Days.
• For Base Unit, choose Fixed, Days.
Click Close to close the Format Axis dialog.
7. Return to the transformed dates in column L. Select L2:L303.
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8. Press Ctrl+1 to display the Format Cells dialog. On the Number tab, choose the
Custom category. A custom number format of yy would display 10 for 2010 and 15 for
2015. Instead, use a custom number format of yy":00". This causes Excel to display
10:00 for 2010 and 15:00 for 2015. This is fairly sneaky, eh?
As you can see in Figure 3.21, the chart now allocates one-sixth of the horizontal axis to
each hour. This is an improvement in accuracy over either of the charts in Figure 3.20. The
additional chart in Figure 3.21 uses a similar methodology to show the wait time for each
customer who enters the bank. If my bank offered 12-minute wait times, I would be finding
a new bank.
Figure 3.21
3
These charts show
the number of customers in the bank
and their expected
wait times.
Converting Dates to Text to Add a Decorative Chart Element
There are times when you want to force the category axis to be a text-based axis so that
you have a bit more control.
In the following case study, professional designer Kyle Fletcher used Adobe Illustrator to
produce a chart for a music industry publication. Kyle needed to separate sales before and
after a specific event. Using Illustrator, Kyle drew his chart and created a gap between the
pre-event and post-event columns. In order to replicate this effect in Excel, you need to use
a text-based axis.
Comparing Date Systems
101
DESIGNING CHARTS LIKE THE PROS
Kyle Fletcher: Using a Decorative Element in a Chart
When commissioned to create a chart for a record industry publication, designer Kyle Fletcher (of www.KyleFletcher.com)
created the chart shown in Figure 3.22 using Illustrator.This chart is mostly devoid of chartjunk; it has no gridlines and
no axis lines.The only extra element is a separator line used to break the chart into two sections.This separator line takes
up the width of an entire column and serves to break the single chart into two charts.
Figure 3.22
This chart from a
magazine article
uses a vertical element to break the
sales trend into two
sections.
3
©2005 Kyle Fletcher. Used with Permission.
NOTE
You follow these steps to create a chart like this one:
The original dataset has year-ending dates in column A and sales in column B.
1. Insert a blank column to the right of the year-ending dates. Enter the formula =YEAR(A2) in cell B2. (Converting
from dates to numbers ensures that Excel chooses a text-based axis.)
2. While B2 is selected, choose the number format from the drop-down in the Number group on the Home ribbon.
Click the Decrease Decimal icon twice to remove the decimals.
3. Insert a blank row between 1997 and 1998. For the year, enter a space. For the sales column, leave the column
blank.
4. Change the Sales heading in C1 to John Denver.This will be the start of the title.
5. Select cells B1:C25.
6. On the Insert ribbon, choose Charts, Column, Clustered Column.The initial chart appears as shown in Figure 3.23.
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Figure 3.23
The default chart
created by Excel.
7. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.Then choose Gridlines, Primary Horizontal Gridlines, None.
3
8. Left-click the numbers in the vertical axis. On the Layout ribbon, choose Format, Shape Outline, No Outline.This
removes the vertical line next to the numbers.
9. With the axis still selected, use the Font drop-down on the Home ribbon to choose the Rockwell font. Change the
font color to orange.
10. Right-click a number along the vertical axis and choose Format Axis. In the Format Axis dialog that appears, specify
the following:
• For Minimum, select Fixed, 0.
• For Maximum, select Fixed, 600000.
• For Major Unit, select Fixed, 250000.
Click the Close button. Excel now displays only 0, 250,000, and 500,000 along the vertical axis.
11. Left-click one of the columns to select the data series. On the Layout ribbon, choose Format, Fill,Tan, Darker 50%.
Right-click a column and choose Format Data Series. Change the gap width from 150% to 37%.This makes the
columns wider, with less of a gap between them.
12. Select the title. Click at the right end of the title to put the title in Text Edit mode. Press the Enter key and then type
PRE + POST DEATH RECORD SALES.
13. Use the mouse to highlight the characters in the first line of the title. On the Home ribbon, choose Rockwell from
the font drop-down. Choose an orange color for the font. Change the font size to 36.
14. Use the mouse to highlight the characters in the second line of the title. Move the mouse cursor up and to the right
to activate the mini toolbar. Select Rockwell Condensed as the font.Turn off bold. Choose a tan color as the font
color. Choose 18 point.
15. Resize the overall chart to extend from E2 to O24.
16. Left-click one of the years along the category axis.On the Format ribbon,choose Shape Outline,No Outline to remove
the line in the x-axis.In the Home ribbon,choose the orange font color.Choose the Rockwell font.The labels along the
x-axis remain a source of difficulty.In Kyle’s chart,he only showed labels for 1980,1985,1990,1995,and 2000.If you
tried to turn on every fifth label,your gap column between 1997 and 1998 would throw off the label for 2000.
17. Go back to the source data and clear the year entries for 1981 through 1984, 1986 through 1989, and so on. As you
clear an entry in the worksheet, the corresponding entry along the chart axis disappears.
Comparing Date Systems
103
18. Reselect the chart. On the Insert ribbon, choose Shapes. In the Shapes gallery that appears, choose a line with a single arrow. Start drawing just below the baseline, in between the 1997 and 1998 bars. Hold down the Shift key and
draw upward, toward the top of the chart.
19. From the Format ribbon, select Shape Outline,Weight, 21⁄4 point. Next choose Shape Outline, Dashes and then
select the fourth dash type. Choose Shape Outline,Tan Background 2, Darker 50%.
20. With the chart selected, choose Insert, Clip Art. In the Clip Art pane, choose Clip Art on Office Online. Search for
airplane. For Filter by Type, choose Clip Art. Page through until you find a suitable shape and then click the
check box under that shape. In the header above the clip art, you now have the link Download 1 Item. Click that link
and then click Download Now. If prompted to do so, choose Open with Clip Organizer.When the clip appears in
Microsoft Clip Organizer, choose the drop-down next to the clip and choose Copy.
21. Return to Excel, select the chart, and press Ctrl+V to paste.The clip is initially too large. Use the resizing handles to
shrink the airplane. Drag the airplane into position beneath the baseline. Use the green rotate handle to change the
orientation of the airplane.
Figure 3.24 shows the final chart in Excel.
Figure 3.24
The chart produced in
Excel resembles the original chart from
Illustrator.
While this chart is close to the original, there are a few elements of the Excel chart that cannot exactly match the chart
drawn in Illustrator:
■
The Excel chart shows a value of 0 along the y-axis, whereas the Illustrator chart does not.You could remove this 0
by adding a rectangular shape on top of the 0 and formatting it as white with no border or by using a custom
number format of #, ##0;;.
■
In Kyle’s chart,the dashed arrow line actually goes behind the title.In Excel,any drawing objects appear on top of the
title,and the Send to Back option is grayed out on the Drawing Tools Format ribbon.I chose to move the title out of
the way rather than have the arrow cross the title.If you eliminated the title and replaced it with a text box,you could
format the text box with a solid white fill and no outline in order to have the arrow appear behind the text box.
NOTE
It requires more than 20 steps, but with Excel, you can emulate a chart designed with professional design tools.The chart
in this example clearly shows the trend of record sales before and after the event. Anyone who is remotely news savvy
will understand the meaning of the chart without needing any additional text or title.
Kyle Fletcher is fresh out of design school and available for hire. Check out his witty annual report at
www.KyleFletcher.com.
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Using a Chart to Communicate Effectively
A long time ago, in a past job, a McKinsey & Company team investigated opportunities for
growth at the company where I was employed. I was chosen to be part of the team because
I knew how to get the data out of the mainframe.
The consultants at McKinsey & Company knew how to make great charts. Every sheet of
grid paper would be turned sideways, and they would build a landscape chart that was an
awesome communication tool simply by using a pencil. After drawing the charts by hand,
they would send off the charts to someone in the home office who would generate the
charts on a computer. This was a great technique. Long before touching Excel, someone
would sit down to figure out what the message should be.
You should do the same thing: Even if you have data in Excel, before you start to create a
chart, it’s a good idea to analyze the data to see what message you are trying to present.
The McKinsey & Company group used a couple of simple techniques to always get the
point across:
■
To help the reader interpret a chart, include the message in the title. Rather than use
an Excel-generated title such as “Sales,” you can actually use a two- or three-line
title such as “Sales have grown every quarter except for Q3, when a strike impacted
production.”
■
If the chart is talking about one particular data point, draw that column in a contrasting
color. For example, all the columns might be white, but the Q3 bar could be black. This
draws the reader’s eye to the bar that you are trying to emphasize. If you are presenting
data on screen, use red for negative periods and blue or green for positive periods.
The following sections present some Excel trickery that allows you to highlight a certain
section of a line chart or to highlight a portion of a column chart. In these examples, you
will often be spending some time up front in Excel, adding formulas to get your data series
looking correct before creating the chart.
TIP
3
If you would like a great book about the theory of creating charts that communicate well, check out
Gene Zelazny’s Say It with Charts Complete Toolkit. Gene is the chart guru at McKinsey & Company
who trained the consultants who taught me the simple charting rules.While Say It with Charts
doesn’t discuss computer techniques for producing charts, it does challenge you to think about the
best way to present data with charts and includes numerous examples of excellent charts at work.
Visit www.zelazny.com for more information.
Using a Long, Meaningful Title to Explain Your Point
If you are a data analyst, you are probably more adept at making sense of numbers and
trends than are the readers of your chart. Rather than hoping that the reader will discover
the message you are trying to make, why not add the message as the title of the chart?
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Figure 3.25 shows a default chart in Excel. Both the legend and the title use the “Market
Share” heading from cell B71. You certainly don’t need those words on the chart twice.
Figure 3.25
By default, Excel uses an
unimaginative title taken
from the heading of the
data series.
You follow these steps to remove the legend, add data labels, and add a meaningful title:
1. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None and then choose Data Labels, Outside
End.
2. Click the title in the chart. Click again to put the title in Edit mode.
3. Backspace to remove the current title. Type Market
and type 13
share has improved,
press Enter,
points since 2002.
4. To format text while in Edit mode, you would have to select all the characters with the
mouse. Instead, click the dotted border around the title. The border becomes solid.
You can now use the formatting icons on the Home ribbon to format the title.
5. On the Home ribbon, choose left-justified and then click the Decrease Font Size button until the title looks right.
6. Click the border of the chart title and drag it so the title is in the upper-left corner of
the chart.
The result, shown in Figure 3.26, provides a message to assist the reader of the chart.
Figure 3.26
You can tell the reader
the point of the chart
with the title.
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Resizing a Chart Title
When you click a chart title to select it, a bounding box with four resizing handles appears.
At least they look like resizing handles; actually, they are not. You do not have explicit control to resize the title. It feels like you should be able to stretch the title horizontally or vertically, as if it was a text box, but you cannot. The only real control you have to make a text
box taller is by inserting carriage returns in the title, but you can only type carriage returns
when you are in Text Edit mode.
The first click on a title selects the title object. A solid bounding box appears around the
title. At this point, you can use most of the formatting commands on the Home ribbon to
format the title. You click the Increase/Decrease Font Size buttons to change the font of all
of the characters. Excel automatically resizes the bounding box around the title. If you do
not explicitly have carriage returns in the title where you want the lines to be broken, you
are likely to experience frustration at this point.
3
When you have the solid bounding box around the title, you could carefully right-click the
bounding box and choose Edit Text. However, simply left-clicking a second time inside the
bounding box also puts the title in Text Edit mode, as indicated by a dashed line in the
bounding box. In Text Edit mode, you can select specific characters in the title and then
move the mouse pointer up and to the right to access the mini toolbar and the formatting
commands available there. You can edit specific characters within the title in order to create
a larger title and a smaller subtitle, as shown in Figure 3.27.
Figure 3.27
By selecting characters in Text Edit
mode, you can create
a title/subtitle
effect.
You cannot move the title when you are in Text Edit mode. To exit Text Edit mode, you
right-click the title and choose Exit Edit Text or simply left-click the bounding box around
the title. When the bounding box is solid, you can click anywhere on the border except the
resizing handles and drag to reposition the title.
Deleting the Title and Using a Text Box
If you are frustrated that the title cannot be resized, you can delete the title and use a text
box for the title instead. The title in Figure 3.28 is actually a text box. Note the eight resizing handles on the text box instead of the four resizing handles that appear around a title.
Using a Chart to Communicate Effectively
107
Thanks to all these resizing handles, you can actually stretch the bounding box horizontally
or vertically.
Figure 3.28
Instead of a title, this
chart uses a text box for
additional flexibility.
To create the text box shown in Figure 3.28, you follow these steps:
1. Delete the original title by choosing Chart Title, None from the Layout ribbon. Excel
resizes the plot area to fill the space that the title formerly occupied.
2. Select the plot area by clicking some whitespace inside the plot area. Eight resizing
handles now surround the plot area. Drag the top resizing handle down in order to
make room for the title.
3. On the Insert ribbon, click the Text Box icon.
4. Click and drag inside the chart area to create a text box.
5. Click inside the text box and type a title. Press the Enter key to begin a new line. If
you don’t press the Enter key, Excel word-wraps and begins a new line when text
reaches the right end of the text box.
6. Select the characters in the text box that make up the main title and use either the
mini toolbar or the tools on the Home ribbon to make the title 18 point, bold, and
Times New Roman.
7. Select the remaining text that makes up the subtitle in the text box and use the tools
on the Home ribbon to make the subtitle be 12 point, italics, Times New Roman.
Microsoft advertises that all text can easily be made into WordArt. However, when you use
the WordArt drop-downs in a title, you are not allowed to use the Transform commands
found under Text Effects on the Drawing Tools Format ribbon. When you use the
WordArt menus on a text box, however, all the Transform commands are available (see
Figure 3.29).
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Figure 3.29
Using a text box
instead of a title
allows more formatting options.
3
Because a text box is resizable and that you can use WordArt Transform commands, a text
box works perfectly: You can move or resize the chart, and the text box moves with the
chart and resizes appropriately.
Highlighting One Column
If your chart title is calling out information about a specific data point, you can highlight
that point to help focus the reader’s attention on it. While the tools on the Design ribbon
don’t allow this, you can easily achieve the effect quickly by using the Format ribbon.
Figure 3.30
The column for
Friday is highlighted
in a contrasting
color, and it is also
identified in the
title.
To create the chart in Figure 3.30, you follow these steps:
1. Create a column chart by choosing Column, Clustered Column from the Insert ribbon.
2. Click any of the columns to select the entire series.
Using a Chart to Communicate Effectively
109
3. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, White. At this point, the columns are invisible. (Invisible bars are great for creating waterfall charts, discussed in Chapter 4,
“Creating Charts That Show Differences.”) However, in this case, you want to outline
the bars.
4. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, Black. Choose Shape Outline,
Weight, 1 point. All your columns are now white, with black outline.
5. Click the Friday column in the chart. The first click on the series selects the whole
series. A second click selects just one data point. (If you accidentally click outside the
series, you might inadvertently deselect the series.) If all the columns have handles,
click Friday again.
6. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, Black.
7. On the Layout ribbon, turn off the legend and the gridlines.
8. Type a title, as shown in Figure 3.30, pressing Enter after the first line of the title. On
the Home ribbon, change the title font size to 14 point, left-aligned.
9. Right-click the numbers along the vertical axis and choose Format Axis. Change Major
Unit to Fixed, 500.
The result is a simple chart that calls attention to Friday sales.
Replacing Columns with Arrows
You can use columns shaped like arrows to make a special point. For example, if you have
good news to report about consistent growth, you might want to replace the columns in the
chart with arrow shapes in order to further indicate the positive growth.
You follow these steps to convert columns to arrows:
1. Create a column chart showing a single series.
2. In an empty section of the worksheet, insert a new block arrow shape. From the Insert
ribbon, choose Shapes, Arrows, Up Arrow. Click and drag in the worksheet to draw
the arrow.
3. Select the arrow. Press Ctrl+C to copy the arrow to the Clipboard.
4. Select the chart. Click a column to select all the columns in the data series.
5. Press Ctrl+V to paste the arrow. Excel fills the columns with a picture of the block
arrow.
6. If desired, choose Format Selection from the Format ribbon. Reduce the gap setting
from 150% to 75% to make the arrows wider.
The new chart is shown in the bottom half of Figure 3.31. After creating the chart, you can
delete the arrow created in step 2 by clicking the arrow and press the Delete key.
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Figure 3.31
Arrows further
emphasize the
upward growth of
sales.
3
Highlighting a Section of Chart by Adding a Second Series
The chart in Figure 3.32 shows a sales trend over one year. The business was affected by
road construction that diverted traffic flow from the main road in front of the business.
Figure 3.32
It would be best to
highlight the road
construction months
in the chart to further emphasize the
title.
The title calls out the July and August time period, but it would be cool to actually highlight that section of the chart. You follow these steps to add an area chart series to the
chart:
1. Begin a new series in column C, next to the original data. To highlight July and
August, add numbers to column C for the July and August points, plus the previous
point, June. In cell C7, enter the formula of =B7. Copy this formula to June, July, and
August.
Using a Chart to Communicate Effectively
111
2. Click the chart. A blue bounding box appears around B2:B13 in the worksheet. Drag
the lower-right corner of the blue bounding box to the right to extend the series to
include the three values in column C. Initially, this line shows up as a red line on top of
a portion of the existing blue line.
3. On the Layout ribbon, use the Current Selection drop-down to choose Series 2. This
is the series you just added.
4. While Series 2 is selected, choose Design, Change Chart Type. Select the first area
chart thumbnail. Click OK. Excel draws a red area chart beneath the line segment of
June through August.
5. On the Format ribbon, use the Current Selection drop-down to reselect Series 2.
Then choose Shape Fill, White, Background 1, Darker 25%.
The top chart in Figure 3.33 shows the gray highlight extending from the horizontal axis
up to the data line for the two line segments.
Alternatively, you could replace the numbers in column C with 70,000 in order to draw a
gray rectangle behind the months, as shown in the bottom chart in Figure 3.33.
Figure 3.33
A second series, with
only three points, is used
to highlight a section of
the chart.
Changing Line Type Midstream
Consider the top chart in Figure 3.34. The title indicates that cash balances improved after
a new management team arrived. This chart initially seems to indicate an impressive turnaround. However, if you study the chart axis carefully, you see that the final Q3 and Q4
numbers are labeled Q3F and Q4F to indicate that they are forecast numbers.
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Figure 3.34
It is not clear in the
top chart that the
last two points are
forecasts.
3
It is misleading to represent forecast numbers as part of the actual results line. It would be
ideal if you could change the line type at that point to indicate that the last two data points
are forecasts. To do so, you follow these steps:
1. Change the heading above column B from Cash Balances to Actual.
2. Add the new heading Forecast in column C.
3. Because the last actual data point is for Q2 of 2007, move the numbers for Q3 and Q4
of 2007 from column B to column C.
4. To force Excel to connect the actual and the forecast line, copy the last actual data
point (the 7 for Q2) over to the Forecast column. This one data point—the connecting
point for the two lines—will be in both the forecast and actual columns.
5. Change the last two labels in column A from Q3F to just Q3 and from Q4F to just Q4.
6. Click the existing chart. A bounding box appears around B2:B9. Grab the lower-right
blue handle and drag outward to encompass B2:C9. A second series is added to the
chart as a red line.
7. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, Legend at Right.
8. Click the red line. In the Format ribbon, you should see that the Current Selection
drop-down indicates Series “Forecast.”
9. Select Format, Shape Outline, Dashes and then select the fourth dash option. The red
line changes to a dashed line.
Adding an Automatic Trendline to a Chart
113
10. While the forecast series is selected, choose Design, Change Chart Type. Choose a
chart type that does not have markers.
11. Because the chart title indicates that a new management team arrived, but it does not
indicate when the team arrived, change the title to indicate that the team arrived in Q3
of 2006.
12. On the Insert ribbon, select Shapes, Line. Draw a vertical line between Q2 and Q3 of
2006, holding down the Shift key while drawing to keep the line vertical.
13. While the line is selected, on the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, Dashes and
then select the fourth dash option to make the vertical line a dashed line. Note that
this line is less prominent than the series line because the weight of the line is only
1.25 point.
The final chart is shown at the bottom of Figure 3.34.
Adding an Automatic Trendline to a Chart
In the previous example, an analyst had created a forecast for the next two quarters.
Sometimes, however, you might want to allow Excel to make a prediction based on past
results. For just such situations, Excel offers a trendline feature. Excel can draw a straight
line that fits the existing data points. You can either ask Excel to extrapolate the trendline
into the future, or, if your data series contains blank points that represent the future, Excel
can automatically add the trendline. I regularly use these charts to track my progress
toward a goal or trendline.
The easiest way to add a trendline is to build a data series that includes all the days that the
project is scheduled to run. In Figure 3.35, column A contains the days of the month.
Column B contains 125 for each data point; Excel therefore draws a straight line across the
chart, showing the goal at the end of the project. Column C shows the writing progress I
should make each day. In this particular month, I am assuming that I would write an equal
number of pages six days per week. Column D is labeled Actual; this is where I record the
daily progress toward the goal.
The chart is created as a line chart. Gridlines are removed. The legend is removed. The
trendline is formatted as a lighter gray. The actual line is formatted as a thick line. The top
chart in Figure 3.35 shows the chart before the trendline is complete. You can see that the
thick line is not quite above the progress line.
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Figure 3.35
In the top chart, the
actual line is running behind the
trendline, but it
seems close.
3
To add a trendline, you follow these steps:
1. Right-click the series line for the Actual column. Choose Add Trendline.
2. The Format Trendline dialog offers to add exponential, linear, logarithmic, polynomial, power, or moving average trendlines. Choose a linear trendline.
3. In the Trendline Name section, either leave the name as Linear (Actual) or enter a custom name, such as Forecast.
4. For the settings where you can forecast forward or backward a certain number of periods, because this chart already has data points for the entire month, leave both of those
settings at 0. There are also settings where Excel shows the regression equation on the
chart. Add this if you desire.
5. Right-click the trendline to select it. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline,
Dashes and then select the fourth dash option. Also choose Shape Outline, Weight,
3
⁄4 point.
The trendline is shown in the bottom of Figure 3.35. In this particular case, the trendline
extrapolates that if I continue writing at the normal pace, I will miss the deadline by 15
pages or so.
CAUTION
Excel’s trendline is not an intelligent forecasting system. It merely fits past points to a straight line
and extrapolates that data. It works great as a motivational tool.The current example shows, for
example, that it would take a few days of above-average production before the trendline would
project that the goal would be met.
Showing a Trend of Monthly Sales and Year-to-Date Sales
115
Showing a Trend of Monthly Sales and Year-to-Date Sales
In accounting, you generally track sales every month. But in the big picture, you are interested in how 12 months add up to produce annual sales.
The top chart in Figure 3.36 is a poor attempt to show both monthly sales and the accumulated year-to-date (YTD) sales. The darker bars are the monthly results. The lighter bars are
the accumulated YTD numbers through the current month. In order to show the large
YTD number for November, the scale of the axis needs to extend to $400,000. This makes
the individual monthly bars far too small for the reader to be able to discern any differences.
Figure 3.36
The size of the YTD bars
obscures the detail of the
monthly bars.
3
The solution is to plot the YTD numbers against a secondary vertical axis. My preference
is that after you change the axis for one series, you should also change the chart type for
that series. You follow these steps to create the bottom chart in Figure 3.36:
1. Left-click one of the YTD bars to select the YTD series. Right-click the selected
series and choose Format Data Series. Excel displays the Format Data Series dialog.
2. In the Format Data Series dialog, choose Secondary Axis in the Plot Series On section
of the Series Options page. Click Close. Excel creates a confusing chart, where the
YTD numbers appear directly on top of the monthly numbers, obscuring any monthly
numbers beyond August.
3. Excel deselects the series when you change the chart type. Reselect the YTD series by
clicking the YTD line.
4. On the Format dialog, choose Shape Outline, Black to change the YTD line to black.
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5. Turn off the gridlines by selecting Gridlines, None from the Layout ribbon.
6. Select Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, Show Axis in Thousands from the Layout ribbon.
7. Select Axis Titles, Primary Vertical Axis Title, Rotated Title from the Layout ribbon.
Type Monthly
Sales
and press Enter.
8. Select Axis Titles, Secondary Vertical Axis Title, Rotated Title from the Layout ribbon. Type YTD and press Enter.
9. Right-click the numbers on the secondary vertical axis. Choose Format Axis. In the
Scaling section, choose 100,000.
10. Click the legend and drag it to appear in the upper-left corner of the plot area.
11. Click the plot area to select it. Drag one of the resizing handles on the right side of the
plot area to drag it right to fill the space that used to be occupied by the title.
12. If you want to present your charts in color, change the color of text in the primary ver3
tical axis to match the color of the monthly bars. To do so, click the numbers to select
them. Use the Font Color drop-down on the Home ribbon to select this color (for
example, blue). This color cue helps the reader realize that the blue left axis corresponds to the blue bars.
The resulting chart is shown at the bottom of Figure 3.36. The chart illustrates both the
monthly trend of each month’s sales and the progress toward a final YTD revenue number.
Understanding the Shortcomings of Stacked Column Charts
In a stacked column chart, Series 2 is plotted directly on top of Series 1. Series 3 is plotted
on top of Series 2, and so on. The problem with this type of chart is that the reader can tell
if the total is increasing or decreasing. The reader might also be able to tell if Series 1 is
increasing or decreasing. Because all the other series have differing start periods, it is nearly
impossible to tell whether sales in Series 2, 3, or 4 are increasing or decreasing. In the top
chart in Figure 3.37, which regions are responsible for the increase from 2001 to 2006? It is
nearly impossible to tell.
Stacked column charts are appropriate when the message of the chart is about the first
series. In the lower chart in Figure 3.36, the message is that the acquisition of a new product line saved the company. If this new product line hadn’t grown quickly, the company
would have had to rely on aging product lines that were losing. Because the message here is
about the sales of the new product line, you can plot this as the first series, and the reader
of the chart will be able to see the impact from that series.
Understanding the Shortcomings of Stacked Column Charts
117
Figure 3.37
In the top chart, no one
will draw any conclusions about the West,
Central, or South regions.
3
Using a Stacked Column Chart to Compare Current Sales to Prior-Year Sales
The chart in Figure 3.38 uses a combination of a stacked column chart and a line chart.
The stacked column chart shows this year’s sales, broken out into same-store sales and
new-store sales. In this case, the same-store sales are plotted as the first series in white. The
new-store sales are the focus and are plotted in black.
The third series, which is plotted as a dotted line chart, shows the prior-year sales. While
the total height of the column is greater than last year’s sales, there is some underlying
problem in the old stores. In many cases, the height of the white column does not exceed
the height of the dotted line, indicating that sales at same store are down.
Figure 3.38
The current-year sales
are shown as a stacked
column chart, with last
year’s sales as a dotted
line.
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The process of creating this combination chart involves a few steps during which the chart
looks completely wrong. You need to overlook the chart in those steps and keep progressing through the steps, as follows:
1. Set up your data with months in column A, old-store sales for this year in column B,
new-store sales for this year in column C, and last year’s sales in column D.
2. Select cells A1:D13 and create a stacked column chart. Initially, Excel stacks prior-year
sales on top of the other sales, and you have a chart that is not remotely close to the
expected outcome.
3. Click the top bar to select the third series. Choose Design, Change Chart Type, Line
Chart. An important distinction here is that the first two series are plotted as stacked
charts. The third series is plotted as a regular line, not as a stacked line.
4. Use the Format ribbon to format the third series as a dotted line. Format the colors of
the first two series as shown in Figure 3.38.
3
Shortcomings of Showing Many Trends on a Single Chart
Instead of using a stacked column chart, you might try to show many trendlines on a single
line chart. This approach often leads to confusion. In the top chart in Figure 3.39, for
example, the sales trends of five companies create a very confusing chart.
Figure 3.39
Instead of using a
single chart with
five confusing lines,
you can compare
your company to
each other competitor in smaller charts.
If the goal is to compare the sales results of your company against those of each major
competitor, why not show four individual charts, as is done at the bottom of Figure 3.39?
Using a Scatter Plot to Show a Trend
119
In these charts, the reader can easily see that your company is about to overtake the longtime industry leader MegaCo, but that quick growth from NewCo might still cause you to
stay in the second position next year.
Using a Scatter Plot to Show a Trend
Typically, trends are shown with line or column charts. One popular chart from the
blogosphere is bucking this trend. This chart, which shows a trend using a combination of
two scatter plots, has been published in the blog of professor Charles H. Franklin from the
University of Wisconsin (see http://politicalarithmetik.blogspot.com/2005/11/approval-ofpresident-bush-2001.html).
The advantage of this chart is that the solid line in the chart shows the trend of an average
score from month to month. The individual dots in the scatter chart show the individual
scores. The degree of scatter in the gray dots gives you an idea of the variation in the individual scores.
As shown in Figure 3.40, my Excel replica of this chart is based on data that I scraped from
www.pollingreport.com/BushJob1.htm.
Figure 3.40
This trendline is backed
by a scatter plot showing
the degree of scatter of
individual results.
The process of creating this chart involves these steps:
1. Collect all the individual results. Column A contains the month, stored as a real date.
Column B contains the individual score that will be shown as the dots in the chart. If
you have 60 months of data, this dataset might include hundreds of rows of data.
2. Build a pivot table to summarize the original dataset, by month. The pivot table
should have month in the row area and average of score in the data area.
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3. In column C, build a formula that gathers the average score for each month. The goal
is to report the average month in the first row for each month and then use #N/A values for the remaining rows for that month. If the dates start in A2, the formula is
=IF(A2=A1,NA(),VLOOKUP(A2,$V$4:$W$74,2,FALSE)). Figure 3.41 shows a few rows of
the dataset. Dot scores appear in the second column, and line scores appear once per
month in the third column. The results of the pivot table appear in the fourth and fifth
columns.
Figure 3.41
The underlying
detail used to create
the chart in Figure
3.40.
3
4. Build a chart based on the first two columns. Select Scatter Chart with Only Markers.
5. Format the data series to use a light-colored marker of a small size.
6. Select the chart. A blue outline appears around the data in the second column. Grab
the top-right handle on the blue outline and drag to the right to incorporate the data
in the third column.
7. In the Layout ribbon, select the new series from the Current Selection drop-down.
8. In the Design ribbon, change the chart type to a scatter chart with straight lines.
Format the line series as a thicker line.
Although Professor Franklin’s innovative chart and blog feature mostly political charts, you
can easily adapt this concept to your business.
My coauthor on Excel for Marketing Managers, Ivana Taylor of Third Force Marketing, is a
huge proponent of asking your customers how you are doing. Ivana provides a service
whereby she randomly calls 20 customers each month to get a feel for how your customers
approve of your service. This data would be a perfect dataset to port to Professor Franklin’s
chart. Rather than showing only a “consensus” quality score, you could easily see the
degree of scatter around the average score.
Next Steps
In Chapter 4, you will learn about charts used to make comparisons, including pie, radar,
bar, donut, and waterfall charts.
Creating Charts That Show
Differences
Comparing Entities
Whereas Chapter 3, “Creating Charts That Show
Trends,” is concerned with the progression of a
trend over time, this chapter focuses on demonstrating the differences between entities. For example, you could use Excel charts to compare each
sales region versus the others or your company versus the competitors.
When you want to compare the differences among
a handful of entities, a bar chart is the perfect
choice. The reader can easily see the differences
between the entities.
The only time you should use a pie chart is when
you want to show how components add up to a
whole entity. Pie charts are vastly overused, and
many guidelines contraindicate their use. You
should often instead consider 100% stacked column
charts, bar of pie charts, or pie of pie charts. These
last charts are a bit tricky to master but have some
amazingly cool flexibility.
Finally, in this chapter you will learn how to use
some more Excel trickery to build a waterfall chart.
This type of chart is perfect for telling the story of
how a whole entity breaks down into components.
4
IN THIS CHAPTER
Comparing Entities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .121
Using Bar Charts to Illustrate Item
Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
Showing Component Comparisons . . . . . . . .126
Using a Waterfall Chart to Tell the Story of
Component Decomposition . . . . . . . . . . . . . .144
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .146
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Using Bar Charts to Illustrate Item Comparisons
Bar charts are perfect for comparing items. Bar charts offer a few advantages over column
charts for comparing sales of various items:
■
People tend to associate column charts—or any other chart in which the data progresses from left to right—as having a time-based component. When you turn the
columns on their sides and make them horizontal bars, people tend not to read time
into the equation.
■
With a column chart, the category names can appear in a horizontal orientation, giving
plenty of room for longer names. In the chart shown in Figure 4.1, for example, the
category names take almost half the chart, but there is still room to get the point across
that the “Excel for” series is not selling as well as the general-purpose Excel books.
Figure 4.1
A bar chart allows
for lengthy category
names and a comparison of different
product lines.
4
Bar charts are oriented with the first item in the list closest to the bottom of the chart. If
you expect people to read a chart from top to bottom, you should sort the categories into
descending alphabetical sequence (by clicking the ZA button in the Data ribbon). The bar
chart in Figure 4.1 compares sales of six different product lines. It is easy to spot the winners in the chart. The original dataset is sorted to have the VBA title at the top of the
spreadsheet.
Figure 4.1 uses a clustered bar chart type, although it has only one series to report. Other
alternatives are the clustered bar in 3-D, clustered horizontal cylinder, clustered horizontal
cone, or clustered horizontal pyramid. As mentioned in Chapter 3, cone and pyramid
charts are bad because they misrepresent data; the same advice applies here. For proof, see
the section titled “Lying with Shrinking Charts” on page 425 in Chapter 14, “Knowing
When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart.”
For a more powerful arrangement of data, you can sort these categories into ascending
sequence, by sales. Excel then plots the largest category at the top of the chart. Even more
than the chart in Figure 4.1, the chart shown in Figure 4.2 depicts a clear delineation
between the winners and losers.
Using Bar Charts to Illustrate Item Comparisons
123
Figure 4.2
You can sort the data by
ascending sales in order
to show the largest bars
at the top of the chart.
If you think it is silly to have to sort your data into the reverse order from which you want
to present it in the chart, there is a setting buried deep in the ribbon that you can use to
correct this logic: you can choose Layout, Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, Show Right to Left
Axis in order to show the first row in your dataset at the top of the chart. Alternatively, you
can right-click the category labels, choose Format Axis, and choose the Categories in
Reverse Order check box (see Figure 4.3).
Figure 4.3
Instead of sorting your
data in reverse order, you
could sort the data in
normal order and then
specify reverse order for
the categories.
4
Categories in Reverse
Order Check Box
Adding a Second Series to Show a Time Comparison
In Figure 4.4, two series are plotted on the bar chart. The original series presents sales data
from this year. This data was moved to Series 2 in order to continue to be plotted as the
top bar. The new Series 1 contains sales data from last year, for reference.
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Figure 4.4
In this chart, the
sales for this year are
moved to Series 2. A
new Series 1 shows
sales from last year;
a bit of additional
data to show
whether sales are
increasing or
decreasing.
Because the main message is current-year sales, those bars are formatted with a black fill to
draw attention to them. The bars for last year are shown with white outlines.
The addition of data from the previous year adds a bit of context to the chart. The reader
can tell that Products 2, 3, and 5 are new this year and have no sales history from the previous year. Product 4 was the previous market leader, but its sales have fallen off sharply.
Product 1 has experienced good year-to-year growth; it will be interesting to see if the
newly emerging products show similar growth in Year 2.
4
To create the chart in Figure 4.4, you follow these steps:
1. Enter product names in column A.
2. Enter last-year sales in column B and this-year sales in column C.
3. Sort the data so that the largest sales from this year are at the bottom of the chart.
4. From the Insert ribbon, choose Bar, 2-D Bar, Clustered Bar.
5. Choose Layout, Gridlines, Primary Vertical Gridlines, None.
6. Choose Layout, Axes, Primary Horizontal Axis, None.
7. Choose Layout, Legend, Show Legend at Top.
8. Choose Layout, Chart Title, Above Chart.
9. Click in the title area. Type the first line of the title, press Enter, and type the second
line of the title.
10. Click the outline of the title to exit Text Edit mode. On the Home ribbon, click the
Left Align button and the Decrease Font Size button. Drag the title to the left.
11. Click a bar from this year. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill and then select
black.
12. Right-click the black bar and choose Format Data Series. Change the Series Overlap
setting to 25%.
13. Click one of the bars for last year. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, White.
On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline and then select black.
14. Grab one of the resizing handles in the corner of the chart and drag outward to resize
the chart.
Using Bar Charts to Illustrate Item Comparisons
125
Subdividing a Bar to Emphasize One Component
Excel offers a stacked bar chart type. This type allows you to break a bar, such as total sales,
to show components.
In the top chart in Figure 4.5, only one component is called out. The subject of the chart is
this one component of product cost, showing how Company A has a significant cost advantage. You should use this chart type sparingly. The reader of the chart is able to make a
judgment about the size of the black bar for the major subcomponent. The reader of the
chart is also able to make a judgment about the total size of the bar. It is difficult to make a
judgment about the size of the white component of the bars. Can you tell which company
has the lowest “other cost”? (It is Company B.)
Figure 4.5
A stacked bar chart
allows the reader to
judge the size of the
total bar and the first
component bar. Beyond
that, it’s difficult to make
a comparison from one
bar to the next.
4
NOTE
The problem becomes worse if you try to show more than two components in the stacked
bar chart. The bottom chart in Figure 4.5, for example, is trying to compare the costs of
four major components, but the reader won’t be able to learn anything about the additional
components.
The charts in Figure 4.5 were created using Insert, Bar, 2-D Bar, Stacked Bar selection.The individual
segments of each bar were formatted using Format, Shape Fill.
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Showing Component Comparisons
A component comparison chart is useful when you want to show several parts that add up
to a whole. You can use this type of chart to show these concepts:
■
The market share of several competitors in a market
■
The cost breakdown of a product by subcomponent
■
The breakdown of time spent in a day
■
The relative size of five major customers and all other customers as a group
These are also all great concepts to show using a pie chart or a 100% stacked bar/column
chart. Unfortunately, pie charts are overused in business today. People try to use pie charts
to compare items that don’t add up to a whole. In Figure 4.6, for example, someone tried to
use a pie chart to compare product prices. Without reading the individual prices labeling
each pie slice, you would be hard pressed to figure out whether the Hummer H3 or the
Ford Escape hybrid costs more. As discussed in the previous section, using a bar chart is best
when you’re trying to compare items. The bottom chart in Figure 4.6 shows the same data
as the pie chart, but in this case, it’s plotted on a bar chart and is much easier to understand.
Figure 4.6
4
An attempt to use a
pie chart to compare
prices is misguided.
The bar chart in the
lower half of the figure is more effective.
Some of the frustrations with pie charts are humorously summarized by Dick DeBartolo,
Mad’s Maddest Writer, in this chart that he prepared for this book shown in Figure 4.7.
Showing Component Comparisons
127
Figure 4.7
NOTE
Pay close attention to
this chart. I bet most
people’s eyes would
glaze over by the second
slice.
Dick Debartolo has been writing for MAD Magazine for over 40 years. If you are a fan of MAD, check
out his book, Good Days and MAD: A Hysterical Tour Behind the Scenes at MAD Magazine. Dick also
hosts the Daily Giz Wiz podcast—a review of the latest gadgets and those gadgets that once
seemed like a good idea but are now collecting dust in Dick’s Gadget Warehouse.
4
When you are performing component comparisons, the following chart types are effective:
■
A pie chart is appropriate when you’re comparing 2 to 5 components.
■
A pie of pie chart is appropriate for comparing 6 to 10 components.
■
A bar of pie chart can handle 6 to 15 components.
■
You should use a 100% stacked column chart when you want to have two or more pies
(for example, comparing market share from this year vs. last year). The 100% stacked
bar, 100% stacked line, and 100% stacked area are all variations of the 100% stacked
column chart.
■
A donut chart is a strange chart that might occasionally be able to compare two pie charts,
although a 100% stacked column chart is usually better for this sort of comparison.
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The following sections describe the ins and outs of using pie, 100% stacked column, and
the other previously mentioned charts.
Using Pie Charts
Pie charts are great for comparing two to five different components. You typically select a
range containing category labels in column A and values in column B. Often, the categories
are sorted so that the largest value is at the top and the remaining categories are sorted in
descending order.
To create a pie chart, from the Insert ribbon, you select the Pie drop-down, as shown in
Figure 4.8. There are six icons in this drop-down:
Figure 4.8
You commonly use
the first icon to create a 2-D pie chart.
4
■
2-D Pie—This is the type that you use most frequently.
■
2-D Exploded Pie—There is no need to choose this because you can easily explode a
pie or a slice of pie later. This technique is discussed later in this chapter, in the section “Highlighting One Slice of a Pie by Exploding.”
■
Pie of Pie or Bar of Pie—Both of these chart types are effective for dealing with
datasets that have too many slices and when you care about the small pie slices.
■
3-D Pie—This is a regular pie chart tipped on its side so that you end up seeing the
“edge” of the pie. This is a cool effect when you are trying to decorate a PowerPoint
chart. It is not as effective if you actually want someone to read your charts to understand the data.
■
Exploded Pie in 3-D—Again, this is an option you probably don’t want to choose
because you can easily explode a pie by using techniques discussed later in this chapter.
The default pie chart has no labels and includes a legend on the right side to help identify
the pie slices. Initially, the first data item appears starting at the 12 o’clock position, and
additional wedges appear in a clockwise direction, as shown in Figure 4.9.
In black and white especially, it is difficult to match up the tiny color swatches used in the
legend with the pie slices. You almost always want to delete the legend and add data labels,
as discussed in the next section.
Showing Component Comparisons
129
Excel offers seven built-in layouts for a pie chart. All the layouts that include labels add
them inside the pie slices. In the current example, the black font on the dark pie slices
disappears.
Figure 4.9
The default pie chart
uses a legend that is too
small and too far from
the chart to be effective.
Labeling a Pie Chart
Because a pie chart does not have a lengthy axis running along one edge of the chart,
choosing the data labels is an important consideration.
Rather than using the built-in Data Label choices on the Layout ribbon, you choose More
Data Label Options from the Data Labels drop-down on the Layout ribbon. Excel displays
the Label Options page of the Format Data Labels dialog, as shown in Figure 4.10.
Figure 4.10
You use the More Data
Labels option in the
Layout ribbon to reach
this dialog, where you
can build effective pie
chart labels.
4
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Chapter 4
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You have options for what the label should contain. You can choose more than one of the
following options:
■
Series Name—This option doesn’t make sense in a pie chart because every slice would
have a series name such as “Sales.”
■
Category Name—You choose this option to show the names of items represented by
the individual pie slices. When you turn this item on, you can set Legend to None.
■
Value—You choose this option to show the actual numeric value for this slice from the
cells in the spreadsheet. You often choose either Value or Percentage.
■
Percentage—You choose this option to have Excel calculate the percentage of the pie
allocated to each pie slice. This is a number that is not typically in your spreadsheet.
■
Show Leader Lines—You should leave this setting on. If you later reposition a label,
Excel draws a line from the label to the pie slice associated with that label.
For the Label Position option, the usual choices for a pie chart are either to show the label
outside the pie slice, indicated by Outside End, or inside the pie slice, indicated by Center.
4
The final choice in the Label Options page of the Format Data Labels dialog is the
Separator drop-down. This option becomes important when you have chosen two items in
the Label Contains section. If you have chosen Category Name and Percentage, for example, Excel’s default choice for a comma as the separator shows the label East, 33%. To
remove the comma from the pie chart labels, you choose either (space) or (New Line) from
the Separator drop-down.
Figure 4.11 shows a pie chart with category names and percentages at the outside end of
each slice. The data label is separated by a new line character.
Figure 4.11
Displaying the labels
at the outside end
ensures that the
labels can be read.
Showing Component Comparisons
131
Rotating a Pie Chart
There is an ongoing argument about the rotation of a pie chart. Many people say that the
first pie slice should start at the 12 o’clock position, and subsequent pie slices should appear
in a clockwise direction. I disagree with this philosophy, from a purely practical point of
view. I think that the smallest pie slices should be rotated around so that they appear in the
lower-right corner of the pie. This location provides the most room for the labels of the
small pie slices to appear without overlapping.
You have control over the rotation of a pie chart. You can right-click a pie chart and choose
Format Data Series. On the Options dialog that appears, you can change the setting for
Angle of First Slice. In Figure 4.12, for example, the bottom pie chart has been rotated 195
degrees, preventing labels from appearing on top of each other.
Figure 4.12
You can change the
angle of first slice to
rotate the pie until the
data labels have the
most room to appear
without overlapping
each other.
4
Moving an Individual Pie Slice Label
In a pie chart that has long category names and many slices, you may not be able to find an
angle of rotation that enables all the labels to have sufficient room. In this case, you need
to move an individual pie slice label.
The first time you click a data label, all the data labels are selected, as shown in Figure
4.13. At this point, you can use icons on the Home ribbon to change the font or font size.
A second click on a data label selects only that particular label. You can click the border of
the label and drag it to a new position. If the Leader Lines option remains selected (refer
to Figure 4.10), Excel automatically connects the label and the pie slice with a leader line.
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In Figure 4.14, the label for the keyboard has been moved so that it does not crash into the
label for the trigger assembly.
Figure 4.13
After the first click
on a data label, all
labels are selected.
You can use the
Home ribbon icons
to format all labels.
4
Figure 4.14
After a second
single-click, only one
label is selected.You
can drag an individual data label into a
new position.
Highlighting One Slice of a Pie by Exploding
The first click on a pie selects the data series (that is, it selects all the pie slices). If you then
drag outward from the center of the pie, you explode all the slices of the pie.
CAUTION
If you want to explode the whole pie, you have to be fairly deliberate about it. If you click once to
select all the slices and then click again to drag the slices outward, the second click selects only a
single slice. Click outside the pie to select the entire chart, and then click on the pie and drag outward.This action will select the pie and explode it in a single step.
Showing Component Comparisons
133
The charts in Figure 4.15 show various levels of explosion. The top-left chart uses a 15%
explosion factor. Excel allows you to specify up to a 400% explosion factor, which really
looks pretty silly.
Figure 4.15
You drag outward while
a data series is selected
to select the entire pie.
4
A better technique is to explode just the one slice that is the subject of the pie. In Figure
4.16, a large order could not ship because of shortages of a tiny assembly. The plant managers had previously decided to cut safety stock on this component. To illustrate that this
might have been a poor decision, you can explode just that slice of the pie.
Figure 4.16
You can explode one
piece of the pie to call
attention to that piece.
You click once on the pie to select the entire series. Then you click the slice in question
one more time to select only that slice. You drag the individual slice outward to explode
only that slice, as shown in Figure 4.16.
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Highlighting One Slice of a Pie with Color
Instead of exploding a slice of a pie, you can highlight that slice using a contrasting color. A
single black pie slice in an otherwise white pie instantly draws the reader’s eye, as shown in
Figure 4.17.
Figure 4.17
You can plot one
slice of the pie in a
contrasting color to
draw attention to
that slice.
To format the chart as shown in Figure 4.17, you follow these steps:
1. Click anywhere on the pie to select the entire pie.
2. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, White. The entire pie disappears.
4
3. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline and then select black. The pie is now a
white pie outlined in black.
4. Click the one pie slice that you want to highlight.
5. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill and then select black. The single pie slice
now stands out from the other slices.
Switching to a 100% Stacked Column Chart
It is very difficult for a reader to track the trends from one pie to the next when you are
trying to show a trend by using multiple pie charts, as shown in Figure 4.18.
Figure 4.18
It is very hard to
track trends by looking at multiple pies.
Instead of using pie charts, you can switch to one of Excel’s 100% charts. For example, in
the 100% stacked column chart, Excel stacks the values from Series 1, Series 2, Series 3,
and so on but scales the column so that each column is exactly the same height. This gives
the effect of dividing a column into components, just as a pie chart would do.
Showing Component Comparisons
135
Excel offers 100% versions of column charts, bar charts, area charts, and line charts. To
find them, in the Insert Chart dialog, you look for charts where both the left and right elements are the same height (see Figure 4.19).
Figure 4.19
These icons all create
100% stacked charts.
Figure 4.20 shows examples of 100% stacked column, area, bar, and line charts. The 100%
stacked column chart is probably the easiest to interpret. In a 100% stacked chart, the
reader is able to judge the growth or decline of both the first series and the last series.
Figure 4.20
For year-over-year comparisons, a 100% stacked
column chart is easier to
read than multiple pie
charts.
Using a Doughnut Chart to Compare Two Pies
Excel offers another chart type—the donut chart—that attempts to compare multiple pies.
In a donut chart, one pie chart encircles another pie chart.
A reader of the chart in Figure 4.21 can see that the market share for OurCo increased
between 2006 and 2007 and that the market share for Comp B decreased between 2006
and 2007. It is unlikely that the reader could draw any conclusions about Comp A based on
this chart.
4
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Figure 4.21
Doughnut charts are
generally difficult to
read, although this
one does effectively
communicate some
information.
In creating the chart in Figure 4.21, you would have to go through a number of maddening
steps, including these:
4
■
You need to select Layout, Data Labels, More Data Label Options and choose to show
only the series name as the label. You almost need to leave the legend turned on with
this chart because there isn’t space to fit OurCo 2006 in the thin ring of the pie.
■
Changing the colors using the Format ribbon is a tedious process. You cannot format
both OurCo sections at once. You have to click the 2006 ring, then 2006 OurCo, then
Format, Shape Fill, and then select black. You then have to repeat these steps for the
other five pieces of the doughnut chart.
■
To make some data labels white, you have to select the labels for Series 1, then just one
label, then use the Font Color drop-down on the Home ribbon. You repeat this step
for OurCo for Series 2.
One interesting setting for the doughnut chart is the doughnut hole size. When you rightclick the inner series of the doughnut chart and choose Format Data Series, the Format
dialog box appears, where you can change the doughnut hole size (valid values range from
10% to 90%). The doughnut chart in Figure 4.22 uses a hole size of 10%. Reducing the
hole size makes the chart more readable in this case.
Figure 4.22
Reduce the doughnut hole size to
allow more room for
labels on the chart.
Showing Component Comparisons
137
CAUTION
A bug causes the Format Data Series dialog to always report an existing Doughnut Hole Size of
10%.You can change the setting to 30% and close the dialog and re-open the dialog.The dialog
again erroneously reports the hole size as 10%.This makes it impossible to nudge the setting from
its current location. A guideline is that most doughnut charts start with an initial setting of 50%. If
you want to make the hole size slightly smaller or larger than the initial setting, try values in the
40% to 60% range.
Dealing with Data Representation Problems in a Pie Chart
The 80/20 rule comes into play with pie charts. In many component comparisons, 20% of
the categories make up 80% of the pie. In this case, the tiny pie slices at the end of the pie
contain too much detail and are not useful. If you attempt to leave these slices in the pie,
the labels needlessly complicate the chart, as shown in Figure 4.23.
Figure 4.23
The 20 pie slices make
this chart difficult to
read.
4
As noted in the earlier section, “Using Pie Charts,” there are several methods discussed,
such as rotating a pie chart and moving individual pie labels, which enable you to create
the chart shown in Figure 4.23. However, with this amount of data, the process is tedious.
Plus, the data used in Figure 4.23 may not be entirely realistic. Usually, a company has a
few major accounts and dozens of minor accounts. If you need a list of all your accounts,
you should really show it in a table that lists the customers, sorted in descending sequence.
Usually a pie chart is focused on the top four to five accounts. The message for the reader
of the chart in Figure 4.23 is that two major accounts make up 75% of the revenue stream.
If anything would happen to either of those accounts, this company would be in for tough
times. To communicate this message, you can simply replace the last 16 pie slices with a
single slice labeled 16 Other Accounts.
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If you instead need to show the detail of the small accounts (perhaps in order to grow some
new mega-customers), you need to switch to a bar of pie or pie of pie chart. These options
are discussed in the next sections.
Replacing Smaller Slices with an Other Customer Summary
Replacing smaller slices with an Other Customer summary requires no charting magic.
You simply look through your customer list and figure a logical breakpoint between major
customers and customers that should be listed as “other.”
The example shown in Figure 4.24 includes two customers that are not exactly major to
help communicate how quickly sales fall off.
Figure 4.24
The low-tech solution is to add a
formula to the worksheet to total all the
smaller accounts.
4
TIP
To create this chart, you insert a few blank rows to separate the major accounts from the
other accounts. In the worksheet, you add the label 16 Smaller Accounts. Then you enter a
SUM function to total all the smaller customers. Finally, you change the chart range to
include only the major customers and the Other line.
You don’t have to re-create the chart to specify a new data range. If you click once on the chart,
Excel draws a blue rectangle around the data included in the chart.You grab the blue resizing handle at the bottom of the data range and drag upward to include only the major customers and the
Other Total row.
In Figure 4.24, the chart is less busy than in Figure 4.23. The title has been improved, and
each data label now includes both the category name and percentage.
Using a Pie of Pie Chart
A pie of pie chart shows the smallest pie slices in a new, secondary pie chart. The true volume of the small slices is shown in a slice marked Other in the original pie. Series lines
extend from the Other slice to the secondary pie.
Showing Component Comparisons
139
You use this chart type when the focus of your chart is the small slices. In Figure 4.25, for
example, the focus is on the emerging markets. Together, the five markets account for a
19% share, but the markets are not doing equally well. The pie of pie chart shows which
of the new markets are growing the fastest.
Figure 4.25
NOTE
A secondary pie shows
the detail of the emerging markets.
Creating the chart in Figure 4.25 requires some tricky steps, as described later in this chapter, in the
section “Customizing the Split in the ‘Of Pie’ Charts.”
Several interesting settings are available in the “of pie” charts. In both the pie of pie and
bar of pie charts, you can control the size of the secondary plot compared to the primary
pie. You can control the gap between the plots and choose whether the series lines extend
from one chart to the next. To access these settings, you click inside the chart but outside
the pie to deselect the pie. Then you right-click the pie and choose Format Data Series; the
Format Data Series dialog appears, as shown in Figure 4.26.
Figure 4.26
The pie of pie and bar of
pie charts offer new settings in the Series
Options tab of the
Format Data Series
dialog.
4
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In the Format Data Series dialog, you can set the gap between the pies from 0% to 500%.
The gap size is expressed as a percentage of the radius of the main pie. In other words, when
you choose 100%, the gap between the pies is equal to the radius of the main pie, which is
50% of the main pie.
You can also set the secondary plot size to be anywhere from 5% to 200% of the main pie
chart. The default setting is 75%.
CAUTION
A very annoying bug currently exists in Excel 2007.The Format Data Series dialog reports the initial
secondary plot size setting as 5%.When you touch the slider to change the secondary plot size,
Excel actually sets the real secondary plot size to 5%. Normally, you can slide a bit to the left and
then back to the original position in order to leave the setting unchanged. However, if you want to
leave this setting unchanged, you actually have to move it up to 75%.
4
Adjusting either the gap setting or the secondary plot size changes the size of both pies. If
you make either the gap or the secondary plot size larger, Excel has to make the main pie
smaller in order to fit all three elements into the same plot area. This requires a little bit of
high school algebra. Say that the plot area is 500 pixels wide. And say that the width of the
main pie is a variable n. You might encounter these settings:
■
With a gap of 100% and a secondary plot size of 75%, the original pie is n pixels wide,
the gap is 0.5n pixels wide, and the secondary pie is 0.75n pixels wide. This means the
total width is 2.25n=500, so n is 222. This results in a main pie width of 222 pixels, a
gap of 111 pixels, and a secondary plot size of 166.50.
■
If you increase the secondary plot size to 100% and increase the gap to 150%, the
original pie is n pixels wide, the gap is 0.75n pixels wide, and the secondary pie is n
pixels wide. This means the total width is 2.75n=500. The main pie is 181 wide, the
gap is 136 wide, and the secondary pie is 181 pixels wide.
Basically, as you increase the size of either setting, the main pie gets smaller. Table 4.1
shows the horizontal size of the main pie, the gap, and the secondary pie for various combinations of gap width and secondary plot size. For example, the main pie could occupy as
much as 83% of the plot area width if you choose a 0% gap and a secondary plot size of
20%. As you increase the gap and secondary plot size, you might end up with a main pie
that occupies as little as 18% of the width of the plot area.
Showing Component Comparisons
141
Table 4.1 Width of Main Pie/Gap/Second Pie
Gap Size
Secondary
Plot Size
0%
50%
100%
250%
500%
20%
83%/0%/17%
69%/17%/14%
59%/29%/12%
41%/51%/8%
27%/68%/5%
50%
67%/0%/33%
57%/14%/29%
50%/25%/25%
36%/45%/18%
25%/63%/13%
75%
57%/0%/43%
50%/13%/38%
44%/22%/33%
33%/42%/25%
24%/59%/18%
100%
50%/0%/50%
44%/11%/44%
40%/20%/40%
31%/38%/31%
22%/56%/22%
150%
40%/0%/60%
36%/9%/55%
33%/17%/50%
27%/33%/40%
20%/50%/30%
200%
33%/0%/67%
31%/8%/62%
29%/14%/57%
24%/29%/47%
18%/45%/36%
Figure 4.27 shows the extremes for the gap size and secondary plot size settings.
Figure 4.27
Changing the gap width
and secondary plot size
can create vastly different looks for the chart.
4
Excel also offers a robust system for choosing which slices should be in the secondary plot.
The following section applies to both pie of pie and bar of pie charts.
Customizing the Split in the “Of Pie” Charts
With an “of pie” chart, you have absolute control over which slices appear in the main pie
and which slices are sent to the secondary plot. Excel offers a surprising array of ways to
control this setting.
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When you right-click the pie and choose Format Data Series, the Format Data Series dialog appears. The top setting in the dialog is the drop-down Split Series By, which offers the
following options:
4
■
Split Series By Position—You can change the spin button to indicate that the last n
values should be shown in the secondary pie. Excel then uses the last n values from the
original dataset in the secondary pie.
■
Split Series By Value—When you enter a value in the text box, Excel moves any
slices with a value less than the entered value to the secondary pie.
■
Split Series By Percentage Value—You can use the spin button to enter a value from
1% to 99%. Any slices smaller than the entered percentage move to the secondary
plot. Note that if there are no slices smaller than that value, the secondary plot appears
as an empty black circle.
■
Split Series By Custom—This is a flexible setting where you can choose which slices
to send to the secondary pie. After choosing Custom from the drop-down, you click on
an individual slice in the chart. Then, in the Format Data Point dialog, you indicate
that the point belongs to the second plot or the first plot. You continue selecting additional slices in the chart and indicating the location for those points.
C A S E S T U DY
Creating a Pie of Pie Chart
At this point, you have enough information to create the chart shown previously in Figure 4.25.You follow these steps to
create that chart:
1. Enter markets in column A and sales in column B.
2. Sort in descending order, by sales.
3. Select the markets and sales cells.
4. From the Insert ribbon, select Pie, 2-D Pie, Pie of Pie. Excel creates a pie with three items in the secondary plot, a
legend, and no labels.
5. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
6. Right-click the pie and choose Format Data Labels. Choose Split Series by Position. Choose Second Plot Contains the
Last 5 Values.
7. With the entire pie still selected, choose Shape Outline from the Format ribbon and then select black. Choose Shape
Fill,White to outline all the pie slices but fill them with white.
8. From the Layout ribbon, choose Data Labels, More Data Label Options. Choose Category Name and Percentage.
Uncheck the Value check box. Change the separator from a comma to a space.
9. Click the Other slice in the left pie. If the current selection drop-down in the Layout or Format ribbon does not indicate that you have select “Series x, Point n,” click the Other slice again.
10. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill and then select light gray.
Showing Component Comparisons
143
11. In the Current Selection drop-down of the Format ribbon, choose Series Lines 1. In the Format ribbon, choose
Shape Outline and then select gray. Choose Shape Outline, Dashes and then select the fourth dash choice.
12. Enlarge the chart by clicking one of the resizing handles in the border around the chart. Drag out from the center
to enlarge the chart.
13. If a chart title is not visible, on the Layout ribbon, select Chart Title, Above Chart.
14. Click in the chart title twice. Select the characters and type a new title, such as Sales by Market, and then press
the Enter key.Type the remaining three lines of the title.
15. Select the characters in the top line of the title. On the Home ribbon, choose 20 Point. Select the remaining lines of
the title. On the Home ribbon, choose 18 Point.
16. Click the border of the title. On the Home ribbon, click Left Align. Drag the title so that it is left-justified above the
chart.
Using a Bar of Pie Chart
The bar of pie chart is similar in concept to the pie of pie chart. In the case of bar of pie,
the large slices are plotted on a main pie. The smaller slices are moved over to a column
chart on the right side of the chart area. All the settings for gap width, series lines, secondary plot size, and which slices move to the second plot area are valid for the bar of pie
chart.
Figure 4.28 shows a bar of pie chart. Technically, this should be called a column of pie
chart, shouldn’t it?
Figure 4.28
In a bar of pie chart,
the smaller slices are
grouped into Other, and
the detail is shown in a
column chart.
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Using a Waterfall Chart to Tell the Story of Component
Decomposition
As mentioned in Chapter 3, I spent a few months as a team member of a McKinsey &
Company consulting gig when they were brought in to turn around the company where I
used to work. McKinsey consultants were experts at creating cool charts and the waterfall
chart is closely associated with that firm.
The waterfall chart is a great chart because it tells a story. If you are an NPR fan, you might
have encountered Ira Glass’s This American Life weekly radio show. Glass describes the show
as a series of stories: “This happens, and then this happens, and then this happens, and then
this happens…”. Similarly, a waterfall chart makes a simple table into a story.
I used to use waterfall charts to analyze the profitability of a proposal. The chart would
start with a tall column on the left side to show the total list price of the products we were
selling. The next column appeared to float in midair, dropping down from the total list
price column to show the total discount that the sales team was proposing. The next column showed net revenue. The rest of the chart was a series of floating columns that
showed where all that revenue went. A tiny column on the right side showed the profit
from the deal (see Figure 4.29).
4
Figure 4.29
A waterfall chart
breaks a single component chart out
over several
columns.
C A S E S T U DY
Creating a Waterfall Chart
The trick to making the middle columns float is to use a stacked column chart.The second series is the actual columns
that appear on the chart.The first series is changed into an invisible color without any lines in order to make the bars in
the second series appear to float.
You might start with values such as those shown in columns A and B of Figure 4.30.The trick to creating a waterfall chart
is to move those values into two series.The second series is the height of each column that is actually seen.The first
series is an invisible column that makes the other bars appear to float.
Using a Waterfall Chart to Tell the Story of Component Decomposition
145
Figure 4.30
You break the series in
column B into two series
in E and F.
You follow these steps to create the chart shown in Figure 4.30:
1. For the three columns in the chart that touch the horizontal axis, set the invisible column to zero and the visible
column to the number from column B.
2. The goal for trade discount is to have a floating bar that extends from 62,280 down to 34,254. In order to have the
bar float at this level, you need an invisible bar that is 34,254 tall.Therefore, in cell E3, enter the formula =F4.
3. The height of the floating bar needs to extend from 34,254 to 62,280, so enter the formula =F2-E3 in cell F3.
4. After the Net Revenue bar are all the SG&A expenses.The height of each floating bar should be the amount of the
expense.Therefore, in cell F5, enter the formula =B5. Copy this down to cells F6:F9.
5. The formula for the invisible portion of the bars is often difficult to figure out. In this case, starting at the final bar
might make this easier.The Travel bar representing $600 needs to float just above the Profit bar of 9,441.Thus,
enter the formula =F10 in cell E9.
6. The Royalties bar of 4,700 needs to float just above the level of the Travel bar.The height of the Travel bar is the
height of the invisible bar (9441 in E9) and the height of the visible bar (500 in F9).Therefore, in cell E8 enter
=E9+F9.You now have a formula that can be copied.
7. Copy cell E8 to the blank cells in E7:E5.
8. Select the range D1:F10. From the Insert ribbon, choose Column, Stacked Column.
9. Turn off the legend by selecting Legend, None from the Layout ribbon.
10. Click the lower Trade Discount bar. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill,White.The lower columns disappear.
11. Select the top column. On the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill and then select black.
12. Turn off the gridlines by selecting Gridlines, Primary Horizontal Gridlines, None on the Layout ribbon.
13. Right-click a top column and choose Add Data Labels. (Normally, you would choose to put the data labels at the
outside end. However, because this is a stacked column chart, the outside end is not an option in the Format Data
Labels dialog.)
14. Individually grab each label and move it to the top of the column.
15. To finish the waterfall chart, you need to draw connecting lines from the bottom of one column to the next column.Therefore, on the Insert ribbon, choose Shapes, Line.While holding down the Shift key, draw a line from the
top of the first column to the top of the next column. Select Format, Shape Outline and then select black to darken
the line. Repeat this step to connect all the columns.
4
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A waterfall chart can be used in many situations to turn a single component column chart
into a whole-page chart. These charts present a dramatic picture of all the components in a
process.
Next Steps
In Chapter 5, “Creating Charts That Show Relationships,” you’ll learn how to create charts
that highlight relationships. Although scientists often make use of scatter charts, you will
see that you can use them in a variety of ways in business when you want to demonstrate a
correlation (or the lack of a correlation). In addition, radar charts are appropriate for conducting annual performance reviews. Chapter 5 also takes a look at surface charts and frequency distributions.
4
Creating Charts That Show
Relationships
5
Comparing Two Variables on a Chart
The chart types discussed in this chapter are
unusual: Scatter, radar, bubble, and surface charts
are probably the least understood Excel charts.
IN THIS CHAPTER
Both scatter and bubble charts show the interplay
between two or three different variables. They
require a bit of care in setting up the data. A scatter
chart can help you to figure out whether there is a
correlation between two variables. A bubble chart
has the unique ability to provide data about a third
dimension. The first section in this chapter covers
the mechanics of creating scatter charts.
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data
Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .148
When you are thinking about creating scatter
charts to show a relationship, you might need to
consider alternative charts, such as a paired bar
chart, a paired chart, or a frequency distribution.
The second section in this chapter compares the
message that you convey with the various chart
types. That section describes charts created by
charting celebrities such as Gene Zelazny, Kathy
Villella, and Alfred E. Neumann.
Radar charts are rarely seen but are great for providing performance reviews. A radar chart can
show, for example, how a person scored on 5 to 10
key indicators as spokes emanating from a central
point.
Surface charts actually attempt to show a 3-D surface floating above an x,y grid. It is difficult to find
a dataset that looks cool with a surface chart, and
after you’ve found an appropriate dataset, it is often
difficult to actually make out the valleys that might
occur within the dataset.
Comparing Two Variables on a Chart . . . . . .147
Using Charts to Show Relationships . . . . . . .156
Using Surface Charts to Show Contrast . . . .183
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .185
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Chapter 5
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The first part of this chapter discusses scatter charts in detail. Although it is easy enough to
create a simple scatter chart, many annoying complications can occur when you want to add
new data series to the chart or when you want to try to label the chart.
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data Points
Figure 5.1 shows a table of average January temperatures for selected U.S. cities. There is
no trend or pattern to this data.
Figure 5.1
When this data is plotted
on a column chart, there
is no pattern to the data.
5
What are the likely causes of variability in January temperature? You might theorize that
the most likely cause would be distance from the equator. In Figure 5.2, a new column B
shows the latitude of each city. This dataset is perfect for an XY scatter chart. The latitudes
in column B represent an independent variable. The temperatures in column C represent a
dependent variable. A scatter chart plots one data marker for every pair of latitude and
temperature data. In this case, the latitude will be plotted along the x-axis, and the temperature will be plotted along the y-axis.
Figure 5.2
You can plot latitude and
temperature on a scatter
chart to understand the
relationship between
the values.
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data Points
149
TIP
The chart in Figure 5.2 shows a relationship between latitude and temperature: as latitude
increases, temperature decreases. You can therefore say that latitude and temperature are
inversely related.
If your data is not sorted, you should be sure to choose Scatter with Only Markers as the chart type.
Adding a Trendline to a Scatter Chart
To add a tight grid and a trendline to a scatter chart, you choose Layout 3 from the Chart
Layouts gallery on the Design ribbon. The trendline represents the best-fit line, given the
data points. If the trendline is angled diagonally from bottom left to top right, it indicates
that the x and y variables appear to be directly related. If the trendline is angled from top
left to bottom right, it indicates that the x and y variables appear to be inversely related. In
Figure 5.3, the trendline confirms that there is an inverse relationship between temperature
and latitude.
Figure 5.3
You can add a trendline
to confirm the inverse
relationship.
5
Excel uses a best fit to draw the trendline. Even when there is absolutely no correlation at
all between the columns of data, Excel forces a line to fit. In Figure 5.4, the x and y data is
random. A horizontal trendline basically represents the average of all the dots, but it does
not indicate any correlation.
In Figure 5.4, Excel has added the equation for the trendline and the R-squared value. An
R-squared value close to 1 indicates a near-perfect correlation. An R-squared value of 0
confirms that there is not a correlation between the x and y values. To add this equation to
your chart, you follow these steps:
1. Select the chart.
2. On the Layout ribbon, choose Trendline, More Trendline Options.
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3. In the Format Trendline dialog that appears, choose Display Equation on Chart and
Display R-squared Value on Chart. Both settings are near the bottom of the dialog, as
shown in Figure 5.5.
Figure 5.4
Although a scatter chart
of random data might
produce a trendline,
there is no correlation.
Figure 5.5
You can add a trendline
formula to the chart by
using this dialog.
5
Adding Labels to a Scatter Chart
When you create most other charts in this book, the first column contain labels. In
Figure 5.2, there are city names in column A, but they are not part of the dataset. This is
annoying. When you click a data point and choose to display the label, you can see that the
data point is at 47 latitude and has an average temperature of 37.2. However, you have to
scan through the original dataset to see that the data point in question is from Olympia,
Washington (see Figure 5.6).
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data Points
151
Figure 5.6
It would be good if you
could change the label
from the x and y values
to the label in column A.
One solution is to write a tiny bit of VBA macro code:
Sub AttachLabelsToPoints()
Dim Counter As Integer, ChartName As String, xVals As String
‘Store the formula for the first series in “xVals”.
xVals = ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Formula
‘Extract the range for the data from xVals.
xVals = Mid(xVals, InStr(InStr(xVals, “,”), xVals, _
Mid(Left(xVals, InStr(xVals, “!”) - 1), 9)))
xVals = Left(xVals, InStr(InStr(xVals, “!”), xVals, “,”) - 1)
Do While Left(xVals, 1) = “,”
xVals = Mid(xVals, 2)
Loop
‘Attach a label to each data point in the chart.
For Counter = 1 To Range(xVals).Cells.Count
ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Points(Counter).HasDataLabel = _
True
ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Points(Counter).DataLabel.Text = _
Range(xVals).Cells(Counter, 1).Offset(0, -1).Value
Next Counter
End Sub
TIP
If you select the chart and then run this macro, Excel displays the label next to each data
point, as shown in Figure 5.7. This is a useful addition to the chart.
If you are not comfortable with VBA, you can download a free add-in, the XY Chart Labeler, from
Rob Bovey, at www.appspro.com/Utilities/ChartLabeler.htm.
5
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Figure 5.7
Relevant labels for XY
charts are an asset.Why
does Microsoft make it so
hard to add them?
Joining the Points in a Scatter Chart with Lines
Of the five types of scatter chart types in the Change Chart Type dialog shown in
Figure 5.8, four are dots joined using lines.
Figure 5.8
Most of the scatter
charts are dots joined
with lines.
However, whereas the dot version of a scatter chart can be sequenced in any order, chaos
results if you try to join the dots with lines. In Figure 5.9, a familiar curve turns to
spaghetti when the dots are joined with lines.
Figure 5.9
5
Chaos results when an
unsorted XY chart is
joined with lines.
In Figure 5.10, using a line to join exactly the same dataset as in Figure 5.9 appears orderly.
If you plan on joining points with a line, you need to sort the underlying data into ascending sequence by the x value.
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data Points
153
Figure 5.10
If your data is sorted into
ascending sequence by
the x value, either a
straight line or smooth
line will work.
The bottom chart in Figure 5.10 uses Scatter with Smooth Lines and Markers. The top
chart in Figure 5.10 uses Scatter with Straight Lines and Markers. The difference is barely
perceptible: The line in the bottom chart is just slightly smoother.
If you use Scatter with Straight Lines and Markers when fewer data points are available, the
curve is not as well defined (see the top chart in Figure 5.11). You can use Scatter Chart
with Curved Lines and Markers to have Excel extrapolate and fill in the curve (as in the
bottom chart in Figure 5.11).
Figure 5.11
A smoothed line is particularly important with
sparse data.
5
Adding a Second Series to an XY Chart
It is fairly unintuitive to plot a pair of XY series on a single chart: you create a chart for a
single series and then use the Select Data icon to add the second series.
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You follow these steps to create an XY chart with two series:
1. Start with an XY series in two columns. In Figure 5.12, for example, the XY series is in
columns B and C.
Figure 5.12
You can create a chart
with an XY series.
2. Add the label for this series in the cell above the y points column (for example, the No
College heading in C1).
3. Create an XY chart from the data in B1:C24. The initial legend is No College. Leave
this legend as it is.
4. Change the title from No College to a title that covers both series.
5. Enter a new series in columns F:G. Enter the label for the second series in cell G1.
6. Click the chart to select the chart and bring back the Charting Tools ribbon.
5
7. From the Design ribbon, click the Select Data icon. Excel displays the Select Data
Source dialog.
8. Click the Add button in the Legend Entries section of the dialog. Excel displays the
Edit Series dialog.
9. Click in the Series Name box and choose cell G1.
10. Click in the Series X Value box. Highlight cells F2:F15 in the worksheet.
11. Click in the Series Y Values box and backspace to remove the default value of 1. Click
the Refers To box and highlight G2:G15. Excel adds sheet names and the dollar signs
to make the references absolute, as shown in Figure 5.13.
12. Click OK to close the Edit Series dialog. Click OK to return to the worksheet.
The final chart is shown in Figure 5.14.
Using XY Scatter Charts to Plot Pairs of Data Points
155
Figure 5.13
You specify the new
series in the Edit Series
dialog.
Figure 5.14
This chart compares
two XY series.
Drawing with a Scatter Chart
An unusual use for XY scatter charts with straight lines is to make crude drawings on a
chart.
To create a drawing, it helps to trace your drawing onto quadrille graph paper first. You
need to choose a point where the left edge and bottom edge cross. This will be the (0,0)
point. For every point in the drawing, you enter the x and y location. The x location is the
number of gridlines from the left edge of the chart to that point. The y location is the distance from the bottom of the chart to the point.
If you need to draw a curve, you can choose as many points as possible around the perimeter of the curve. The more points you can plot, the smoother the curve.
5
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Figure 5.15 shows an x and y dataset.
Figure 5.15
You can transfer points
from a drawing into
columns for x and y.
Next, you select the data from A2:B16. From the Insert ribbon, you choose Insert, Scatter,
Scatter with Straight Lines (that is, the thumbnail with straight lines and no markers).
Excel creates the chart shown in Figure 5.16.
Figure 5.16
5
Excel connects the x and
y points to create a simple drawing. See Figure
7.46 in Chapter 7,
“Advanced Chart
Techniques,” for an overthe-top example of this
technique.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
There are several types of charts that can be used to illustrate the relationship between two
variables.
■
Scatter charts are particularly well suited to comparing two variables that you think
might be related. While you can use scatter plots with large datasets, they are limited
in that it is very difficult to label the points without using some VBA or an add-in. If
you have a small dataset, you can use a paired bar chart to see the same information,
and this chart also adds a label so that you can see which records are not in line with
the others.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
157
■
In some cases, a pair of matching charts allows the reader to compare two variables to
see if there is a relationship.
■
In the real world, it is rare to find a value that is influenced by only one variable.
Usually, a whole host of factors contribute to a result. A bubble chart is a special type
of XY scatter chart that attempts to show the interplay between three variables. Bubble
charts are best used with small datasets.
■
Radar charts are rarely used charts that allow you to see the relationship between four
to six variables.
■
In some cases, you might have a population of results and be trying to figure out
whether any patterns exist in one variable. In these cases, use of the FREQUENCY function
allows you to make sense of the data by grouping members into similar categories and
then comparing the categories.
Testing Correlation Using a Scatter Chart
The dataset for a scatter chart is composed of two variables for every row in the dataset.
The values in the first column are plotted along the horizontal axis. The values in the second column are plotted along the vertical axis. The heading for the second column
becomes the name of that series.
In Figure 5.17, the data in B2:B15 represents a price survey of regional car dealerships for a
particular model of vehicle. Each pair of numbers in a row represents the data for a single
car. Mileage is in the first column, and price is in the second column. In theory, you would
expect that as the miles go up on a car, the price would come down.
Figure 5.17
The default scatter chart
at the top requires some
formatting before it can
be useful.
If you select the data from B1:C15 and insert a scatter chart, Excel provides the chart
shown in the top of Figure 5.17. The chart needs some labels to tell the complete story.
You follow these steps to format the chart to look like the bottom chart in Figure 5.17:
5
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1. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None to remove the legend.
2. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axis Titles, Primary Horizontal Axis Title, Title
Below Axis to add the words Axis Title below the horizontal axis.
3. Click Axis Title and type the new axis title Mileage (in thousands).
4. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axis Titles, Primary Vertical Axis Title, Rotated Title
to add the words “Axis Title” to the left of the vertical axis.
5. Click the Axis Title and type the new axis title of Price (in dollars).
6. Click the title and type a more descriptive title, such as Price as a Function
of
Mileage.
In Figure 5.17, it definitely appears that there is a fairly strong relationship between
mileage and price. Because the dots slant from top left to bottom right, the variables have
an inverse relationship.
You can ask Excel to do a least-squares regression and fit a trendline to the points plotted
on the chart. One of the trendline options is to display the regression equation and the
R-squared value on the chart. (Remember that R-squared is a measure of how well a trendline matches the points. R-squared ranges from 0 to 1, with 1 meaning a nearly perfect
correlation.)
Figure 5.18 shows three different scatter charts. The top chart has a perfect correlation and
an R-squared value of 1. The next chart has just a small bit of variation. Individual points
appear close to the trendline but are sometimes a bit above or below it. This provides an
R-squared value of 0.995. The bottom chart looks like a shotgun blast. There doesn’t
appear to be any correlation between those variables, and Excel reports an R-squared value
of 0.003. If the dataset is truly random, the trendline is often a straight horizontal line,
drawn through the value that marks the average of all of the points.
5
Figure 5.18
R-squared is a measure
of how well a trendline
fits the points in a chart.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
159
There are a few different ways to add a trendline and the R-squared value to a chart. One
way is to follow these steps:
1. Select the chart.
2. From the Layout ribbon, choose Trendline, More Trendline Options.
3. Choose Linear as the trend/regression type.
4. In the bottom of the Format Trendline dialog, choose either Display Equation on
Chart or Display R-squared Value on Chart.
5. If you want only the R-squared value on the chart, choose the Line Color style and
move the Transparency slider to 100%.
In Figure 5.19, the R-squared value has been added to both charts. Price and mileage have
an R-squared value of 0.849. Price and age have an R-squared value of 0.944. While both
sets have correlations, the age of the car seems to have more of an impact on price than
does mileage.
Figure 5.19
Based on the R-squared
values, age is a better
predictor of price than
is mileage.
5
Using Paired Bars to Show Relationships
A scatter chart lacks any easy ability to label the points with identifying names. If you need
to compare two variables and have around a dozen points, a paired bar chart can be more
effective than a scatter chart. For example, Figure 5.20 shows a preference for ice cream,
based on a survey of two groups, kids and adults.
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The chart is sorted by the kids’ preference. Any bars toward the bottom of the chart that
have a sizable presence on the right are flavors that grow in popularity as the respondents
mature.
Figure 5.20
A paired bar chart allows
you to compare values
for two populations.
To create this chart in Excel, you need to use a little trickery in several steps. This is a
stacked bar chart. The values for the left bar have to be in the Excel table as negative in
order to force them to stretch leftward from the axis.
You follow these steps to create the chart in Figure 5.20:
1. Sort your original data so that it is in descending order, by the first series.
2. Copy the dataset to the right of the original dataset. In the copy of the dataset,
enter the formula -B2 in cell F2 to create a negative value for the first series (see
Figure 5.21).
5
Figure 5.21
You can use a formula
to make the first
series negative.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
161
3. Select the data for your chart. Press Ctrl+1 to display the Format Cells dialog box. On
NOTE
the Number tab, choose the Custom category and type the custom number code 0;0.
Click OK. The negative numbers in column F are now displayed without the
minus sign.
While you are likely to type only a single format as your custom number format, the field is allowed
to have up to four “zones,” separated by semicolons. If you have two zones, the first format is for
positive numbers, and the second format is for negative numbers. For example, the code 0;-0
would display numbers as positive and negative.The code 0;(0) would display the negative numbers in parentheses.The code 0; would hide the negative numbers.The code 0;0 would actually
force the negative numbers to display without the minus sign and without parentheses. It is difficult to imagine why anyone would want to show negative numbers without the minus sign, until
you consider our current example, where it certainly comes in handy.
4. From the Insert ribbon, choose Bar, Stacked Bar. Excel creates the chart shown in
Figure 5.22. Note that the custom number format from step 3 carries through to the
horizontal axis labels. Even though the kids’ numbers are stored as negative, the numbers to the left of the midpoint are shown as positive.
Figure 5.22
Excel displays the start
of a paired bar chart.
5
5. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, Top to move the legend to the top. Moving
the legend changes the legend to a landscape orientation, with the first series on the
left and the second series on the right. This arrangement matches the data in the
chart.
6. Resize the chart vertically to allow enough room for each category name to appear
along the axis.
7. Choose Vertical (Value) Axis from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout
ribbon. Then choose the Categories in Reverse Order check box (the fourth selection
in the Axis Options panel).
Chapter 5
Creating Charts That Show Relationships
NOTE
162
Steps 8 and 9 are both optional, but they both involve the horizontal axis. If you plan to do either
step, choose Horizontal (Category) Axis from the Current Selection drop-down and choose Format
Selection.
8. (Optional) The initial chart is not quite symmetrical, running to 200 on the kids’ side
and to only 150 on the adults’ side. To correct this, specify a fixed minimum of –200
and a fixed maximum of 200.
9. (Optional) Initially, the category labels overwrite the left bars. You have to decide how
annoyed you are by this. It might be best to keep the labels there. If you want to move
them to the left, select Low from the Axis Labels drop-down.
This example creates a chart that plots a frequency distribution for two populations. While
it allows you to compare the preferences of the populations, the case study that follows provides another example of a paired bar chart that lets you examine the correlation between
two variables, just as you would do in a scatter chart.
C A S E S T U DY
Comparing the Relationship Between Discount and Sales
5
OurCo employs a staff of 10 sales reps.The sales reps are given a fair amount of discretion in offering sales discounts. A
rep is authorized to offer a new customer discount in order to secure a deal. A rep can also offer a large volume discount
in order to get the customer to increase the size of an order. Over the years, some of the veteran sales reps have created
their own discounts. As long as the order comes in with some reasonable explanation of why the customer was offered a
discount, the order is approved. In reality, no one in order processing has ever questioned any discount.There are no
checks and balances.
The sales manager defends the discounting practice, asserting that discounting leads to larger sales volumes.While this
could be true, it could also be that less savvy sales reps are using the discount as a crutch when they should be selling on
value.
You produce the table in Figure 5.23. If you print this out and take it to the sales manager and, worse, his boss, their eyes
will glaze over.
Figure 5.23
This table doesn’t reveal
many trends.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
163
A better presentation for the same data would be the chart in Figure 5.24. If higher discounts lead to higher sales, then
the revenue bars on the right would also be sorted from longest to shortest. However, the rep with the lowest discount
(Nathan) happens to have one of the highest sales volumes.
Figure 5.24
If higher discounts lead
to higher sales, the bars
on the right would be
sorted from longest
to shortest.
You follow these steps to build a paired bar chart to compare discount with revenue:
1. In cell D1, enter the heading Rep. In cell D2, enter =A2. Select D2. Double-click the fill handle to copy the formula
down to D11.
2. In cell E1, enter the heading Revenue. In cell E2, enter the formula =C2 in order to copy revenue over to column E.
3. Repeat step 1 in column F to build rep names in column F.
4. Enter the heading Discount in cell G1. Enter the formula =(C2/B2)-1 in cell G2 to calculate discount from a
list as a percentage. Select cell G2 and double-click the fill handle to copy the chart down to G11.
5. Select one cell in column G. Choose ZA ↓ from the Data ribbon to sort the data with the smallest discount at
the top.
6. Select cells D1:E11. Next, you are going to create the left and right halves of the chart in different steps.The data in
cells D1:E11 will be used for the Revenue side of the chart.
7. From the Insert ribbon, choose Bar, 2-D Bar, Clustered Bar. Excel creates a bar chart for revenue.You want to completely format this chart first.
8. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, No Legend.
9. Click the border of the chart to select the chart area. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, None.This will
allow you to later arrange the two charts without anyone knowing that they are not the same chart.
10. Drag the chart to the lower-right corner of your screen.
11. Click the border of the chart. Start to drag to the left. After you start to drag, press and hold down Ctrl+Shift.The
Ctrl key tells Excel that you want to make a copy of the object.The Shift key constrains the movement in one direction. If you move to the left, the copy will be exactly the same vertical location as the original.
12. Click outside the new chart and then click in the new chart.
13. You don’t need the names along the vertical axis. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axes, Primary Vertical Axis,
No Axis.
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NOTE
14. You should see a blue box around the revenue cells in column E. Click the border of the blue outline and drag it to
the right so that it surrounds the discounts in column G. Because those values are negative, the chart flips around,
and the bars extend left from an axis on the right side of the chart.
It is worth noting that if both of your series were positive, you would need to convert the series for
the left chart to be negative. For this, you would use the custom format code 0;0 discussed earlier
in this chapter.
15. Drag the green box around Revenue in E1 over to the Discount heading in G1.
16. Click the border of the chart on the left. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, None to make the area outside
the plot area transparent. Doing this allows you to move the chart on the left very close to the axis labels of the
chart on the right.
There is one remaining problem:The names along the vertical axis of the right chart are right-aligned.To center-align
these labels between the two charts, one approach is to add extra spaces to the right side of the short names in order to
move them away from the axis.This trick works best when the labels are in a fixed-width font, such as Courier New.To
center the names, you follow these steps:
1. Enter this formula in cell D2:
=A2&REPT(CHAR(160),ROUNDUP(4-LEN(A2)/2,0))
Copy this formula down to the other rows.
2. Click the labels along the vertical axis. On the Home ribbon, choose Courier New from the Font drop-down.
5
3. If necessary, drag the chart on the left into position. Remember to hold down the Shift key while you drag the
chart to constrain the movement in only one direction.This enables you to move the chart sideways without moving it up or down.
Several important steps are necessary to pull off the chart trick. By making one chart and then copying it, you are sure
that both charts have the same height and scale. By using No Line on both charts and No Fill on the left chart, you
remove many of the clues that this is really two charts.
The title above the chart in Figure 5.24 is a text box.To create the text box, you follow these steps:
1. On the Insert ribbon, choose the Text Box icon.
2. Drag in the spreadsheet above the charts and type a title.
3. Click the border of the text box and use the formatting tools on the Home ribbon to adjust the font size.
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165
The following section describes an example of a paired bar chart.
DESIGNING CHARTS LIKE THE PROS
Kathy Villella: Comparing Three Variables with a Paired Bar Chart
The paired bar chart discussed here is particularly difficult to emulate in Excel. It is a chart from Kathy Villella, the
founder of PowerFrameworks.com. Kathy shows this chart in PowerPoint, but it is created using a custom template.
Kathy emphasizes that you should always have the larger numbers on the left of a chart.The chart in Figure 5.25
compares the revenue of one company to the revenue of an entire industry.The numbers for the entire industry
should appear on the left.
Figure 5.25
This paired bar chart
compares one company
to the entire industry,
providing information for
both industry segment
and region.
To emulate this chart in Excel, you follow these steps:
1. Set up the data in A2:E6 of Figure 5.26 to create the chart shown on the right in Figure 5.25. Put the industry labels
across cells B2:B6. Put the regions in cells A3:A6. (The title in cell A1 is there for convenience only.)
2. Copy cells A1:E6 to A8. Change the second dataset to include data to create the chart on the left in Figure 5.25.
3. Select cells A2:E6. From the Insert ribbon, choose Bar, 2-D Bar, Clustered Bar.
4. In the Design ribbon, open the Chart Styles gallery. Choose one of the styles that show various shades of blue.
5. Initially, the chart shows a scale from 0 to 30.You need to make this large enough to match the chart on the left
side. Right-click the numbers along the horizontal axis and do the following:
• Choose Format Axis.
• Choose Maximum, Fixed, 60.
• Choose Major Unit, Fixed 10.
6. Right-click the labels along the vertical axis and then choose Format Axis. Click Categories in Reverse Order.
7. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, Show Legend at Top.
8. Click the resizing handle for the chart on the right side and drag to the left to make the chart more like a square
than a rectangle.
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Figure 5.26
The final Excel chart
emulates Kathy Villella’s
chart.
9. From the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Above Chart. Excel adds a chart, centered above the left chart, above the
legend, and a bit too large. Click the Chart Title and type the new title OurCo Revenue. Click the border of the
title to select it. From the Home ribbon, click the Decrease Font Size button until the title is about 12 point. Drag
the title so that it appears flush with the left vertical axis.This causes the title to overlay part of the legend.
10. Drag the legend to the upper-right corner of the chart.The legend will be one row tall by four columns wide.
Resize the legend, making it about half as wide and more than twice as tall.This action should convince Excel to
show the legend in a two-by-two arrangement. If you see only two of the four parts of the legend, click the
Decrease Font Size button on the Home ribbon until the legend appears in a two-by-two arrangement.
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11. Click the chart area. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, No Outline.This removes the line from around
the entire chart. Because the final product actually contains two charts, you don’t want a border around just one of
the charts.
12. Make a copy of the original chart. Click the border of the chart and drag it to the left. After you start to drag, hold
down Ctrl+Shift. Drop the new chart just to the left of the original chart.The copy of the chart still points at B2:E7.
13. While the new chart is selected, there is a blue border around B3:E7. Click this border and drag it down so that it
encompasses B10:E12.The green border automatically moves to A10:A13. However, the purple border stays around
B2:E2.This is okay.
14. Right-click the values along the top of the chart. Choose Format Axis. Choose Values in Reverse Order and click OK
to reverse the direction of the bars so that they run from right to left.You still have to remove the vertical axis
labels from the left chart and the legend from the left chart.This will cause the perfectly sized plot area on the left
chart to resize.
15. Click the Legend in the chart on the left and press the Delete key.
16. Click the labels along the vertical axis in the chart on the left and press the Delete key.
17. Click the plot area. Use the top resizing handle to pull the top of the chart down so that it is even with the top of
the chart on the right. As you are dragging, there are two dotted rectangles.You want to focus on the top of the
inner rectangle to line it up with the top of the plot area on the right chart.
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167
18. In the chart on the left, change the OurCo Revenue title to Worldwide Receipts. Click the border of the title.
Hold down the Shift key while you drag this title so that it is flush with the right side of the axis. After you have
deleted the axis labels from the chart, Excel stretches the plot area to fill the entire chart area.
19. Resize the plot area either with VBA or by selecting Shapes, Lines, Line from the Insert ribbon. Draw a horizontal
line below the chart on the right.The line is a measuring tool; draw it from the left baseline to the right plot area. It
is important that this line be outside the chart area; you want to draw the line on the spreadsheet.
20. Move the line so that it is under the chart on the left.The right side of the line should line up with the right edge of
the plot area.This line provides a guideline in step 21. As you are resizing the chart, keep adjusting until the plot
area is the correct size.
21. Click the chart area of the chart on the left. Drag the left resizing handle toward the center of the chart. Release the
handle and see if the plot area is about the same size as the line underneath the chart.This is a trial-and-error
method. Keep resizing until the plot area and the line are roughly the same size.
22. From the Insert ribbon, click the Text Box icon. Drag to draw a new text box above the charts. In the text box, type
the title OurCo’s Strength Lies , press Enter, and type in Unexpected Areas. Click the border of the
text box to select the text box. From the Home ribbon, change the font to Cambria, change the size to 16 point, and
click the Bold button. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, None. Drag the title into position so that it
appears that it is lined up with the left edge of the chart on the left.
NOTE
The final chart is shown in Figure 5.26.
Kathy Villella offers templates to help you communicate effectively with PowerPoint and charts at
www.PowerFrameworks.com.Thanks to Kathy for donating this chart!
5
Using Paired Matching Charts
Since 1950, the “usual gang of idiots” have been satirizing popular culture at MAD
Magazine. Writers Dan Birthcer and George Woodbridge inadvertently came up with an
interesting way of comparing two independent variables in the October 1991 panel
described in the following section.
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DESIGNING CHARTS LIKE THE PROS
MAD Magazine: Creating a Paired Comparison Chart
NOTE
A MAD Magazine article titled “Cause or Coincidence” in October 1991 fictitiously tried to show a relationship
between two variables.The writers would hypothesize that the rise in missing person reports happened to coincide with
the increase in David Copperfield performances. Of course, not all of the charts were exactly politically correct. Figure
5.27 shows a modern-day version of a MAD chart illustrated by Bob D’Amico.
If you are a fan of MAD, check out issue 306, pp 30-31, to see all nine of the chart comparisons. A
DVD of every MAD published from 1950 through 2005 was published in 2006.
Figure 5.27
These chart pairs ponder
if there is a causal
relationship between
two variables.
5
Figure 5.28 shows a similar pair of charts in Excel.To create this illustration, you use two series in each chart.The first
series provides a solid background and a line for the area chart.The second series provides the illustration for the
area chart.
You follow these steps to create a paired comparison chart in Excel:
1. Set up a dataset in A1:B6 with the information for the left chart. Copy the data in B2:B6 to C2. Add the heading
Football 2 in C1.The data in C1 will become the second series that is used to hold the graphic to fill the area
underneath the line.
2. Select A1:C6. From the Insert ribbon, choose Area, 2-D Area, Area.
3. Add vertical gridlines by choosing Gridlines, Primary Vertical Gridlines, Major Gridlines on the Layout ribbon.
4. Add a title by choosing Chart Title, Above Chart on the Layout ribbon.Type a title such as Football
Wins.
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169
Figure 5.28
This Excel chart approximates the MAD chart.
5. Click the area chart.To select the second series, from the Insert ribbon, choose Clip Art to display the Clip Art pane.
Search clips for football.When you find a suitable one, click the arrow for the drop-down list to the right of that clip
and then choose Copy. Press Ctrl+V to paste the clip art into your chart. Most of the Microsoft clips have transparent backgrounds.The Series 1 area, which is the same size and shape as Series 2, will provide a colored background
for the transparent clip art.
6. Remove the Legend by choosing Legend, None on the Layout ribbon.
7. Click on the chart area (that is, the area inside the chart border but outside the plot area). From the Format ribbon,
choose Shape Fill and choose a light blue fill.You will actually use a dark fill later, but the light blue provides the
necessary contrast for step 8.
8. Click the title. From the Home ribbon, choose a white font. Click the vertical axis labels and choose white from the
font color drop-down. Do the same for the horizontal axis labels.
9. Click the chart area and then choose Format, Shape Fill and select either a black or dark blue fill.
10. Because the chart is wider than it is tall, shrink the width of the chart so that the chart is just slightly taller than it
is wide by dragging a resize handle.
11. You can now make a copy of the chart. Click the chart border and drag to the right. After you start to drag, hold
down Ctrl+Shift. Drag the chart far enough that you have about a one-column split between the charts.
12. Set up a column for alumni donations in column D and a column with identical numbers but the heading
Alumni2 in column E.
13. Click the plot area of the second chart (being careful not to select gridlines or the data series). Excel draws a blue
border around cells B2:C6. Grab the edge of the blue border and drag to the right so that it surrounds D2:E6.The
green outline in B2:B6 also gets copied to D1:E1.
14. Change the title of the second chart to Alumni
Donations.
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15. Notice that the plot area on the right side is a bit smaller than the plot area on the left.This is because the numeric
labels are longer on the right chart. Choose the labels along the vertical axis. Right-click and choose Format Axis.
For Display Units, choose Millions. For the Axis Labels drop-down, choose High. Click Close.The axis labels move to
the right side of the chart.
16. In the Clip Art pane, search for Dollar or Money. Choose one of the clip art icons and choose Copy from the dropdown list on the right. Click the football helmet in the new chart. From the Layout ribbon, the Current Selection
drop-down indicates that Series Alumni 2 is selected. Press Ctrl+V to paste the money clip art into that chart.The
final steps are to draw in the arrows.
17. From the Insert ribbon, choose Insert, Shapes, Block Arrow, Right Arrow. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill
and then choose a black fill. Choose Shape Outline, Black.
18. To add a second arrow, press Ctrl+C when the first arrow is selected. Click a new cell and press Ctrl+V to paste a
new arrow.While holding down the Shift key, use the green outline to spin the arrow so it is pointing left.
19. If necessary, nudge the charts so that the arrows touch each chart.
Thanks to the usual gang of idiots at MAD Magazine for providing the concept for this chart.
Adding a Third Dimension with a Bubble Chart
A bubble chart attempts to add a third piece of information to each point in an XY scatter
chart. In a bubble chart, the size of the marker varies, based on the third data point for
each marker.
The best time to use a bubble chart is when you have a sparse dataset. The size of the bubbles makes it difficult to read the chart when you have too many data points on the chart.
5
Figure 5.29 shows a bubble chart. The size of each bubble is based on the selling price for
a particular model of car. The location of the bubble along the horizontal axis indicates the
age of the car. The location of the bubble along the vertical axis shows the mileage of the car.
In theory, cars that are older or have higher mileage should have lower prices. However,
you can find some bubbles where the seller of an older car is asking for more money.
Here are some tips for creating bubble charts:
■
You should always leave the heading off the top-left cell in the data range. This rule
applies any time you have numbers as the first column of your dataset. It is particularly
important with bubble charts.
■
The initial size of the bubbles is always too large (initially scaled to 100%). If you see
too much overlap in the bubbles, you can right-click a bubble and choose Format Data
Series. In Figure 5.29, the bubbles are scaled down to 30% in order to prevent excessive overlapping.
■
There is an option in the Format Series dialog to have the size data translated into the
area of the bubble or the width of the bubble. You should always choose the area of the
bubble.
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171
Figure 5.29
This bubble chart shows
the relationship between
age, mileage, and price.
In both charts shown in Figure 5.30, each bubble is two times larger than the previous bubble. The top chart includes the option that the size of data in the third column affects the
area of the bubble. This is the default setting, and it is the correct setting. If you instead
decide to tie the data in the table to the width of the bubble, you violate the pictograph
rule. When you are using pictures for markers, you should increase the marker in only one
dimension, not in both dimensions.
Figure 5.30
The width setting in the
bottom chart creates the
false impression that the
bubble is four times
larger than the previous
bubble.
5
The area of a circle is determined with the formula PI() * Radius^2. If you have one bubble that is double the size of another and you attempt to demonstrate this by doubling the
radius, the actual area of the circle increases geometrically. This is misleading.
To create the chart in Figure 5.29, you follow these steps:
1. Set up your data with age in column A, mileage in column B, and price in column C.
It is okay to have headings above the data in columns B and C.
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2. Select cells A1:C15.
3. From the Insert ribbon, choose Other Charts, Bubble, Bubble with a 3-D Effect.
4. Right-click one bubble and choose Format Series. Change the Scale Bubble Size value
from 100 to 30.
5. Right-click the numbers along the vertical axis and choose Format Axis. Change
Minimum to Fixed, 0.
6. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
7. From the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Above Chart. Click the title and type a
new title.
8. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axis Titles, Primary Horizontal Axis Title, Title
Below Axis. Click the axis title and type the new title Age
(Years).
9. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axis Titles, Primary Vertical Axis Title, Rotated Title.
When you need to show the relationship between three variables and you have only a few
points to compare, a bubble chart will create an effective presentation of the data.
Using a Frequency Distribution to Categorize Thousands of Points
Suppose your dataset had results of 30,000 trials. Figuring out how to present this data is
fairly difficult. The chart in Figure 5.31 is a first attempt. The data is sorted by the trial
number in column A, and a line chart is based on columns A and B. You can’t really tell
anything from this chart. Well, you can tell that the range is basically from 20 to 100, but
that is about it.
Figure 5.31
5
Sorted by Trial #
This can’t be the best
way to plot this data.
If you sort the data by the result field in column B, the chart changes into a smooth line, as
shown in Figure 5.32. Again, you can tell that the range is from 20 to 100. In addition, you
can tell that for 60% of the chart, the data ranges from 40 to 60.
To create a more useful chart with this data, you need to use a fairly obscure function. You
use the FREQUENCY function to group the data into bins. This function is one of the few
functions that returns several different answers all at once. These functions, called array
functions, require special care and handling.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
Figure 5.32
173
Sorted by Result
Some might be able to
draw conclusions from
this, but this chart is not
obvious.
Creating Bins
To make sense of the data in column B in Figure 5.32, you need to group the results into
equal-sized bins. You need to type limits for each bin in a range, going down a column of
the worksheet.
If your first bin is the number 0, the FREQUENCY function shows all the trial results less than
0 next to that bin. If the next bin is the number 15, the FREQUENCY function shows all the
trial results from the last bin (0) to the current value (15).
To create bins that contain ranges of 15 units each, you follow these steps:
1. Type 0, 15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90, 105, in cells E2:E9. Remember that this range contains eight cells.
2. Because the FREQUENCY function returns one more value than the number of bins that
you have, select the empty cells F2:F10, as shown in Figure 5.33. The additional bin is
for any results larger than your last bin value.
Figure 5.33
It might feel strange,
but you are entering one
formula in this range.
3. Type =FREQUENCY(.
4. When Excel asks for the data array, enter the trial results from B2:B3001. Type
a comma.
5. When Excel asks for the Bins array, enter the values from E2:E9.
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NOTE
174
If you were actually entering nine copies of this formula, you would have to put dollar signs in all
those references. However, this is one single formula that will return nine results, so you don’t need
dollar signs.
6. Type the closing parenthesis but do not press Enter (see Figure 5.34).
Figure 5.34
It might feel strange, but
you are entering one
formula in this range.
7. Hold down Ctrl+Shift while pressing Enter. Excel returns all nine answers at once.
You now have one formula entered in nine cells.
Take a look at the results of the formula shown in Figure 5.35.
Figure 5.35
These results make sense
only if you understand
how the bins work.
5
You have to “know the code” in order to figure out what is going on here. There is a 0 next
to the 0, and there is a 10 next to the 15. This means that none of the results were less than
0 and 10 of the results were between 0 and 15. At the other end of the range, there is a 34
next to the 105, and there is a 0 below that. This means that there are 34 results between
90 and 105. The final 0 means that there were no results above 105. When you set up the
bin range, you should always bracket the expected results with one bin above and below
your expected results. Having a 0 end up as the first and last result means that you have
accurately captured all your results.
TIP
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175
If you can’t remember if the 10 means that there were numbers below 15 or above 15, you can
always sort the results and count the number that appears in the first range. If the process of creating bins seems extremely confusing, you are not alone. Microsoft hopes to make frequency distribution charts much easier in a future version of Excel.
Creating the Frequency Distribution Chart
The results in column F in Figure 5.35 are somewhat difficult to decode, but you can
improve the appearance of the labels along the axis of the chart.
In Figure 5.36, the formulas in H3:H9 concatenate the bins so that they make more sense.
The formula =E2&”-”&E3 concatenates the bin in the previous row, a dash, and the bin in
the current row. The formulas in column I simply copy the results from the current row of
the array formula in F.
Figure 5.36
You can use formulas to
build a table that makes
more sense than the
previous results.
To create the Frequency Distribution chart, you follow these steps.
1. Select cells H3:I9.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose Column, 2-D, Clustered Column.
3. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
4. Normally, there is a fair-sized gap between the columns. If you prefer that the columns
touch each other, or even that there be less of a gap, you can change the gap width by
right-clicking a column, choosing Format Data Series, and then dragging the Gap
Width slider to 0%.
5. Resize the chart so that it is narrower.
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Figure 5.37
Frequency charts typically eliminate the gap
between columns.This is
strictly your preference.
Using Radar Charts to Create Performance Reviews
Radar charts are designed for showing a person’s or a company’s rating along several performance areas. Here are some typical usages:
5
■
Employee performance review—a manager might rate an employee using a one- to
five-point rating scale in areas such as efficiency, accuracy, timeliness, and so on. While
this data can be presented in a table, a radar chart provides an interesting presentation
alternative.
■
Customer satisfaction results—a marketing manager could use a radar chart to summarize the results of a customer satisfaction survey. In this case, one line could be used
to show customer satisfaction along rating areas such as speed, accuracy, and value.
If you wanted to summarize customer satisfaction results for two companies, you could present the results as two charts, as shown in Figure 5.38, or as two series on a single chart, as
shown in Figure 5.39.
You can choose to fill in the chart area or to show the series as a line. You should leave the
chart unfilled when you put two series on one chart.
Figure 5.38
With only one series,
you can choose to fill
in the series.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
177
Figure 5.39
When you have two
series, you should not fill
in the lines so the reader
can see the overlap.
You can use a radar chart to compare some kind of results from this year versus the same
kind of results from last year. In Figure 5.40, for example, the line for last year is dark
black, and the line for this year is a dashed line in a lighter color.
Figure 5.40
Radar charts can compare several values from
last year to this year.
5
To create the performance review chart shown in Figure 5.40, you follow these steps:
1. Using the information in Figure 5.40, enter the categories in column A, starting in A2.
The category in A2 will appear at 12:00 on the chart. The remaining categories will be
arranged in clockwise order.
2. In cells B1 and C1, enter the headings for last year and this year.
3. Enter the 1–5 ratings in B2:C6.
4. Select cell A1:C6. From the Insert ribbon, choose Other Charts, Radar, Radar with
Markers.
5. Click the line from this year. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, Dashes,
and then select the fourth choice, called Dash.
All the examples so far show measures that are of similar scale. If you needed to show a
series that is of a different order of magnitude, you could plot the series on a secondary axis.
To do this, you select the axis and choose Format Axis and then choose Secondary Axis.
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In the celebrity chart described in the following section, the designer used a radar chart for
something that is not quite typical. In this case, the designer solves the order-of-magnitude
problem by using a logarithmic scale.
DESIGNING CHARTS LIKE THE PROS
Manoj Sharma: Radar Charts
The radar chart in Figure 5.41 shows four rating metrics for 24 different individuals.This is an unusual use for a
radar chart.
Figure 5.41
Radar charts can compare several values from
last year to this year.
5
This chart packs a lot of information into a small space.You can spot anomalies within the data. For example, you can see
that Mark Brunell had significantly lower interceptions than other quarterbacks. However, with this chart, it is difficult to
figure out exactly what is happening.To a certain extent, a particular point looks interesting only if a neighboring point is
higher or lower. For example, several quarterbacks on the right side of the chart have longer receptions than others, but
because they are all higher than normal, it is difficult to detect an issue.
Figure 5.42 shows a similar chart, created in Excel.
Sorting the players in alphabetic sequence allows some variability to appear. If you sorted the players in descending
sequence by passing yards, that line would gently spiral in, and the change would be barely perceptible.
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179
Figure 5.42
This radar chart does
an average job of
approximating the
designer chart.
Figure 5.43
To set up a radar chart,
put the names of each
spoke in the first column,
and then values for each
series in subsequent
columns.
To create the radar chart, follow these steps:
1. Start with player names in column A, and then four measures in columns B through E (Figure 5.43).
2. Select the range A1:E25. From the Insert ribbon, choose Other Charts, Radar. Excel creates a chart that is very small.
3. Use the zoom slider to reduce the worksheet zoom to 80%.This allows you to resize the chart to cover a larger area
of the worksheet.
4. Enlarge the chart—for example, a chart from G2:AB48 is large enough to allow all of the player names to appear
at the end of each spoke.
5. Right-click on the axis numbers and choose Format Axis. Check the box for Logarithmic Scale. Click OK to close the
Format Axis dialog.You will now be able to see the smallest series—% Interceptions on the chart.
6. On the Layout ribbon, choose Gridlines, Primary Horizontal Gridlines, More Primary Horizontal Gridlines Options.
Change the line color from Automatic to Sold Line. Choose a light grey color so that the gridlines do not overpower
the series lines.
7. Click on one data label to select all of the data labels. Use the Increase Font Size icon on the Home ribbon to
enlarge the labels. Use the Bold icon on the Home ribbon to change the labels to Bold.
8. Sort the data into alphabetic sequence. Select one player name in the worksheet. Use the AZ button on the Data
ribbon to sort the players.This allows some variability to appear. If you sorted the players in descending sequence
by rating, that line would gently spiral in, and the change would be barely perceptible.
5
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NOTE
The designer chart has a better legend than the built-in legend in Excel.You would have to replace the built-in legend
with a series of shapes in Excel 2007 to approximate the legend in Figure 5.41.
This chart in Figure 5.41 was designed in AutoCAD by Manoj Sharma. He can be found doing custom
design work as ThePrintGuru on www.elance.com.
A Chart from Gene Zelazny
Gene Zelazny is the director of visual communications for McKinsey & Company. His
books on charting and presentations are filled with ideas for effectively communicating
information visually.
I asked Gene if he would contribute a chart that doesn’t look like a typical Excel chart. He
contributed the chart described in the following section.
DESIGNING CHARTS LIKE THE PROS
Gene Zelazny: Zelazny Chart
A number of retirees were surveyed about their impressions of certain types of companies to provide retirement advice.
The resulting data is shown in the table in Figure 5.44. A typical approach to this analysis, a 100% stacked bar chart, is
shown at the bottom of Figure 5.44.
5
Figure 5.44
Most people would present this data with a
100% stacked bar chart.
Using Charts to Show Relationships
181
Gene’s version of the chart, shown in Figure 5.45, minimizes the neutral answers. All the neutral answers are shown
along an imaginary baseline, in equal-size markers.The positive answers are shown as yellow upward-facing arrows.The
neutral markers are blue.The negative answers are shown as red downward-facing arrows (see Figure 5.45).
Figure 5.45
Gene’s chart will be
moderately difficult to
re-create in Excel.
To create this chart in Excel, you follow these steps:
1. Set up data labels in column A for the four types of institutions.
2. Type the heading Negative in cell B1. Enter negative percentages in B2:B5. For example, the value for investment companies should be entered as -55%.This forces the bar to be drawn below the axis.
3. Type the heading Neutral in cell C1. Enter 0% in C2:C5.
4. Type the heading Positive in cell D1. Enter the positive values from the original table.
5. Make sure that columns C and D are formatted as percentages with 0 decimal places.
6. Format column B with a custom numeric code of 0%;0%.This forces negative values to show as positive.
7. Select cells A1:D5. From the Insert ribbon, choose Column, 2-D Column, Stacked Column.
8. Resize the chart using the resize handles so that it is larger—perhaps as large as cells A7:J34.
9. Carefully right-click one of the labels along the axis. Choose Format Axis. In the Format Axis dialog, choose Axis
Labels as High.The titles move so that they are above the chart.
10. Right-click the columns above the axis. Choose Add Data Labels. From the Format ribbon’s Shape Fill drop-down,
choose a yellow color.
11. Click the data labels. Choose a size of 14 point from the Home ribbon.
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Chapter 5
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12. Click a data label and move it on top of the appropriate column. Repeat for each of the other data labels.
13. Right-click the columns below the axis. Choose Add Data Labels. From the Format ribbon’s Shape Fill drop-down,
choose a red color.
14. Click the lower data labels. On the Home ribbon, choose 14 point for the font size.
15. Click a data label and move it to below the appropriate bottom column. Repeat for each of the other data labels.
16. From the Format ribbon’s Current Selection drop-down, choose Series Neutral.Then choose Shape Fill, Green to
make the legend entry green.
17. Choose the legend by clicking it. On the Home ribbon, increase the font size to 14.
18. Choose the Axis labels. Change the font size to 14.
19. From the Insert ribbon, choose Shapes, Block Arrows, Upward Facing Arrow. Draw an arrow next to the chart.
20. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, No Outline to remove the border.Then choose Shape Fill,Yellow.
Choose a yellow to match the upper columns.
21. With the arrow selected, press Ctrl+C to copy the arrow.
22. Click one of the top columns in the chart. Press Ctrl+V. Excel replaces the columns with a block arrow.
23. Select the arrow. From the Format ribbon, choose Rotate, Flip Vertical and then choose Format Shape Fill, Red.
24. Press Ctrl+C to copy the arrow.
25. Click the lower bars in the chart. Press Ctrl+V to paste.The lower bars are replaced by red arrows.
26. Delete the arrow on the worksheet.
27. Right-click any bar and choose Format Data Series. Change the gap width to 30%.
28. From the Insert ribbon, choose Text Box. Draw a text box for the neutral labels on the first arrow.The text box
should be as wide as the arrow. It should extend equally above and below the horizontal axis.
5
29. With the text box selected, choose Shape Fill, Green on the Format ribbon. Choose Shape Outline, No Outline.
30. Press Ctrl+1 to access the Format Shape dialog. Choose Text Box from the categories on the left. Change the
Internal Margin to 0 inches on the left, right, top, and bottom. Close the Format dialog.
31. From the Home ribbon, choose 14 point, black font, center align, and middle align.
32. Type 5% in the text box.
33. Click the border of the text box.Start to drag right.After you start to drag, hold down Shift+Ctrl to make a copy of
the text box and constrain the movement to only horizontal.Drop the text box on the second column and type 16%.
34. Repeat step 33, using 9% for the third column and 8% for the fourth column.
35. Add a title above the chart in the worksheet cells.
Using Surface Charts to Show Contrast
183
The final chart is shown in Figure 5.46.
Figure 5.46
NOTE
The final Zelazny chart
in Excel.
Thanks to Gene Zelazny for contributing this original chart to the book. For more information about
Gene and his excellent Say It With Charts book, visit www.zelazny.com.
5
Using Surface Charts to Show Contrast
Not many datasets can be plotted as surface chart, which look like topographic maps.
Because you use a surface chart to represent a 3-D surface on a 2-D piece of paper, it is particularly important that your surface be generally sloping toward the front of the chart.
Otherwise, you will never see the details hidden by the hill at the front of the chart.
Before you start to build a dataset, you should look at Figure 5.47. The data for the chart is
in C3:L12. Each data point requires two headings. Headings for the front axis are in C2:L2.
Headings for the side axis are in B3:B12.
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Chapter 5
Creating Charts That Show Relationships
Figure 5.47
You should study this
table and chart to
understand how surface
charts work.
Data at the top of the table appears at the front edge of the chart. Data in the last row of
the table appears at the back of the chart. The Front and Back labels in column A are there
to help you keep track of this.
Data in the left column of the table appears in the left side of the chart. The four arrows
point out where each corner of the data table ends up in the chart.
To create this chart, you select cells B2:L12. From the Insert ribbon, you choose Other
Charts, Surface, 3-D Surface.
5
Many datasets are not designed to have the smallest numbers at the front of the chart. In
Figure 5.48, for example, the top-left chart has the highest numbers along the front wall of
the chart.
Figure 5.48
All four charts represent
the same data. Each
chart provides a different
view angle.
Next Steps
185
When the front wall of the surface chart is higher than the other points, you can use the
techniques that follow to create the other three charts.
Using the Depth Axis
One element unique to surface charts is the depth axis. This is the axis that falls along the
right side of the chart in the default orientation.
In the top-right chart in Figure 5.48, the chart has been turned around by having the orientation of the depth axis changed. You follow these steps to create this effect:
1. From the Layout ribbon, choose Current Selection, Depth (Series) Axis.
2. Click Format Selection.
3. Choose Series in Reverse Order.
Because the depth axis is treated as a category axis, you do not have control over the minimum or maximum values along the axis. The Format dialog box is limited to settings for
the interval between tick marks and labels and where the tick marks and labels appear.
Controlling a Surface Chart Through 3-D Rotation
You can spin a surface chart by rotating it. To access the rotation settings, you choose 3-D
Rotation from the Layout ribbon. This takes you to the 3-D Rotation category of the
Format Chart Area dialog, which has the following settings:
■
X Rotation—This setting ranges from 0 degrees to 359.9 degrees. It rotates the floor
of the chart in a clockwise direction (looking down at the chart from above).
■
Y Rotation—This setting starts at +15 degrees. It is your viewing angle in relation to
the baseline of the chart. With an angle of 15 degrees, you are looking slightly down at
the chart. With an angle of 0 degrees, a lot of the 3-D effects disappear. As you
increase from 10 to 80 degrees, you have slightly different views of the chart. At 90
degrees, the chart becomes flat, as you are looking directly down from above. You can
also enter negative values from 0 to –90. As you move from –10 to –80, you look at the
chart from underneath. This might allow you to see better detail. When you reach –90,
the chart turns flat again, as you are looking directly up at the chart from below.
Perspective ranges from 0 to 120. A value of 0 creates the least distortion. As you increase
to 120, the foreshortening increases, creating distortion similar to what you get with an
ultra-wide-angle lens on a camera.
Next Steps
In Chapter 6, “Creating Stock Analysis Charts,” you will learn about the process of creating
charts to show the performance of stocks and securities. While Excel offers four types of
built-in stock charts, they appear dated in light of modern stark charts available on numerous web sites. Chapter 6 shows you how to go beyond the four built-in charts to create
modern-looking stock charts.
5
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Creating Stock Analysis
Charts
Overview of Stock Charts
Excel provides four basic types of stock analysis
charts: High-Low-Close, Open-High-Low-Close,
Volume-High-Low-Close, and Volume-OpenHigh-Low-Close. These built-in charts are helpful
when you need to display a stock trend for use in an
executive dashboard.
Unfortunately, like the old charting in Excel 2003,
the stock charts are showing signs of age. If you are
used to the charts in The Wall Street Journal or on
http://finance.yahoo.com, you can see that charting
technology has definitely left Excel 2007 behind.
This chapter guides you on how to coax acceptable
results out of the Excel charting engine. Sometimes, though, it is easier to ditch the Excel stock
charts and design your own chart, using a line chart.
If you are planning on doing dashboard reporting,
this chapter gives you a few tips for making your
charts much smaller than usual but still keeping
them readable.
Typically, stock charts in the newspaper or online
are represented by one of three chart types: line
charts, open-high-low-close (OHLC) charts, and
candlestick charts.
Line Charts
A line chart shows the closing price of a security
every day for a month, quarter, half year, year, or
longer. A line chart may show a second series of
volume represented as a column chart at the bottom of the chart. To create a line chart in Excel,
you don’t have to use stock chart types at all; you
can simply choose a line chart.
One advantage of line charts is that it is very easy to
add a second security to a line chart to show how the
original security is doing compared to an index or a
6
IN THIS CHAPTER
Overview of Stock Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .187
Obtaining Stock Data to Chart . . . . . . . . . . . .189
Creating a Line Chart to Show
Closing Prices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
Creating OHLC Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
Creating Candlestick Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . .209
Creating a Live Chart by Using a
Web Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .216
Making Charts Small for Use in
Dashboards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .219
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .221
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Chapter 6
Creating Stock Analysis Charts
competitor. In Figure 6.1, for example, a line chart shows the closing price for a security for
one year. A volume chart at the bottom shows unusually high activity for the security in April.
Figure 6.1
A line indicates the
closing price of the
security each day for
a year.The column
chart at the bottom
shows the volume
of shares traded
each day.
OHLC Charts
An OHLC chart shows a vertical line extending from the low price to the high price for a
given period. A dash on the left side of the line indicates the opening price. A dash on the
right side of the line indicates the closing price. For example, the chart in Figure 6.2 shows
that January opened at 72, the price ranged from 71 to 86, and January closed at 76.
Figure 6.2
6
This is a true OHLC
chart. Excel’s built-in
types omit the
marker for the opening price.
Obtaining Stock Data to Chart
189
Excel does not have a built-in style for OHLC charts, but it can create a variant of this
chart: Excel’s high-low-close chart shows the vertical line and the closing line on the right
side of the line but is missing the marker for the opening price. (If you desperately need to
show the opening price, see “Creating OHLC Charts” later in this chapter.) Excel’s volume-high-low-close chart is a variant of the OHLC chart that is coupled with a volume
chart showing trading volume.
Candlestick Charts
A candlestick chart has a vertical line that indicates the range of low to high prices for a
security. A thicker column indicates the opening and closing prices. If the price of the security closed up, the thicker column appears in white or green. If the price of the security
closed down, the thicker column appears in black or red.
The candlestick chart is so named because each shape appears as a candle with a wick sticking out of the top and the bottom. In Figure 6.3, for example, the security enjoyed five
months of gains from July through November, before falling in December. Excel easily creates these charts using the Open-High-Low-Close chart type. In another variant, volumes
for each period are plotted on a second axis. You can quickly scan this type of chart to see if
the stock has had more winning periods than losing periods.
Figure 6.3
The thicker column indicates the open and closing prices.The thinner
line indicates the highto-low range.
6
Obtaining Stock Data to Chart
There are plenty of free sources of historical data to chart. To obtain stock data to chart, go
to http://finance.yahoo.com or another of these sites and follow these steps:
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Chapter 6
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1. If you don’t know the stock ticker symbols for the company of interest, use the Symbol
Lookup link that appears next to the Go button in the top navigation bar of the page.
2. Enter a stock ticker symbol in the Get Quotes text box and press the Go button. Yahoo
returns a table and a chart showing information about the current day.
3. Click Historical Prices in the left navigation bar. Enter a starting date and an ending
date and choose whether you want the data summarized daily, weekly, or monthly.
Click Get Prices to generate new results. Yahoo shows columns for date, open, high,
low, close, volume, and adjusted close. A minor annoyance is that it shows about 50
dates on a page and then offers a Next link.
4. Instead of copying a page at a time, scroll down and choose the Download to
Spreadsheet link that appears below the results.
5. In the File Download dialog that appears, click Save. An imaginative name of
table.csv
is proposed. Save using this name of something such as MSFTDaily2006.csv.
6. In Excel 2007, select Office icon, Open. In the Open dialog that appears, in the Files
of Type drop-down, select Text Files (*.prn, *.txt, *.csv).
7. Browse to the downloaded .csv file and click Open. Excel opens the file. Column A,
which contains dates, is typically too narrow, as shown in Figure 6.4. Double-click the
border between the column A and B column headings to make column A wider.
Double-clicking here widens column A
Figure 6.4
The .csv file opens
in Excel, but you
need to adjust the
column widths.
6
8. The data is always sorted with the most recent data first, so click a cell in column A
and choose Data, AZ to sort the date into ascending sequence by column.
9. If you have more than one screen of data, from the View ribbon, choose Freeze Panes,
Freeze Top Row to ensure that you can always see the headings at the top of the
screen.
10.
.csv files are not good places to store Excel charts. Before creating any charts, select
Office icon, Save As. Choose to save as an Excel 2007 macro-enabled workbook.
Obtaining Stock Data to Chart
191
Rearranging Columns in the Downloaded Data
If you are using one of the Excel built-in stock charts, you should know that Excel 2007 is
very particular about the sequence of the columns. In a high-low-close chart, for example,
the date should be in the first column, followed by a High column, a Low column, and a
Close column. This does not match the sequence of the data downloaded from Yahoo.com.
You need to be prepared to insert new columns and then cut and paste data from one column to another in order to sequence your data as necessary. The following list shows the
required sequence of columns for each chart type:
Line Chart—Date in column A and Close in column B.
■
Line Chart with Volume—Date in column A, Close in column B, and Volume in
column C.
■
High-Low-Close—Date in column A, High in column B, Low in column C, and
Close in column D.
■
Volume-High-Low-Close—Date in column A, Volume in column B, High in column
C, Low in column D, and Close in column E.
■
Open-High-Low-Close as Candlestick—Date in column A, Open in column B,
High in column C, Low in column D, and Close in column E.
■
Open-High-Low-Close as OHLC—Date in column A, High in column B, Low in
column C, Close in column D, and Open in column E.
■
Volume-Open-High-Low-Close as Candlestick—Date in column A, Volume in
column B, Open in column C, High in column D, Low in column E, and Close in
column F.
■
Volume-Open-High-Low-Close as OHLC—Date in column A, Volume in column
B, High in column C, Low in column D, Close in column E, and Open in column F.
TIP
■
Although you might be tempted to delete the unused columns, it is better to leave them out to the
right of the data to be charted.This way, if you decide to later add a series to the chart, it is easy to
do so.
6
Dealing with Splits Using the Adjusted Close Column
Before charting data, you should look at the last row of data and compare the Close column to the Adjusted Close column. If they are different, you know that one of two events
happened during the time period in question:
■
The company declared a dividend. For example, if the company pays out 3 cents per
share, the adjusted price is reduced by 3 cents for all months that occurred earlier than
the dividend.
■
If the company declares a stock split, then the adjusted close shows the closing price,
pretending that the split had previously occurred.
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Chapter 6
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Figure 6.5 shows an example of a stock split. Apple Computer stock began February 1,
2005, at a price of $77.05 and closed the month at a price of $44.86. The stock did not
really incur a huge drop during the month.
Figure 6.5
At first glance, it
appears the Apple
stock took a nosedive in February
2005.
Apple had declared a two-for-one stock split on February 28, 2005. Every person who had
100 shares on that day was given 200 shares. The value of each share was cut in half at the
time of the split. So in this case, you might have started the month with 100 shares of
Apple, valued at $7,705. You would have ended the month with 200 shares of Apple, valued
at $8,972. With this information, you can see that instead of losing value, Apple shares
actually gained value during February.
To learn when the split or dividend occurred, you actually have to look through the table
on http://finance.yahoo.com, which shows splits and dividends. This information is not
downloaded in the .csv file.
If you are plotting a line chart showing the closing price, you can deal with the split by
simply using the Adjusted Close column. Notice in Figure 6.6 that the Adjusted Close column for January 2005 is $38.45, half the real closing price of $76.90. Yahoo goes to the
trouble of adjusting the closing price to provide a comparable view of the closing price.
If you are plotting a chart showing high, low, and close, you have to add some additional
calculations. To do so, you follow these steps:
1. Add the new column headings Date, High, Low, Close to H1:K1.
2. Copy the formula =A2 from cell H2 down to all rows. (This formula is for the date.)
3. Copy the formula =G2 from cell K2 down to all rows. (This formula is for the adjusted
6
close.)
4. Copy the formula =C2*($G2/$E2) from cell I2 down to all rows. (This formula adjusts
the high price from column C by the same ratio as adjusted close to close.) You might
change it in some rows. The dollar signs before columns G and E allow you to copy
the formula to column J for the adjusted low as well.
5. Manually fix any dates where a split occurred. The original data showed a high price of
$90.88 for February 2005. You can assume that this high happened before the split. In
cell I24, divide C24 by 2 to adjust the high to $45.44. The original data showed a low
price of $43.96 for February 2005. Again, you can assume that this happened on
February 28, 2005, after the split. The opening price of $77.05, if divided by 2, would
indicate an adjusted low price of $38.25. It is possible the stock price went even lower.
Creating a Line Chart to Show Closing Prices
193
If you need the chart to be exactly correct, go back to http://finance.yahoo.com and
run a daily report for February 2005. You find that the actual low before the split was
$76.58. Divide this by 2 to show a low of 38.29.
6. Create your stock charts from the data in columns H:K as shown in Figure 6.6.
Figure 6.6
Most of the adjusted
columns are a formula,
but you need to use special care in the months in
which a stock split
occurred.
Creating a Line Chart to Show Closing Prices
A line chart is the easiest type of stock chart to create. You don’t have to use Excel’s built-in
stock charting types; you will simply use a line chart. You follow these steps to create a line
chart:
1. Download data for the security from http://finance.yahoo.com.
2. Sort the data into ascending sequence by date.
3. Insert a blank column B after the Date column.
4. Copy the Adjusted Close column from column H to the new column B.
5. Delete the extra column H.
6. Clear cell A1. (Whenever your row labels contain dates, the top-left cell of the chart
range should be blank.)
7. Select your data in columns A and B.
8. On the Insert ribbon, choose Line, 2-D Line, Line. Excel creates the chart shown in
Figure 6.7.
Figure 6.7
Excel creates a line chart
showing closing prices.
6
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Chapter 6
Creating Stock Analysis Charts
9. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None. Excel removes the legend from the
chart.
10. Click the chart title. Type a new title, such as Microsoft
2006 Closing Prices.
11. The value axis currently runs from a low of 0 to a high of 35. During 2006, the security closing prices ran from a low of $21.36 to a high of $30.19. If you want to show
more detail in the chart, right-click the value axis and choose Format Axis. Change the
Minimum setting to Fixed, 20.
12. The dates in the horizontal axis are trying to show month, day, and year, as in the original dataset. To display one label for each month, do the following:
• Right-click the labels along the horizontal axis and choose Format Axis.
• On the Axis Options dialog, choose Major Unit, Fixed, 1, Month.
• Choose Axis Type, Date Axis.
• Click the Number category in the left navigation bar.
• Click the Custom category.
• Type a custom format of mmmmm. Click Add.
• Uncheck the Linked to Source check box.
• Select mmmmm from the Type box. Click OK. The mmmmm custom type displays a single letter for each month. In the English version of Excel, it displays
JFMAMJJASOND, a format regularly seen in The Wall Street Journal.
13. Resize the chart so it is narrower than the default chart. Click the chart border to
select the chart. Drag the right resizing handle to the left.
The resulting chart is shown in Figure 6.8.
Figure 6.8
When you zoom in
on the $20–$30
price range, more
details are visible.
6
Adding Volume as a Column Chart to the Line Chart
A popular option in stock charts is to add a column chart that shows volume of shares
traded. This chart usually appears at the bottom of the trend chart.
Creating a Line Chart to Show Closing Prices
195
Continuing with the example from the preceding section, to plot prices in the $20–$30
range with volumes in the 50–100 million range, the volumes have to be plotted on a secondary axis. One trick is to artificially inflate the maximum for the secondary axis by a factor of three or four in order to keep the volume chart in the lower portion (that is, the
lower quarter to third) of the chart.
You follow these steps to create a chart that shows closing prices and volume:
1. Download data from http://finance.yahoo.com.
2. Sort the data into ascending sequence by date.
3. Insert blank columns B and C after the Date column.
4. Copy the Adjusted Close column from column I to the new column B.
5. Copy the Volume column from column H to the new column C.
6. Delete the extra columns H and I.
7. Select your data in columns A:C.
8. Choose Line, 2-D Line, Line from the Insert ribbon. Excel creates the chart shown in
Figure 6.9.
Figure 6.9
Don’t be alarmed that
you can see only
volumes.
9. On the Layout ribbon, choose Layout, Legend, None. Excel removes the legend from
the chart.
10. Choose Series Volume from the Current Selection drop-down.
11. On the Design ribbon, click Change Chart Type. Select the first column chart type.
Click OK. (Any time you change the chart type, Excel annoyingly unselects the data
series.)
12. On the Layout ribbon, choose Series Volume from the Current Selection drop-down.
Click the Format Selection button. Excel displays the Format Data Series dialog.
13. In the Series Options panel of the Format Data Series dialog, change the Plot Series
On value from Primary Axis to Secondary Axis. Click Close to dismiss the Format dialog box. For the first time, you can see both the closing price and the volume.
6
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Chapter 6
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14. On the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Centered Overlay. Type MSFT
2006
and
press Enter to change the title.
15. The value axis currently runs from a low of $0 to a high of $35. Although prices of
Microsoft (MSFT) stock never dipped below $20 in 2006, you can leave that space to
hold the volume portion of the chart. The highest volume was about 600 million
shares traded. If you scale the secondary axis to have a maximum value of 1,200 million
shares traded, the volume portion of the chart occupies the lower half of the chart.
Right-click the secondary value axis and choose Format Axis. Change Maximum to
Fixed, 1.2E9. The tallest column in the volume area of the chart stays below the gridline for $20.
16. Usually, the analyst doesn’t care how many shares are traded; he or she is interested in
the relative scale of the shares being traded. From the chart, you can tell that something remarkable happened when Microsoft traded six times more shares than usual.
Thus, you don’t need to have any volume numbers along the right side of the chart, so
right-click the numbers along the right value axis and choose Format Axis. Click the
Number category in the left navigation bar of the Format Axis dialog. In the Category
column, choose Custom. Type a new custom format of ;;; and then click Add. In the
Type box, choose the ;;; entry. This custom format code is the code to hide the values,
and Excel removes the numbers from the right side of the chart.
17. The dates in the horizontal axis are trying to show month, day, and year, as in the
original dataset. To display one label for each month, do the following:
• Right-click the labels along the horizontal axis and choose Format Axis.
• On the Axis Options dialog, choose Major Unit, Fixed, 1, Month.
• Choose Axis Type, Date Axis.
• Click the Number category in the left navigation bar.
• Click the Custom category.
• Type a custom format of mmmmm. Click Add.
• Uncheck the Linked to Source check box.
6
• Select mmmmm from the Type box. Click OK. The mmmmm custom type displays a single letter for each month. In the English version of Excel, it displays
JFMAMJJASOND, a format regularly seen in The Wall Street Journal.
18. Resize the chart so that it is narrower than the default chart. Click the chart border to
select the chart. Drag the right resizing handle to the left.
The resulting chart is shown in Figure 6.10.
The process of creating line charts is fairly straightforward. Although a certain amount of
tweaking needs to happen, it is about normal for a chart. In contrast, to create OHLC
charts, you must jump through more hoops, as described in the next section.
Creating OHLC Charts
197
Figure 6.10
The final chart shows
closing price as a line
chart and volumes as
columns at the bottom of
the chart.
Creating OHLC Charts
Excel offers two built-in chart types that come close to the OHLC chart shown in Figure
6.2. The built-in types both ignore the left-facing dash used to indicate the opening price
each day.
Microsoft isn’t being dense here; a fundamental flaw in the underlying chart engine makes
it hard to show the left-facing marker. This is why Microsoft doesn’t support the open
marker in the built-in charts. As you will see in the sections that follow, you can work
around this.
Producing a High-Low-Close Chart
Before progressing to a true OHLC chart, it is easiest to start with Excel’s built-in highlow-close chart. You follow these steps to produce a high-low-close chart in Excel 2007:
1. Download data from http://finance.yahoo.com. Since you cannot save a chart in a csv
file, use the Save As command to save the file as an Excel 2007 file type.
2. Move the Open data from column B to the blank column H. Delete the now-empty
column B. This leaves you with dates in column A, High in column B, Low in column
C, and Close in column D.
3. Select your data in columns A:D.
4. On the Insert ribbon, select the Other Charts icon. In the Other Charts menu,
the first four thumbnails are the four built-in stock charts (see Figure 6.11). Choose
the first stock icon—High-Low-Close. Excel creates the default chart shown in
Figure 6.12.
Figure 6.11
The four built-in
stock charts are hidden under the Other
Charts icon.
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Figure 6.12
The default stock
chart has formatting
problems that make
it difficult to see the
close icons.
The default chart leaves a lot to be desired. You can see the vertical line extending from low
to high. However, the marker for the close is impossibly hard to see. The legend on the
right side adds no useful information to the chart.
If you turn to the Chart Layouts gallery on the Design ribbon, you face a perplexing selection. Layouts 1 and 3 appear to be identical. Layout 2 attempts to add data points for high,
low, and close, making it impossible to see anything. The gray plot area in Layout 5 is not
actually a gray plot area; instead, it is Microsoft trying to draw in 100 gridlines. The only
interesting layout is Layout 4, where Excel adds a data table; this layout works for the
charts in Figure 6.13 because they have only 12 months.
Figure 6.13
None of the built-in
layouts improve the
stock chart.
6
If you dare to choose any of the layouts from the Chart Styles gallery, the close markers
change from being imperceptibly small to being far too large. Because Close is the third
series, the markers are automatically upward-pointing triangles. This leads to the mistaken
impression that the stock was trending up at the time the market closed (see Figure 6.14).
Creating OHLC Charts
199
Figure 6.14
If you try to assign a
style from the Design
ribbon, you automatically get triangles, which
are the markers traditionally used for the
third series.
Customizing a High-Low-Close Chart
It is possible to make an acceptable high-low-close chart in Excel 2007. After getting rid of
extraneous chart elements and zooming in, you need to format and change the marker style
for the Close series. Here’s how you do it:
1. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None to remove the legend from the chart.
2. In the Current Selection drop-down of the Layout ribbon, choose Vertical (Value)
Axis. Click Format Selection to display the Format Axis dialog box.
3. In the Axis Options category in the Format Axis dialog box, choose Minimum, Fixed.
Enter a number that is a bit lower than the low value in the chart. In the current
example, 50 would be appropriate, as shown in Figure 6.15.
Figure 6.15
You zoom in to show
only the relevant price
range for the stock by
using a fixed minimum
value for the vertical
axis.
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4. While the Format dialog box is open, select a new element from the Current Selection
drop-down; this prevents you from having to close the Format dialog and then choose
Format Selection again. Select the Series “Close” option from the drop-down, as
shown in Figure 6.16.
Figure 6.16
New in Excel 2007,
the Format dialog
box is now modeless,
meaning that you
can select other
items from the ribbon without closing
the dialog.
5. Choose the Marker Options category along the left side of the axis.
6. Choose Built-In as the marker type.
7. Increase the Size setting to 9 to ensure that the markers are visible (see Figure 6.17).
Figure 6.17
6
You can change from
Automatic to Built-in
and increase the size
to 9.The size can be
up to 72 points, in
case you are ever
making a huge
chart.
8. In the Type drop-down, choose the sixth marker style, which is a dash that extends
from the right of center. This style is perfect for the close marker, which typically
extends to the right of the line. As you look through the list of available marker styles,
you will see why Excel doesn’t offer OHLC charts similar to high-low-close charts: it
doesn’t include a left-facing dash (see Figure 6.18).
Creating OHLC Charts
201
Figure 6.18
You choose the rightfacing dash from the
drop-down. Note that
since Excel doesn’t offer
a left-facing dash,
Microsoft can not easily
place the Open Markers
to the left of the vertical
line.
9. Click the Marker Fill category in the Format Data Series dialog box. Select Solid Fill
and then choose the black color.
10. From the Current Selection drop-down in the Layout ribbon, choose Vertical (Value)
Axis Major Gridlines. The Format dialog box is now called Format Major Gridlines.
11. For Line Color, choose Solid Line. From the Color drop-down, choose gray.
12. Click the Line Style category in the left of the dialog box.
13. Change the width to 0.5 points. Click Close to dismiss the Format dialog box.
14. Click the chart border. Drag the right resizing handle to the left to shrink the chart.
The resulting chart is shown in Figure 6.19.
Figure 6.19
After formatting the
high-low-close chart, you
can actually see the close
markers.
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Creating an OHLC Chart
The fundamental barrier to creating a true OHLC chart is that Excel does not offer a leftfacing dash as a built-in marker for a chart. You can, however, import your own image as a
marker.
For example, I used Photoshop to create a new graphic that is 11 pixels wide and 3 pixels
tall. The leftmost five columns of pixels are black, and the remaining pixels are transparent.
I saved this file as a .gif image named LeftDash.gif. If you don’t want to go to the hassle
of creating such an image, you can download it from the webpage of examples for this book
(www.MrExcel.com/chartdata.html).
The trick to creating an OHLC chart is to start with a high-low-close chart and add the
Open series with a custom marker style. You follow these steps to create an OHLC chart in
Excel 2007.
1. Start with data that has Date in column A, High in column B, Low in column C, Close
in column D, and Open in column E. Do not include the Open data in the initial
selection. Select the data in A:D.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose Other Charts, Stock, High-Low-Close. Excel draws a
chart. A blue box surrounds the charted data in B2:D13.
3. Click the blue handle in cell D13. Drag to the right to include the Open data on the
chart. Excel adds the Open data in a format similar to the Close data.
4. On the Layout ribbon, choose Series Close from the Current Selection drop-down.
Click Format Selection.
5. For the Marker Options category, leave the marker as the right-facing dash and change
the size to 7.
6. For the Marker Fill category, choose Solid Fill. Choose black from the color dropdown.
7. For the Marker Line Color category, choose Solid Line. Choose black from the color
drop-down.
8. Without closing the Format dialog box, choose Series Open from the Current
6
Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon. Again select the Marker Options category.
9. Change the Marker Type setting from None to Built-in.
10. In the Type drop-down, choose the 10th marker, which is a tiny version of the Picture
icon that is prevalent throughout Excel.
11. Click the Marker Fill category in the left navigation bar of the Format Data Series dialog.
12. Choose Picture or Texture Fill. Excel updates the chart to show the default brown
paper texture. Don’t worry, you will fix this.
13. Click Insert from File in the dialog. Navigate to and select LeftDash.gif. Excel automatically adds a line around your marker. Even though the right side of the marker is
transparent, Excel outlines the entire marker.
Creating OHLC Charts
203
14. For the Marker Line Color category, choose No Line. Click Close to close the Format
dialog box.
15. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, No Legend.
16. Choose Chart Title, Above Chart. Type the title AAPL
2006.
17. Resize the chart so it is horizontally smaller.
18. Right-click the numbers along the vertical axis, choose Format Axis, and then choose
Minimum, Fixed, 50. (If you are going to later add volume to the chart, you could
allow the vertical scale to run from 0 to 100. If you are only showing OHLC on the
chart, you can scale the vertical axis from 50 to 100.)
The final chart is shown in Figure 6.20.
Figure 6.20
The markers for the Open
series are image files
created in Photoshop.
The process of adding the open markers adds complexity to creating this chart. However, if
you often need to create OHLC charts, you can save this chart type as a template to
streamline the process in the future. To save a chart as a template, select the chart and then
chose Save As Template from the Type group on the Design ribbon.
Adding Volume to a High-Low-Close Chart
There are two ways to add a volume column chart to a high-low-close chart. First,
Microsoft offers a built-in volume-high-low-close chart; however, this built-in chart automatically moves the prices from the left axis to the right axis. Second, you can add volumes
while keeping the prices along the left axis.
Creating a Built-in Volume-High-Low-Close Chart
You follow these steps to create a built-in volume-high-low-close chart:
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1. Arrange your data with Date in column A, Volume in B, High in column C, Low in
column D, and Close in column E.
2. If you have actual dates in column A, remove the Date heading from the top-leftcorner cell.
3. Select the range of data in A:E.
4. On the Insert ribbon, choose Other Charts, Volume-High-Low-Close. Excel creates
the chart shown in Figure 6.21. The volume bars are keyed to a different axis than the
rest of the chart, but the scale seems a bit wrong; the volume bars obscure the actual
OHLC lines.
Figure 6.21
The volume columns
hide the high-lowclose markers for
most of this chart.
5. Right-click the numbers along the left side of the chart and choose Format Axis.
6. In the Format Axis dialog that appears, click Minimum Fixed and double the value
shown in the box. In this example, you double the original value of 4.5E7 to 9E7.
7. To remove the axis labels for the Volume columns, change the Axis Labels drop-down
in the center of the Format Axis dialog to None. Change the Major Tick Mark Type
drop-down to None. Click Close to close the Format Axis dialog.
8. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
9. In the Current Selection drop-down, choose Series Close. Click Format Selection.
6
10. Click Marker Options in the left navigation bar of the Format Data Series dialog.
Increase the size from 5 to 9. Click Close.
11. The gridlines shown in the chart are for the volume columns. You need to remove
them and put in gridlines for the prices, so on the Layout ribbon, choose Gridlines,
Primary Horizontal Gridlines, None. Then choose Gridlines, Secondary Horizontal
Gridlines, Major Gridlines.
12. From the Current Selection drop-down, choose Secondary Vertical (Value) Axis Major
Gridlines. Click Format Selection.
13. In the Format Major Gridline dialog that appears, choose Solid Line. In the Color
drop-down, choose a light gray color to make the gridlines less obtrusive.
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Creating OHLC Charts
14. On the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title. Type AAPL
2006
and press Enter.
15. Click on the border of the chart to choose the chart area. On the Format ribbon, select
Shape Outline, No Outline to remove the extra box around the chart.
16. Reduce the horizontal size of the chart by clicking the right resizing handle and dragging toward the center of the chart.
The resulting chart is shown in Figure 6.22. It is a bit disconcerting to have the axis scale
appear on the right side of the chart when 99% of the charts in the Western world have the
axis appear on the left side of the chart.
Figure 6.22
After a number of
adjustments, the built-in
volume-high-low-close
chart does the job,
although the axis
appears on the wrong
side.
Adding Volume to the Right Axis of a High-Low-Close Chart
Although the method described in this section is a bit more complicated than the method
described in the preceding section, it allows you to add the volume to the axis on the right
side of the chart. This method completely abandons the built-in stock chart types and
shows how the stock chart types are really just an interesting mixture of standard settings.
The following steps add volume to the high-low-close chart shown in Figure 6.19. You could
easily expand the concept to add an Open marker as in the chart shown in Figure 6.20.
You follow these steps to create a volume-high-low-close chart:
1. Download data from http://finance.yahoo.com. Rearrange the data to show Date in
column A, High in column B, Low in column C, Close in column D, and Volume in
column E.
2. Remove the Date heading from the top-left cell in the range.
3. Although you have data in columns A:E, select only the data in columns A:D.
4. On the Insert ribbon, choose Line, 2-D Line, Line. Excel creates the chart shown in
Figure 6.23.
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Figure 6.23
This line chart
appears to be a long
way from the OHLC
format you desire.
5. On the Layout ribbon, choose Series High from the Current Selection drop-down.
Click Format Selection and then choose Line Color, No Line.
6. Without closing the Format Data Series dialog, choose Series Low from the Current
Selection drop-down in the Layout ribbon. In the Format Data Series dialog, choose
Line Color, No Line. The high and low lines are now completely invisible, as shown
in Figure 6.24.
Figure 6.24
Make the high and
low lines invisible.
6
7. Keep the Format dialog open. From the Layout ribbon, choose Lines, High-Low
Lines. Excel draws vertical lines between the invisible high and low points, as shown in
Figure 6.25.
Creating OHLC Charts
207
Figure 6.25
Add High-Low lines to
draw the vertical lines
from the invisible high
and low markers.
8. Keep the Format dialog open. Choose Series “Close” from the Current Selection
drop-down on the Layout ribbon. In the Format dialog, make the following selections:
• Choose Marker Options, Built-In, Type, choose the sixth type, which is a rightfacing dash.
• Change the Size setting from 5 to 8.
• Choose Marker Fill, Solid Fill and then select black.
• Choose Line Color, No Line.
• Choose Marker Line Color, Solid Line and then select black.
Click Close to close the dialog box. You have now created a high-low-close style chart
from the line chart, as shown in Figure 6.26.
Figure 6.26
The line chart is now a
high-low-close style
chart. Notice the blue
resizing handle in the
upper-right corner of D2.
9. From the Current Selection drop-down in the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Area. You
should notice a blue outline around columns B:D.
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10. Grab the blue resizing handle in the upper-right corner of D2. Drag to the right to
add column E to the chart. Don’t be concerned that you can no longer see the highlow-close markers.
11. From the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon, choose Series Volume.
Click Format Selection. Choose Secondary Axis. Click Close. In a bizarre twist, the
columns that appeared in step 10 turn into an invisible line chart.
12. On the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart Type. Select the first column chart
icon–Clustered Column. The columns reappear.
13. Right-click the numbers along the right axis of the chart. Choose Format Axis.
14. Click Maximum, Fixed. Double the number in the Fixed text box. Choose Major Tick
Mark Type, None. Choose Axis Labels, None. Click Close.
15. Choose Layout, Legend, None.
16. Right-click the labels along the horizontal axis. Choose Format Axis. Choose Axis
Options, Major Unit, Fixed, 1, Months. For the Number category, choose the custom
type mmmmm. Click Close.
17. Choose Layout, Chart Title, Above Chart. Type the chart title AAPL
2006.
18. Reduce the horizontal size of the chart.
The final chart is shown in Figure 6.27.
Figure 6.27
This volume-highlow-close chart was
created from a line
chart.
NOTE
6
If you try to add volume as a column chart on the secondary axis to one of Excel’s built-in stock charts,
Excel indicates that certain types cannot be combined and prevents you from producing the chart.As
you can see,you can actually skip the built-in stock chart type and build the chart as a line chart.
The next section describes candlestick charts, which require the least customization
because Excel actually has good built-in charts to create candlestick charts.
Creating Candlestick Charts
209
Creating Candlestick Charts
A basic candlestick chart requires a data range with date in the first column, then open,
high, low, and close values in the remaining columns. To create a candlestick chart, you follow these steps:
1. Download data from http://finance.yahoo.com. Your data will be in the correct
sequence, with Date in column A, Open in column B, High in column C, Low in column D, and Close in column E.
2. Select your data in columns A:E.
3. On the Insert ribbon, select Other Charts, Stock, Open-High-Low-Close. Excel creates the top chart in Figure 6.28.
Figure 6.28
The top chart shows the
default chart created in
step 3. Minimal formatting changes are required
to create the final chart
at the bottom of this
figure.
4. Right-click the numbers along the vertical axis and choose Format Axis. Specify a fixed
minimum value that is greater than zero but lower than the low value for the range in
question.
5. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
6. Still on the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Above Chart. Type the title GOOG
and press Enter.
7. Right-click the labels along the horizontal axis and choose Format Axis. On the
Number tab, specify the custom formatting code mmmmm.
8. Reduce the horizontal size of the chart.
The final chart is shown as the bottom chart in Figure 6.28.
2006
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Changing Colors in a Candlestick Chart
By default, Excel uses white columns to indicate periods in which the stock price increased
and black columns to indicate periods in which the stock price decreased. Although that is
incredibly convenient for this monochrome book, you are likely to present your charts in
color. It is easy to customize the colors in a chart.
To apply an effect to the columns, you use the Design ribbon and select, for example,
Layout, Style 28. This applies a beveled effect to the up/down bars.
The white up bars and the black down bars are actually two separate objects in the chart.
You have to format the up bars and then the down bars. To change the color of the bars,
you follow these steps.
1. On the Format ribbon, select Current Selection, Up Bars 1.
2. Select Format, Shape Fill and then select green. (In color stock charts, up periods are
typically shown in green.)
3. On the Format ribbon, select Current Selection, Down Bars 1.
4. Select Format, Shape Fill and then select red. (In color stock charts, up periods are
typically shown in red.)
Adding Volume to a Candlestick Chart
Excel offers a built-in chart you can use to create a candlestick chart with volume bars. As
with the volume-high-low-close chart, the height of the volume bars is often too large.
You follow these steps to create a chart based on the built-in volume-open-high-low-close
chart type:
1. Download data from http://finance.yahoo.com. Save the data as an Excel 2007 workbook. Insert a new column B before the Open column. Move the Volume data from
column G to the new column B. Delete column G. Your data will be in the correct
sequence, with Date in column A, Volume in column B, Open in column C, High in
column D, Low in column E, and Close in column F.
6
2. Remove the Date heading from cell A1.
3. Select your data in columns A:F.
4. On the Insert ribbon, select Other Charts, Stock, Volume-Open-High-Low-Close.
This is the fourth stock chart thumbnail. Excel creates the top chart in Figure 6.29.
Creating Candlestick Charts
211
5. Right-click the numbers along the left vertical axis and choose Format Axis. Specify a
fixed maximum value that is about double the original amount. Choose Major Tick
Mark Type, None. Choose Axis Labels, None.
6. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
7. Choose Chart Title, Above Chart. Type the title GOOG
2006
and press Enter.
8. Right-click the labels along the horizontal axis. Choose Format Axis. On the Number
tab, specify the custom formatting code mmmmm.
9. Reduce the horizontal size of the chart.
The final chart is shown as the bottom chart in Figure 6.29.
Figure 6.29
The top chart shows the
default chart created in
step 4.The bottom chart
shows the result of the
remaining formatting.
Manually Creating a Candlestick Chart with Volume
The problem with the chart in Figure 6.29 is that the stock prices appear on the right side
of the chart. If you would like your stock prices on the left side of the chart, you have to
abandon the built-in stock charts. In that case, you need to have a good understanding of
how Excel draws in high-low lines and up/down bars.
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Figure 6.30 shows four line series on a single chart. The first series is the thick solid line
from lower left to upper right. The second series is the dotted line at the top of the chart.
The third series starts out as the lowest dashed line but crosses to become the second-lowest line late in the chart.
You add high-low lines to a chart by selecting Layout, Lines, High-Low Lines. Figure 6.31
shows that the vertical lines extend from the lowest value at each data point to the highest
value at each data point. In February, the line extends from the 1 in series 3 up to the 12 in
series 2. In October, the high-low line extends from the 1 in Series 1 to the 12 in Series 2.
Figure 6.30
These four series are
used to illustrate the
different behavior of
high-low lines and
up/down bars.
Figure 6.31
High-low lines look
at all the line series
in the chart and
extend from the
lowest to the highest at each data
point.
6
In contrast to high-low lines, up/down bars always extend from the first series line to the
last series line. In Figure 6.32, the up/down bars always start at the solid line for Series 1
and extend to the dash-dot line for Series 4. You would think that there would be a setting
somewhere that you could use to specify that the up/down bars should extend from one
series to another series. Instead, Excel always draws them from the first series to the last
series (see Figure 6.32).
Both the high-low lines and up/down bars are valid only for series that are plotted as line
charts. If you need to add a series for volume, you need to make sure to plot that series as a
column chart so that it does not interfere with your high-low or up/down elements. If you
need to add a series to show the price of a competing stock, you can add the series as a scatter chart with a smooth line to prevent that series from interfering with the high-low or
up/down elements.
Creating Candlestick Charts
213
Figure 6.32
Up/down bars always
start at the first series
and extend to the last
series.
C A S E S T U DY
Creating a Candlestick Stock Chart Showing Volume and a Competitor
Candlestick charts are popular at http://finance.yahoo.com. In addition to a candlestick chart showing the price of one
security, a secondary line chart is often added to show the relative price of another security.The chart is designed to
show how equal investments in one security or the other would have fared over time.
In this case study, the chart you’ll build compares the performance of Apple versus Microsoft from March 1, 2005,
through December 31, 2006.
When you download data from the historical tables at http://finance.yahoo.com, make note of the opening price for
both stocks on the starting date of March 1, 2005. (The price for Apple was $44.99, and the price for Microsoft was
$25.19.)
In Figure 6.33, the first few columns show Apple data from http://finance.yahoo.com. Date, Open, High, Low, Close, and
Volume occupy columns A:F. Column G contains the adjusted closing price for Microsoft for each month. Column F shows
the start of the calculation of a MSFT index line.This line shows the closing price of Microsoft multiplied by
(44.99/25.19).This calculation adjusts the starting price of Microsoft stock up to the same value as Apple. Say that you
had purchased $44.99 of Apple and Microsoft on March 1, 2005.The MSFT index line shows the value of your Microsoft
shares.
Figure 6.33
You can build a column that shows the
relative value of
Microsoft.
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To begin building the chart, you copy the formula from G2 down to all rows of your dataset. Based on how Excel plots
high-low lines and up/down bars, you know that the Open column has to be the first series plotted as a line.The Close
column has to be the last series plotted as a line.This means you have to manually change the chart type for the volume
series to a column and manually change the chart type for the line series to a scatter chart.
If you were starting with a stock chart type, you would have to build the chart with a few series and then add more
series later. Because you are building this chart as a line chart, you can add all six series at once.To finish building the
chart, you do the following:
1. Select the data in A1:G23. On the Insert ribbon, choose Line, 2-D Line, Line.You see a chart with only one visible
line. Because the Volume numbers are so large, this is the only line you can initially see (see Figure 6.34).
Figure 6.34
You initially see only
one line on the
chart.
2. On the Layout ribbon, select Series Avg Vol from the Current Selection drop-down. Click Format Selection. Click
Secondary Axis. Excel now shows six lines on the chart (see Figure 6.35).
Figure 6.35
After you move the
volume to a secondary axis, all six
lines appear.
6
3. Choose Series Avg Vol from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon.On the Design ribbon,choose
Change Chart Type,Column,Clustered Column.The columns are too large and cover up many of the lines in the chart.
4. Right-click the numbers along the secondary value axis on the right side of the chart. Choose Format Axis. Choose
Maximum Fixed. Change the current value for the maximum from 4.5E7 to 1.2E8. (This is about 2.7 times the original size to ensure that the volume bars take up only the lower third of the chart.) In the same dialog box, change
Major Tick Mark Type to None and Axis Labels to None.
Creating Candlestick Charts
215
5. Choose Series MSFT Index from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon. On the Design ribbon,
choose Change Chart Type, X Y (Scatter), Scatter with Straight Lines.This is the fifth charting thumbnail in the X Y
Scatter line.The line for MSFT disappears.
6. Choose Series MSFT Index from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon. Click Format Selection.
Change the Series Options panel to indicate Primary Axis. Change Line Color to Solid Line and then select red.
Change Line Style, Dash Type to a dotted line.Your chart now has four series as line charts, one as a column chart,
and one as an X Y scatter chart. It is now appropriate to draw in the high-low lines and up/down bars.
7. Choose Series Open from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon. Choose Lines, High-Low Lines.
Choose Up/Down Bars, Up/Down Bars.
8. Next, to remove the lines from the first four series, on the Format ribbon, choose Series Open. Choose Format,
Shape Outline, No Line.
9. Repeat step 8 for High, Low, and Close lines.
10. Add a title by choosing Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title on the Layout ribbon.Type the title AAPL and press Enter.
Drag the title to the top-left corner of the chart.
11. You need a legend in this chart to indicate that the dotted line is a Microsoft index line.While four of the six legend
entries are useless because the line is hidden, the legends for Volume and MSFT Index are worthwhile, so, in the
original dataset, clear the headings Open, High, Low, and Close in B1:E1.The legend appears, with Volume on the
top, then four blank lines, and MSFT Index on the bottom. Use the Layout ribbon to select Legend, Show Legend at
Bottom. After moving the legend to the bottom, only the Avg Vol and MSFT Index entries appear.
12. Traditionally, http://finance.yahoo.com shows this chart without any prices along the axis.This is because the
Microsoft line is a relative index line and not an actual price line.To remove the prices from the axis, right-click the
labels on the left axis. Choose Format Axis, Axis Options, Axis Labels, None. Or, instead of removing the axis labels,
you can use the Number tab and format them as currency with no decimal places.
The chart is shown in Figure 6.36.
Figure 6.36
Microsoft was outperforming Apple during
2005. Since the video
iPod (and the “Learn
Excel from MrExcel” podcast?) debuted in
October 2005, Apple has
taken off.
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Creating Stock Analysis Charts
This chart presents a number of interesting concepts:
■
Either the candlestick or OHLC charts must be created with series that use a line chart type, although you turn off
the line in all cases.
■
Any other index lines on the chart must be converted to X Y scatter charts, with a line connecting invisible points.
Thus, the only series on the chart that appears as a line really is not a line chart at all.
■
You could add additional index lines to the chart, but each would have to be X Y series.
■
You can squash the volume column chart into the lower third of the chart by fixing the maximum value for the
scale at three times the maximum value.
This case study demonstrates that you can duplicate stock charts without using the Microsoft built-in stock chart types.
In fact, using a line chart gives you more flexibility to add additional data series to a chart.
Creating a Live Chart by Using a Web Connection
In public companies, senior management spends a lot of time focusing on the current stock
price. This could be because they are truly concerned for the individual investors, or it
could be that they are interested in the current value of their stock options.
In the 1980s, an investor relations administrator continually updated a whiteboard showing
the stock price of my employer and the two competitors in our industry. Dialing in to a service 24 times a day just to update the whiteboard had to be a horrible chore.
Excel offers fabulous tools that automatically query data from a webpage every minute and
refresh data in Excel. It is best if this process is running in its own instance of Excel or, better yet, on a standalone computer. (If you think it is insane to spend $500 on a computer to
update the stock price every minute, consider how insane it was to have a person doing this
job manually day after day.)
6
To set up a web query, you need to first move the cell pointer to an out-of-the-way location
on the worksheet. The web query returns unformatted data that you almost always want to
reformat. You therefore want to locate the query outside the field of view and use formulas
or charts to display the data. To build this chart, you then do the following:
1. Select cell A40.
2. From the Data ribbon, choose From Web. A New Web Query dialog box pops up,
showing the home page selected in your installation of Internet Explorer. (On my
computer, the Google home page displays in a mini browser in Excel.)
3. Use the New Web Query dialog box to navigate to your favorite source of stock quote
information. For example, navigate to http://finance.yahoo.com. Click in the Get
Quotes box and type the ticker symbols MSFT, AAPL, GOOG and click the Go button.
After the webpage finishes loading, Excel draws a series of yellow arrows. Each arrow
indicates a table on the webpage.
Creating a Live Chart by Using a Web Connection
217
4. Scroll down to the table that contains the data you would like to import to Excel.
While you hover over the yellow arrow, an outline appears, showing the extent of the
table. Click the yellow arrow to change it to a green check mark (see Figure 6.37).
Figure 6.37
You choose the table(s)
from the webpage to be
imported.
Yellow
Arrows
Green
Checkmark
Extent of
Selected
Table
5. Click the Import button. The New Web Query dialog box is dismissed, and the
NOTE
Import Data dialog appears. Confirm the location for the imported data and then click
OK. A strange bit of text appears in the active cell. A few seconds later, a text version
of the table appears in your spreadsheet. Right now, this is a one-time snapshot of the
data. After you build a few formulas and a chart, you can change the properties of the
web query to refresh every minute.
You do not want to be working in Excel while the query is set to auto-refresh. It is incredibly annoying to lose focus on the active cell every minute while the web query refreshes.To alleviate this
problem, have the web query running in one instance of Excel and work in a second instance of
Excel.
6. You want to build formulas that extract the desired information from the imported
data. In this case, a simple bar chart with three points will work fine. The formula in
I41 builds some text that is used as both the category value and the label for the bar
chart. The formula in I41 is =A41&” “&C41&” “&E41. The formula in J41 is more complex, as it has to convert the text value of Down 0.40% to a value of -0.4%. The formula in J41 is =IF(LEFT(E41,1)=”D”,-1*MID(E41,6,4),1*MID(E41,4,4))/100. Copy
these formulas down for the competitor’s stock quotes, as shown in Figure 6.38.
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Chapter 6
Creating Stock Analysis Charts
Figure 6.38
You build formulas
that you can use to
create a chart.
7. Build a chart using the formulas in I41:J43. Format the chart and move it up to occupy
a spot in your executive dashboard. In Figure 6.39, a simple bar chart shows the relative increase/decrease of each security.
Figure 6.39
You build a chart
that reflects data
from the web query.
8. After the chart is built, change the properties of the web query by right-clicking a cell
in the imported data and choosing Data Range Properties.
9. In the External Data Range Properties dialog that appears, check the Refresh Every box.
Change the spin button from 60 minutes to 1 minute. Also choose the box for Refresh
Data When Opening the File (see Figure 6.40). When you click OK, the web query
begins to refresh every minute, automatically updating your chart in the dashboard.
Figure 6.40
Excel updates the
web query every
minute.
6
Making Charts Small for Use in Dashboards
219
It is possible to build a dashboard with many different web feeds and charts that automatically update as long as the Internet connection remains live. You can accomplish this without writing any VBA macros.
Making Charts Small for Use in Dashboards
The goal of creating an executive dashboard is to fit a lot of data into a single screen of
data. Fellow Excel MVP Charley Kyd publishes a great e-kit called “Dashboard Reporting
with Excel.” This is a good kit, with innovative examples of how to fit 100+ charts on a single printed page. When dealing with charts from Excel 97 through Excel 2003, it took
Charley 10 pages to explain how to create tiny charts.
Microsoft has added features to Excel 2007 that make it easy to scale charts down until they
are very small. In Figure 6.41, it takes only a few steps to modify the default large chart (at
the top) to a chart that occupies 1/16 the space (the second chart) and still communicates
just as much information.
Figure 6.41
It is now easier to create
small charts for dashboards.
6
You follow these steps to convert the original chart shown in Figure 6.39 into the smaller
chart shown as the second chart in the figure.
1. On the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
2. Right-click the labels on the horizontal axis. Choose Format Axis. Click the Number
category. Specify the custom number format mmmmm. Click the Axis Options category in the left navigation bar. Choose Major Unit, Fixed, 1, Months. For the Tick
Mark Location setting, choose None. Click Close.
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3. Click the chart border to select the entire chart. On the Home ribbon, change the font
size to 8. While the chart area is selected, choose Shape Outline, None from the
Format ribbon to remove the border from the entire chart. To have the background of
the worksheet’s cells show through, choose Shape Fill, None from the Format ribbon.
4. Resize the chart down to seven cells tall by four cells wide.
In just a few steps, you have achieved a 75% reduction in the chart size. If you want to
reduce the chart size even more, you can follow these steps to create the third chart shown
in Figure 6.39:
1. On the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title. Excel now uses
70% of the vertical height of the chart area for the plot area. Grab the title and move
it to an out-of-the-way location. In this particular chart, that might be the lower-right
corner of the plot area.
2. Right-click the Value axis labels and do the following:
• Choose Format Axis.
• Choose Minimum, Fixed, 50.
• Choose Major Unit, Fixed, 50.
• Choose Major Tick Mark Type, None.
3. Resize the chart to three columns tall by five cells wide, as shown in the third chart in
Figure 6.41.
This is an 86% reduction from the size of the original chart.
The fourth chart in Figure 6.41 is reminiscent of Edward Tufte’s sparkline concept. The
developers at Microsoft are fans of Tufte and provided one useful layout that gets you to
this chart very quickly. In the following steps, you start with the first chart in Figure 6.41
and end up producing the fourth chart in the figure:
1. Right-click the labels along the vertical axis. Choose Format Axis. Choose Minimum,
Fixed, 50.
2. On the Design ribbon, open the Chart Layouts gallery and choose Layout 11.
6
3. Click once on the chart line to select the whole line. Very carefully, click the last point
in the line. If you look in the Current Selection box on the Layout ribbon, the selection should be Series AAPL, Point 26-Dec. Right-click the final point and choose Add
Data Label.
4. On the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title. Type AAPL and
press Enter. Drag the title to the lower-right corner of the chart.
5. Resize the chart to three rows tall by two columns wide—a 95% reduction from the
original chart. After you have resized the chart, use the Font drop-down on the Home
ribbon to select an 8-point font.
Next Steps
221
Using the steps described here, you can easily fit stock charts for all 30 components of the
Dow Jones 30 Industrials Index on half of a printed sheet of paper (see Figure 6.42).
Figure 6.42
These eight charts take
up four columns × 13
rows. You can easily fit
30 charts in a single
screen of data.
Next Steps
You learned in this chapter that sometimes you need to think creatively to coax an “impossible” chart out of Excel. In Chapter 7, “Advanced Chart Techniques,” you will learn how
to use Excel’s built-in charting tools to create charts that you normally do not see in Excel.
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Advanced Chart
Techniques
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting
Techniques
As the host of MrExcel.com, I get to see a lot of
wild spreadsheets that people create. I’ve seen some
amazing things come across my desk. This chapter
covers some of the usual advanced charting tricks,
and some unusual charts that you don’t typically see
in Excel. At the end of the chapter are a few examples of some charts that impressed me, so that you
can see some of the cool things people can coax out
of Excel.
The ideas in this section can be useful on most
chart types that you work with. They include many
techniques that you will come to realize are the
basic, why-didn’t-I-think-of-doing-that kind of
ideas.
Mixing Two Chart Types on a Single Chart
Although the Chart Type dialog doesn’t offer it as a
choice anymore, you can represent a chart’s series
with different chart types. Instead of two lines on a
chart, you can show one series as a line and one
series as columns. Or you can mix columns and area
charts, as shown in Figure 7.1.
To change the chart type for a series, you rightclick the series and choose Change Series Chart
Type from the context menu.
7
IN THIS CHAPTER
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting
Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .223
Creating Dynamic Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .245
Creating Advanced Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .259
Amazing Things People Do with
Excel Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .263
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .265
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Figure 7.1
To emphasize one series,
you can mix chart types
on a single chart.
You can mix only certain chart types. For best results when mixing chart types, follow these
guidelines:
■
You should stick with 2-D chart types. Excel does not let you mix 3-D charts.
■
Within the 2-D types, you should mix only clustered chart types. Excel doesn’t, for
example, stack a stacked area chart on top of stacked columns.
■
You can’t mix vertical types with horizontal types. You need to keep columns, lines, and
area charts together because bar charts don’t mix with them.
■
You can mix circular charts. You can, for example, change one series of a doughnut
chart to a pie chart.
■
Remember that in many cases, a line chart can be changed to an XY scatter with
line series. The advantage is that up/down bars and hi-lo lines ignore an XY scatter
chart line.
Moving Charts from One Worksheet to Another
You can combine charts from many worksheets into a single dashboard by moving the
charts from their original locations.
7
If your sales data is on a sales worksheet, for example, you can build the chart on the sales
worksheet. When the chart is selected, you choose Move Chart from the Design ribbon.
You can then choose to move the chart to a different worksheet (see Figure 7.2).
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting Techniques
225
Figure 7.2
You use the Move Chart
dialog to build a dashboard of charts on a
single sheet.
The chart continues to point to data on the original worksheet, but you end up with an
uncluttered screen of just charts. Even though the charts are on a new worksheet, they still
respond to data changes on the source worksheets.
Using Shapes to Annotate a Chart
Excel offers 165 shapes on the Insert ribbon. Any of these shapes can contain text and can
be added to a chart to call attention to certain aspects of the chart. As an example, in the
chart in Figure 7.3, a block arrow shape points out reduced revenue levels in July through
September. A callout below the chart points to the reduced June profits.
Figure 7.3
Shapes with added text
annotate key points in
this chart.
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There is one trick to using shapes on your chart: you need to make sure your chart is active
before you click a shape in the Insert ribbon. If the chart is not active and you draw a shape
over the chart, the shape is actually anchored to a particular cell in the worksheet.
To add a shape to a chart, you follow these steps:
1. Click the chart.
2. On the Insert ribbon, open the Shapes drop-down. This drop-down offers 165 shapes
in 8 categories, as shown in Figure 7.4.
Figure 7.4
You can choose from
these 165 shapes.
3. Click a shape. Your mouse pointer changes to a small plus sign.
4. Click and drag on the chart to draw a shape. The initial shape is filled with a
solid color.
5. Use the white resizing handles to adjust the size of the shape. Use the yellow diamond
handles to change the inflection points of the shape. Use the green rotation handle to
rotate the shape. All the shapes in Figure 7.5 are right arrow callout shapes that have
been modified by dragging the yellow inflection handles.
6. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, White and then Shape Outline, Black to
7
remove the fill color from the shape.
7. Right-click the shape and choose Edit Text.
8. Type your text in the shape.
9. Use the formatting icons on the Home ribbon to change the alignment and font size
of the text in the shape.
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting Techniques
227
Figure 7.5
You can use the handles
to resize, reshape, and
rotate a shape.
Green Rotation Handle
Yellow Inflection Handle
NOTE
White Resizing Handle
Because you are planning on adding text to these shapes, you should not plan on rotating the
shapes unless you want the text to be rotated as well.
When working with shapes, you’ll note that the Shapes drop-down includes a number of
lines and arrows. While adding an arrow to a chart, you can hover over an existing shape to
reveal four red connector dots. If you start or end an arrow on a connector dot, the arrow
automatically moves when the connected shapes move.
Making Columns or Bars Float
In Figure 7.6, the black bars appear to float in midair. This type of chart is good for showing the components of a whole.
The secret is that you plot the floating bars as Series 2. Series 1 is a dummy series that you
fill using No Fill in Excel 2007.
There are some interesting settings involved in creating the charts shown in Figure 7.6. You
follow these steps to create the top chart in the figure:
1. Set up a data table to split the single series into two series. In Figure 7.7, column B
shows the sales for each category. The formulas in column C:E are the data used to
create the chart. The formulas in column C copy the values from column A. The formulas in column E copy column B.
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Figure 7.6
The floating columns or
bars demonstrate how
components make up
a whole.
2. Enter 0 in cell D2. This is the “height” of the invisible column. For the first series, the
height is therefore 0.
3. In cell D3, enter =D2+E2. This formula adds the starting height of the last column (D2)
and the height of the previous column (E2).
4. Double-click the fill handle in cell D3 to copy the formula down to the rest of the
series. Your data should now look like the data shown in Figure 7.7.
Figure 7.7
Formulas in column C
show the starting point
for each column.That
series will later become
invisible.
5. Select cells C1:E6. From the Insert ribbon, choose Column, Stacked Column. Excel
creates the chart shown in Figure 7.8.
7
6. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
7. Click any of the lower columns in order to select the first series. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, No Fill. You might think that Excel is still outlining the first
series, but those lines are the selection border. Click away from the series in order to
make the selection completely disappear.
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting Techniques
229
Figure 7.8
You can see the Invisible
series before it
disappears.
8. Right-click the visible series and choose Format Data Series. In the Series Options
category, set Gap Width to No Gap.
9. The second series is whichever color happens to be the second accent color in the current theme. While the series is selected, choose Shape Fill and select a desired color.
10. Right-click the second series and choose Add Data Labels. If your series fill color is
dark, you can’t see the labels at all. Right-click in the center of one column and if you
are lucky, you actually select the label. If you aren’t lucky, use the Current Selection
drop-down in the Layout ribbon to select Series Sales Data Labels.
11. With the data labels selected, choose Font Color on the Home ribbon and then select a
font color that contrasts with the column. You can now see that Microsoft has labeled
the columns with the sales value. Click the Bold button on the Home ribbon. After
changing the label in step 13, you might come back to the Home ribbon to change the
font size so that the labels completely fit in the column.
12. From the Layout ribbon, choose Format Selection. Excel displays the Format Data
Labels dialog.
13. In the Format Data Labels dialog, change Label Contains from Value to Category
Name. Note that in Label Position, you don’t have a choice for Outside End, and that
is really the choice you want. Turn toward Redmond and grumble that Microsoft disabled this choice in stacked charts. Click Close to close the dialog. Your chart now has
the categories shown as labels on the columns and along the horizontal axis, as shown
in Figure 7.9. This is a redundant use of ink.
Figure 7.9
The category labels
along the horizontal
axis are redundant.
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14. Right-click the labels along the baseline and choose Format Axis. Change the Axis
Labels drop-down to None. Change Major Tick Mark Type to None and then click
Close.
15. The last element to format are the gridlines. While having gridlines every 20 units
seems to create too many gridlines, those gridlines are very useful for the smaller
Category D and Category E columns, which are a long way from the left axis. Still,
you can make the gridlines less obtrusive: Right-click a gridline and choose Format
Gridlines. Choose Solid Color, and a color drop-down appears. Select a light gray from
the color drop-down.
The preceding steps create the column chart shown in the top of Figure 7.6. The steps to
create the bar chart in the bottom of Figure 7.6 are similar, with two changes:
■
In step 5, choose Bar, Stacked Bar from the Insert ribbon to create a bar chart instead
of a column chart.
■
In step 8, set the gap width to 43% instead of No Gap. This creates a small vertical gap
between the bars.
■
Add a new step to reverse the order of the bars. Right-click the category axis, and
choose Format Axis. In the Format dialog box, choose the Categories in Reverse Order
check box.
Using a Rogue XY Series to Label the Vertical Axis
The chart in Figure 7.10 shows annual scores against a government performance index.
The actual index number is not as relevant as the ranges shown in A11:B15. These ratings
decide whether a company can continue to do business in a particular segment. It would be
better to create arbitrary gridlines in place of the horizontal gridlines.
Figure 7.10
A better chart would
have gridlines to
correspond to the five
performance categories
shown in A11:B15.
7
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting Techniques
231
The goal is to draw gridlines at unevenly spaced locations of 3, 8, 13, 18, 23, and 27. There
is not a good way to adjust the gridlines to show horizontal lines for each category. The
main problem is that Excel treats the collection of horizontal gridlines as a single object.
When you format one major gridline, all major gridlines change. If each gridline could be
formatted individually, you could draw a gridline every one unit and make most of the gridlines invisible.
The gridlines in Figure 7.10 are actually error bars that are attached to an invisible XY
series added to the chart. This solution may seem bizarre. It is not one of those obvious,
do-two-steps-and-you-are-done solutions.
C A S E S T U DY
Converting a Series to Gridlines
This is a fairly complex set of steps, but the results are worth the work. If you actually try it a few times, you will realize
how perfectly it works and appreciate the flexibility to both replace the gridlines with new gridlines and to replace the
vertical axis labels with new labels.This example includes more figures than usual so you can easily see how it works.
You follow these steps to create arbitrary gridlines and labels:
1. Somewhere on the worksheet, build a table of the locations for each arbitrary gridline. In this case, you want the
gridlines to be drawn between 7 and 8, so use numbers such as 7.5, 12.5, and so on in a column.
2. To the left of those labels, fill an identical column with zeros.
3. Select the one-column range that contains the new gridline locations. Press Ctrl+C to copy. Click the chart and
press Ctrl+V to paste. Excel adds the data as a new series, as shown in Figure 7.11. Even though this new series
has a different number of points than the first series, Excel takes a guess and draws the new series as a clustered
column series.
Figure 7.11
When you paste the
points to the chart, Excel
adds them as a clustered
column series.
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4. Click one of the new columns to select the second series. From the Design ribbon, choose Chart Type, XY (Scatter),
Scatter with Only Markers. Because you have mixed a traditional chart with a scatter chart, Excel adds a second
horizontal axis at the top of the chart and a second vertical axis at the right of the chart. Out of desperation, Excel
applies Series 2 to the secondary axis on both the horizontal and vertical axes.
Figure 7.12
You might be thinking
that this series has
nothing to do with
arbitrary gridlines.
In step 5, you will edit the SERIES function to show Excel where the x values are stored for the second series. If
you aren’t familiar with the SERIES function, read the sidebar that follows before moving to step 5.
Understanding the SERIES Function
Before proceeding to step 5, you need to understand the SERIES function. If you select a series in a column, line, or bar
chart, Excel displays a function in the formula bar.The function has four arguments:
=SERIES(Series Name, Labels for Series, Values for Series, Series Sequence)
The formula at the top of Figure 7.10, using the SERIES function, looks like this:
=SERIES(Indicators!$B$1,Indicators!$A$2:$A$8,Indicators!$B$2:$B$8,1)
This means that the series will be known as the score series, based on cell B1.The labels for the horizontal axis are
the years in cells A2:A8.The values for each point are in cells B2:B8.The final 1 indicates that this is the first series in
the chart.
When you paste new data into the chart, Excel has to guess what you mean. Look at the SERIES function at the top of
Figure 7.11:
=SERIES(,Indicators!$A$2:$A$8,Indicators!$E$19:$E$23,2)
This means that the second series has no name. Excel guessed that the axis labels should be in cells A2:A8. Excel knows
that the marker values are in cells E19:E23.The final 2 indicates that this is the second series.
7
When faced with a problem, computer programmers tend to try to shoehorn a new feature into an old paradigm, and
this certainly seems to be the case with the XY charts. In an XY chart, every marker has two locations.You have to specify an x location and a y location. Rather than create a new function to handle XY charts, however, the spreadsheet
architects decided that they could replace the labels as the second argument of the SERIES formula and store the
x values there. I am sure it made sense at the time, but that is why it is so difficult to label XY charts!
A Tool Chest of Advanced Charting Techniques
233
5. Click one of the markers for the second series.Wait until Excel displays the SERIES function in the formula bar.
Then click in the formula bar and change the second argument of the SERIES formula to point to the zeros in
cells D19:D23:
=SERIES(,Indicators!$D$19:$D$23,Indicators!$E$19:$E$23,2)
CAUTION
Save your workbook before editing the series formula.This is particularly important if you have not
updated Excel to Service Release 1 (due out in early 2008). A bug in the initial release of Excel 2007
may sometimes cause a crash when you edit the Series formula.
6. Press Enter to accept this formula. As shown in Figure 7.13, Excel moves the five markers to the left vertical axis,
which is the default x location for 0.The secondary horizontal axis at the top of the chart now runs from 0 to 1,
in 0.2-unit increments.You will clean all this up later, but it is important to see that the top marker is at that
location because it has an x value of 0 and a y value of 28.
Figure 7.13
The second series
markers are now glued
to the left axis.
7. To explicitly make sure the scale for the left and right axes match, click the labels along the left axis and press
Ctrl+1 to format the primary vertical axis. Make sure the axis shows a fixed minimum of 0 and a fixed maximum
of 28. (While you are in the Format Axis dialog, you could make the changes from step 9.) Repeat for the right axis,
making sure it runs from a minimum of 0 to a fixed maximum of 28.
8. Format the horizontal axis along the top of the chart. Click the numbers above the chart. Press Ctrl+1 to format the
axis. Set a fixed minimum of 0 and a fixed maximum of 1. In Figure 7.14, note that the top marker along the left
axis has moved to the top of the chart.This is because you changed the secondary axis maximum from 30 to 28, as
shown in Figure 7.14.
9. Go back to the left, top, and right axes and format each axis. Change Axis Labels to None. Change Major Tick Mark
Type to None.
10. From the Layout ribbon, choose Gridlines, Primary Horizontal Gridlines, None.
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Figure 7.14
Make sure that all the
axes have fixed upper
and lower bounds.
11. Click the border surrounding the plot area. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, No Outline.
12. Right-click one of the markers along the left vertical axis. Choose Add Data Labels. Excel adds the wrong labels, in
the wrong place, as shown in Figure 7.15.
Figure 7.15
You will have to replace
those axis labels and
move them to a new
location.
13. Click the top data label (the 28). Initially, all five data labels are selected. Click the data label again, and just that
label is selected.Type a new data label, such as 24-28 Superior. Repeat this step for each marker in series 2.
7
TIP
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235
Chapter 13,“Using Excel VBA to Create Charts,” includes a macro that labels all the points in an XY
chart.You can use that macro instead of repeating step 13 once for each data label.
14. Click the plot area to deselect the data labels. Again click the data label in order to select all the Series 2 data
labels. Right-click the labels and choose Format Data Labels.
15. Choose Left for Label Position. Excel moves the data labels a few millimeters to the left, until they hit the left edge
of the chart area.
16. Click the plot area. Grab one of the left resizing handles. Resize the plot area so it is smaller by dragging a left resizing handle to the right.When you have made enough room for the long Series 2 labels, let go of the mouse.
17. From the Layout ribbon, choose Series 2 from the Current Selection drop-down. Also from the Layout ribbon,
choose Error Bars, More Error Bars Options. Excel seems to erroneously take you to the Format dialog box for vertical error bars. In reality, though, Excel has added both x and y error bars. It chooses to show you the Format dialog
box for the vertical error bars. Close the dialog box.
18. In the Current Selection drop-down, select Series 2 X Error Bars. Click Format Selection. Change Direction to Plus.
Change End Style to No Cap. Set Error Amount to Fixed, with a value of 1.0. From the Line Style category, choose a
width of 1.5 in order to make the error bars a bit more substantial. Click Close to close the dialog box.
19. In the Current Selection drop-down, select Series 2 Y Error Bars.When those error bars are selected, press Delete to
delete the y error bars.
20. Choose Series 2 from the Current Selection drop-down. Click Format Selection. In the Marker Options category,
choose None. Excel erases the markers from the y-axis.
21. Type a more descriptive title for the chart.
The final chart is shown in Figure 7.16.This technique is particularly interesting because for many steps, it appears as if
you are heading in the wrong direction.
Figure 7.16
The labels along the
y-axis look so simple to
add, but a casual Excel
user would have a difficult time discovering
how to put them there.
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NOTE
If you try the steps a few times, this workaround starts to seem natural and almost poetic.The rogue XY series comes
into play in the next example, which involves stacking many charts on a single chart.
I am not sure who was brave enough to discover this technique.Today, many of my fellow
Excel MVPs show this tip on their excellent websites. Check out the website of Jon Peltier
(www.PeltierTech.com), Andy Pope (www.andypope.info/charts.htm), Charley Kyd
(www.ExcelUser.com), and Tushar Mehta(www.Tushar-Mehta.com) for more great examples of
charting and all other things Excel.
Showing Several Charts on One Chart by Using a Rogue XY Series
Figure 7.17 shows a single chart that appears to stack up four different charts. This chart is
especially useful because one of the middle series, which is the subject of the chart, has a
particularly low Q3 value. If you used a series of overlaid area charts, you would never be
able to see the Q3 value in question. Note that it is important that all four charts in the
stack have the same scale. Even with the current arrangement, it is difficult to compare one
year to another. Which Q1 is largest? Without looking at the data, you cannot really tell.
Figure 7.17
This stacked arrangement of charts allows
you to compare one
year to the next.
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The chart is actually a stack of seven area charts. The second, fourth, and sixth charts are
invisible charts that are the complements to the first, third, and fifth charts. For example, if
you’ve decided that the range for each chart should be 0 to 250, then the formula for each
point in the second series will be 250 minus the corresponding point in the first series.
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You follow these steps to set up the data for this chart stack:
1. Insert blank columns before 2005, 2006, and 2007.
2. The formula in the blank column should be 250 minus the column to the left. Copy to
all three blank columns. Your data should like the data shown in Figure 7.18.
Figure 7.18
You can add a series
between each year
to force the next year
to start at an even
increment of 250.
3. Select the range of data. From the Insert ribbon, choose Area, Stacked Area. Because
there are four rows and seven columns, Excel creates the chart with the data reversed:
four series with seven points each.
4. From the Design ribbon, choose Switch Row/Column to create the chart as seven
series with four points each. The chart appears as shown in Figure 7.19.
Figure 7.19
The chart initially shows
seven areas.
5. In the chart, click series 2. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, No Fill.
Repeat this process for Series 4 and Series 6.
6. Click the numbers along the vertical axis. From the Layout ribbon, choose Format
Selection. Then do the following:
• Choose Maximum, Fixed, 1000.
• Choose Major Unit, Fixed, 250.
• Choose Minor Unit, Fixed 50.
• Choose Axis Labels, None.
• Choose Major Tick Mark Type, None.
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7. Type three columns of data. The first column is the new data labels that you want to
appear along the y-axis. This could be four sets of 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200. In the next
column, fill zeros down the column for the x location of the XY points. In the next
column, type values from 0 to 1,000, in 50-unit increments for the y locations of the
XY points.
8. Although the second column contains x locations, you initially add only the y locations
to the chart. Select the third column, containing y locations and the heading above the
data, as shown in Figure 7.20.
Figure 7.20
After you paste this new
series into the chart, the
markers provide the
locations for new labels.
9. Press Ctrl+C to copy the data. Select the chart. Press Ctrl+V to paste the new series to
the chart. You now have a complete mess, as shown in Figure 7.21.
Figure 7.21
The new series initially
ruins the chart.
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239
10. Click the new Label series. From the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart Type, XY
(Scatter), Scatter with Only Markers.
11. Select Series Label Series from the Current Selection drop-down in either the Layout
or Format ribbon.
12. Wait until the formula bar shows the SERIES function. Edit the third argument to point
to the column of zeros. Do not include the label for the zero heading (see Figure 7.22):
=SERIES(Stacked!$L$3,Stacked!$K$4:$K$24,Stacked!$L$4:$L$24,8)
Figure 7.22
After you add the
x values as the second
argument in the
SERIES function, the
markers move to the left
vertical axis.
13. Right-click the numbers along the right vertical axis. Choose Format Selection or
press Ctrl+1. Then do the following:
• Choose Maximum, Fixed, 1000.
• Choose Major Tick Mark Type, None.
• Choose Axis Labels, None.
While the Format Axis dialog remains open, click the axis labels along the top of the
chart and choose Major Tick Mark Type, None. Then choose Axis Labels, None.
14. Right-click the markers along the left vertical axis. Choose Add Data Labels. Rightclick the data labels and then choose Format Data Labels. Choose Label Position,
Left.
15. Click the plot area. Grab the bottom-left resizing handle and drag toward the center
of the chart until there is enough room for the new labels.
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16. From the Layout ribbon, choose Primary Horizontal Gridlines, Display Major &
Minor Gridlines. Format the major gridlines to have a thicker line weight by selecting
Vertical (Value) Axis Major Gridlines from the Current Selection drop-down. Then,
from the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, Weight and select 21⁄2 point.
17. Choose Series Label Series from the Current Selection drop-down on the Format ribbon. Click Format Series, Marker Options, Marker Type to None. In Figure 7.23, you
can see that three issues remain. The legend contains entries for the blank series. The
Q1 and Q4 points don’t extend to the left and right axes. The labels along the left side
of the chart run from 0 to 1,000 instead of 0 to 250 repeatedly.
Figure 7.23
You still have to fix the
legend and the labels
along the left axis.
18. Click the Legend to select the whole legend. Click again on the Blank 3 legend entry
NOTE
to select only that entry and press Delete. Excel removes that entry from the legend.
Repeat with Blank 2, Blank 1, and Label Series to delete them from the legend.
To fix the labels along the y-axis, you have three choices:
■
Write some VBA (see Chapter 13).
■
Download Rob Bovey’s XY Chart Labeler utility from
www.appspro.com/Utilities/ChartLabeler.htm.
■
Repeat step 19 several times.
19. To fix the labels manually, click the data labels on the left side of the chart to select all
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the labels. Click just the 250 label. Type 0 and press Enter. Repeat to change the 300
label to 50, the 350 label to 100, and so on.
20. Add a title, if desired.
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21. Notice that there is a gap between the left vertical axis and the Q1 label. To remove
this gap, right-click the Q1 label and choose Format Axis. The bottom setting on the
Axis Options category is the Position Axis option button. Change from Between Tick
Marks to On Tick Marks. In Figure 7.24, the bottom chart is set to On Tick Marks.
The top chart is set to Between Tick Marks.
Figure 7.24
You choose where to
position the axis.
When you distribute this chart to others, they will be wondering how you managed to
make Excel put four charts on a single chart. Actually, your manager won’t even know this
is difficult, but other people who use Excel might be impressed.
Using Multiple XY Series to Create a Trellis Chart
A trellis chart compares values from two series that are usually related. Each series is plotted as dots on a horizontal line in the chart. For maximum effectiveness, the dataset should
be sorted in descending sequence.
In Figure 7.25, the companies are sorted in descending order, by revenue. The chart shows
revenue and research and development (R&D) expenditures. Any time the R&D dots seem
out of sequence, you can figure that the company is either investing unusually high or low
amounts in R&D.
Although this chart seems like a bar chart, it is actually produced by creating a chart with
three XY series. As in the preceding two examples, the third XY series is used to add the
company labels along the left side of the chart.
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Figure 7.25
Provided that one series
in the trellis chart is
sorted, you can spot
companies whose
spending in the R&D
series seems out of line
with the rest of the
industry.
The x portion of the first two series is the Sales amount and the R&D amount. The y portion is a completely artificial series containing the numbers 1 through 11. If you thought
about this logically, you might assume that you would arrange your data in pairs of x,y data,
as shown in Figure 7.26.
Figure 7.26
Logically, the dots in the
chart could be represented by these x,y pairs.
However, creating an XY chart with multiple series is far from logical. Examine Figure
7.27. The data has to be rearranged so that the R&D numbers are in the first selected column. The completely artificial columns of 1 through 11 have to come next, with the
important headings R&D, Sales, and Labels. Excel needs this arrangement because it
assumes that all XY charts have a single x range and multiple y ranges. When you select the
data in cells C39:F50, Excel uses column C as the x labels for all three y series.
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In the process of arranging the data in this manner, the true x values for the Sales series,
and the zeros that will be used for x values for the Labels series are cast aside—in this case
to the left. The actual company labels are moved to the right, if only as a reference.
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243
Figure 7.27
You arrange the data
with the first x range
and then all other y
ranges in sequence.
To create the chart, you follow these steps:
1. Select the cells in the range C39:F50.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose Scatter, Scatter with Markers. Excel creates a chart in
which all three markers are plotted at the proper locations for R&D (see Figure 7.28).
Figure 7.28
Initially, all three series
appear to be identical.
3. From the Layout ribbon, choose Series Sales from the Current Selection drop-down.
Excel outlines column E in blue and column C in purple. Grab the border of the purple outline and drag it left so that the purple outline surrounds the sales in column B.
This technique is much easier than editing the SERIES function.
4. From the Layout ribbon, choose Series Labels from the Current Selection drop-down.
Excel outlines column F in blue and column C in purple. Grab the border of the
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purple outline and drag it left so that the purple outline surrounds the sales in column
A. As shown in Figure 7.29, you now have a chart that is starting to resemble the
final chart.
Figure 7.29
After you specify a
different x range for
each series, the chart
starts to take shape.
5. From the Format ribbon, choose Current Selection, Vertical Value Axis and then
NOTE
choose Format Selection. Set Major Unit to Fixed Value and 1. This ensures that every
company’s dots appear on a gridline. Choose Axis Labels, None. Leave the Format
dialog box open for steps 6 through 8.
The ability to access the chart and Ribbon without closing the Format dialog box is a cool improvement in Excel 2007. Rather than repeatedly displaying the Format dialog, you can display it once,
and then use the Current Selection dropdown in the Ribbon to choose a new item to be formatted.
The Format dialog box will change to show settings for the new selected chart component.You can
also simply click on a new element in the chart to select that element.The Format dialog box will
change to reflect settings for the clicked element.
6. From the Current Selection dropdown on the Format ribbon, select Series Labels.
Right-click and choose Add Data Labels. Click the Labels and choose Format
Selection. Then choose Label Position Left.
7. On the Format ribbon, open the Current Selection dropdown and select Series Labels.
Choose Marker Options, Marker Type, None.
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8. Click the Legend. The Format dialog box changes to show settings for the Legend. In
the Format dialog box, choose Top.
9. Click the entry in the legend for Labels. Press the Delete key. Close the Format
dialog box.
10. Click the Plot Area. Drag one of the left resizing handles to the right to make room
for the labels.
NOTE
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245
Fixing the labels remains a tedious process.You could switch to VBA or use Rob Bovey’s add-in.
You could also use the method described in step 11, which is slightly different from step 19 in the
previous section.
11. To fix the labels manually, click the data labels on the left side of the chart to select all
the labels. Click just the 1 label. This corresponds to the company name in cell G50.
While the 1 label is selected, with a solid line surrounding it, type =’Sheet Name’!G50
and press Enter.
12. Repeat step 11 to change the 2 label to =’Sheet
Name’!G49.
Continue to replace all the
labels.
13. Resize the entire chart area so that it is taller than it is wide.
The final chart is shown in Figure 7.30.
Figure 7.30
The final chart uses an
XY series for R&D, an XY
series for sales, and a
hidden XY series to
replace the vertical
axis labels.
Creating Dynamic Charts
In this section, dynamic refers to a chart that expands, contracts, changes, or moves in
response to changes in the underlying worksheet.
In many cases, you need to change the SERIES function attached to a data series in order to
calculate a series on-the-fly. However, the examples in this section rely on four worksheet
functions: VLOOKUP, MATCH, INDEX, and OFFSET. In case you are new to these functions, coverage of each of them follows.
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Using the OFFSET Function to Specify a Range
The OFFSET function allows you to specify a rectangular range of data. You have to provide
five arguments to specify the range:
■
Any starting cell—An example is Sheet1!A1.
■
A number of rows to move down from the starting cell to the first cell in the
range—If you specify a positive number, the range starts below the starting cell. If you
specify 0, the range starts in the same row as the starting cell. If you specify a negative
number, the range starts above the starting cell.
■
A number of columns to move right from the starting cell to arrive at the first
cell in the range—You can specify a positive number to move right, 0 to stay in the
same column as the starting cell, or a negative number to move to the left.
■
The number of rows in the range—If you specify 1, you describe a range that is one
row tall.
■
The number of columns in the range—If you specify 1, you describe a range that is
one column wide.
To understand the various types of ranges that the OFFSET function can return, consider the
shapes in Figure 7.31.
Figure 7.31
Examples of the
OFFSET function.
7
The top-left shape in Figure 7.31 highlights a range that is 8 rows tall by 4 columns wide.
If the starting cell is G12, you would have to move 9 rows up from the starting cell and 4
columns left from the starting cell to arrive at the top-left corner cell of the range. The
function to refer to this range is =OFFSET(G12,-9,-4,8,4).
The box underneath cell G12 is 12 rows tall by 1 column wide. It starts 1 row from the
starting cell of G12 and 0 columns to the right. The function to refer to this range is
=OFFSET(G12,1,0,12,1).
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The single cell in I9 is 3 rows above the starting cell, 2 columns to the right, 1 row tall, and
1 column wide. The formula is =OFFSET(G12,-3,2,1,1).
Of course, it is silly to write any of these formulas. If you knew that your chart range was
always going to be in cells G13:G23, you would simply refer to Sheet1!G13:G23. The power
of the OFFSET function is that you can use other functions for some of the arguments. For
example, you could count the category labels in your dataset today by using the formula
COUNTA($J:$J). The formula =OFFSET(J13,0,0,COUNTA(J:J),1) starts in column J and
extends down to include the number of cells with data in column J. This formula counts on
the data in column J to not include any blank cells.
Using VLOOKUP or MATCH to Find a Value in a Table
The VLOOKUP function does a vertical lookup. It looks for a particular value in the first column of a lookup table. When the first exact match is found, Excel returns a particular column from that row of the table.
usually has four arguments: VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array,
col_index_num, [range_lookup]).
VLOOKUP
■
Lookup value—This is the name or value you are trying to find. In Figure 7.32, it is
the name in cell A1.
Figure 7.32
Examples of the
VLOOKUP and
MATCH functions.
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■
Table array—This is a rectangular range of cells. Excel searches the first column of
the table array in an effort to find a cell that has the same value as the lookup value. In
Figure 7.32, this is the range C10:E33. If you plan on copying the VLOOKUP formula in
either direction to find additional customers or columns, you should use the F4 key to
make the table array absolute.
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While editing a formula, pressing the F4 key will toggle a cell reference through the four possible
relative/absolute/mixed reference states.The first press of F4 changes A1 to $A$1.The next press of
F4 freezes only the row number, A$1.The next press of F4 freezes only the column, $A1.The next
press of F4 returns to a relative reference of A1.
How does Excel know which reference to change? If the cursor is inside a reference or immediately
to the right of a reference, Excel will change that reference.While entering the previous formula, if
you type C10:E33 and then press F4 before typing the comma, Excel will add dollar signs to both
C10 and E33 at the same time. If you need to add dollar signs to only C10 or only E33, select the
characters in the formula bar before pressing F4.
■
Column index number—This specifies the column Excel should return as the result
of the formula. The columns are numbered 1, 2, 3, and so on, starting with the column
that contains the lookup value. In Figure 7.32, specifying 2 would give you the Q1
quota for the person. Specifying 3 would give you the Q1 sales. Note that specifying 1
would give you the person’s name again. While this might seem silly, since you already
have the person’s name as the lookup value, you can sometimes use VLOOKUP to test to
see if the lookup value is a valid name in the table array. In this case, it is fine to specify
1 as the column index. Note that if you need to copy this function across several
columns in order to return the second, third, fourth, and fifth columns from table
array, you can use COLUMN(B1) instead of using 2 as the third argument. As the formula
is copied to the right, Excel automatically returns COLUMN(C1), COLUMN(D1), COLUMN(E1),
and so on, which then ask for the third, fourth, and fifth columns from the table array.
■
Range lookup—This is either TRUE or FALSE. You specify FALSE to indicate that you are
looking for an exact match. In the FALSE version, the table array can be in any order. If
you instead specify TRUE, Excel returns the value of the closest match that is equal to or
lower than the lookup value. In the TRUE version, the table array must be sorted in
ascending order. If you leave off this parameter, it is the same as specifying TRUE.
is a workhorse function in Excel. If you’ve ever dabbled in Access, you might have
joined tables in order to bring new columns from a lookup table into a query. The VLOOKUP
function allows you to simulate joining tables in Excel.
VLOOKUP
In Figure 7.32, a VLOOKUP function in cell D1 asks for the second column of the table array
and finds the Q1 quota for the sales rep listed in cell A1. A second VLOOKUP in cell D2 asks
for the third column of the table array and finds the Q1 sales. The HLOOKUP can do a horizontal lookup, in case your table array has the key values across one row.
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There is a curious variant of VLOOKUP called the MATCH function, which looks for a lookup
value in a one-column-wide lookup array. When a corresponding value is found in the
lookup array, Excel tells you the row number within the lookup array where the match is
found. Match can also find a value in a one-row-tall lookup array, similar to the HLOOKUP
function.
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249
This seems completely useless, doesn’t it? Has your manager ever called you to ask, “By the
way, can you tell me in what relative row number within a range that customer is located?”
This is a bit of trivia that rarely comes up in conversation. However, bear with me because
the MATCH function can be useful when combined with the INDEX function, which is discussed in the next section.
The MATCH function requires arguments that are similar to the first, third, and fourth arguments of the VLOOKUP function:
Lookup value—This is the value that you are trying to find.
■
Lookup array—This is the first column of the table array range from VLOOKUP. This is
the column where Excel looks to find a match for the lookup value.
■
Match type—This is conceptually similar to using TRUE or FALSE as the fourth argument in the VLOOKUP function. A FALSE in VLOOKUP requires an exact match. In the MATCH
function, a 0 requires an exact match. A TRUE in VLOOKUP returns the next-smallest value
from a sorted table array. Similarly, a 1 in MATCH returns the next-smallest value.
(Remember that spreadsheets store TRUE as a 1.) MATCH offers one more option for
match type. If you specify -1, Excel finds the next-largest value from the descending
sorted lookup array.
TIP
■
Did you know that FALSE is equivalent to 0? You can actually specify FALSE as the third argument
in MATCH, and it works like a 0.
In Figure 7.32, a MATCH function in cell D3 looks for the sales rep from cell A1 in the range
C10:C33. Note that although the match is actually on row 21, this row is the 12th row in
the table array. Thus, the MATCH function returns 12.
Both the VLOOKUP and MATCH functions are CPU intensive, particularly when the lookup
table contains thousands of records. The lengthy part of the function is finding the matching record from the first column of the lookup table. After Excel locates that value, moving
right to grab the second or third column is relatively quick.
Combining INDEX and MATCH
Initially, the INDEX function doesn’t seem that useful. Its syntax, which is used in a later
chart example, is as follows:
=INDEX(Rectangular Range, Which Row in the Range, Which Column in the Range)
NOTE
=INDEX(A1:Z26,5,10) returns the value at the 5th row and 10th column of the range
A1:Z26. There are certainly easier ways to refer to cell J5 (for example, =J5).
If the range specified as the first argument contains only one column, you can leave the third argument out of the function. By default, Excel assumes that you are talking about the first column.
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The INDEX function becomes powerful when you use a MATCH function as the second argument to specify which range to return.
In Figure 7.33, a processor-intensive MATCH function in cell D1 finds the row number where
the sales rep can be found. Relatively fast INDEX functions in cells D2 and D3 then return
the value from that row in the quota or sales column.
The next three charting examples make use of the OFFSET, VLOOKUP, INDEX, and/or MATCH
functions to change a chart in response to changes in the underlying worksheet.
Figure 7.33
Examples of the MATCH
and INDEX functions.
Using Validation Drop-Downs to Create a Dynamic Chart
This example creates a chart that is a bit like a pivot chart, except it uses a drop-down on
the worksheet to choose which data to chart.
Figure 7.34 shows a simple chart that compares sales to quota by quarter for a particular
sales rep.
Figure 7.34
This simple chart could
be part of an executive
information system for a
vice president of sales.
7
When you click in cell A1 of this chart, a drop-down appears. When you open the dropdown and select a new sales rep, the chart instantly updates to show that particular sales
rep’s figures (see Figure 7.35).
This chart is not that amazing; it uses just some basic Excel tools that are hiding on the
worksheet.
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251
First, hidden out of sight in row 63 is all the data needed to create the chart for any particular sales rep. Sales reps are in A64:A87. Their individual quota and sales figures are in
columns B:K (see Figure 7.36).
Figure 7.35
If you choose a new rep
from the drop-down in
A1, the chart updates.
Figure 7.36
The source data for all
charts is hidden.
Hidden behind the chart are a number of formulas:
■
In cell A2, the formula =MATCH(A1,A64:A87,0) indicates the location of the sales rep
selected in cell A1.
■
In C4:F5, formulas similar to =INDEX($A$64:$K$87,$A$2,2) pull the information for the
selected sales rep and format it into two data series. The structure of the original
dataset is typical of how accounting keeps track of such data. If the original dataset
were in a different format, a simpler formula could be written. As it is, the third argument of this formula had to be edited in each of the other seven cells after being copied
to C4:F5. You could also abandon the MATCH formula in cell A2 and build eight VLOOKUP
formulas here, and that would be fine; it is a matter of personal preference.
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To create the drop-down in cell A1, you follow these steps:
1. Select cell A1.
2. From the Data ribbon, click the top half of the Data Validation icon.
3. In the Data Validation dialog that appears, change the Allow drop-down from Any
Value to List. New fields appear in the dialog, including a Source field.
4. Click the Reference box at the right side of the Source field and choose the A64:A87
range, which contains names.
5. By default, the In-cell Dropdown check box is checked. Leave it checked. Click OK to
close the dialog.
Figure 7.37 shows the structure of the data hidden behind the chart as well as the completed Data Validation dialog box.
Figure 7.37
Formulas convert the
name in cell A1 into a
chartable dataset.The
drop-down in cell A1
appears because of the
Data Validation settings.
After you set up the formulas, you create a chart from B3:F5. You follow these steps to create the chart:
1. Select the range B3:F5. From the Insert ribbon, choose Column, Clustered Column.
2. Click any column marker in the chart for quota. From the Design ribbon, choose
Change Chart Type, Line, Line.
3. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, Show Legend at Top.
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4. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, Show Axis in Thousands.
5. Click outside the plot area but inside the chart border to select the chart area. From
the Format ribbon, choose Shape Outline, No Outline.
6. Drag the selection border of the chart to move it to cell A2 and then resize the chart
so that it covers any of the formulas behind the chart.
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253
As mentioned earlier, this chart is not really dynamic. The worksheet is dynamic and
responds using formulas. The chart is always plotting a static range of data. The chart in
the next example is truly dynamic, expanding or contracting as data is added or removed
from the spreadsheet.
Using Dynamic Ranges in a Chart
A chart based on a dynamic range expands or contracts as new data points are added to a
specific range.
The chart in this example requires an understanding of the SERIES function and the OFFSET
function. If you are not reading straight through this chapter, you should review the SERIES
function discussion (in the section “Using a Rogue XY Series to Label the Vertical Axis,”
earlier in this chapter) and the OFFSET discussion (in the section “Using the OFFSET Function
to Specify a Range,” earlier in this chapter).
As shown in Figure 7.38, the data for the chart is initially located in A5:B16. There are
headings in cell B4 and cell C5. The COUNTA() function, described later, counts all the
entries in column A and subtracts 1 to factor out the heading. This approach requires two
assumptions, which you have to work to control:
There should be no other data anywhere in the million other rows of column A. You
shouldn’t build new tables down below, and you shouldn’t add a title in cell A1. If you
are doing either of these things, you will have to adjust the COUNTA() function to subtract more than just the first heading cell.
■
Customers should always start in cell A5 and extend in a contiguous range. You
shouldn’t leave a blank cell in cell A17 and type a new customer in cell A18. This won’t
work. If you want to delete a customer from the chart, you need to delete the entire
row containing the customer. You shouldn’t delete the values in row 8, leaving a
blank row.
NOTE
■
In the example that follows, the sheet name in the sample file is called Dynamic Chart.The
workbook name is 7-Dynamic1.xlsm. Sheet names with spaces are more difficult to deal with
than sheet names without spaces.The SERIES formula requires you to fully qualify the named
ranges. For this example, substitute the appropriate workbook or worksheet range names.
To build this chart, you first build and format a static chart. You then make the chart a
chart that will dynamically resize. Here’s how you create this chart:
1. Select the data in cells A4:B16. From the Insert ribbon, choose Bar, 2D Bar, Clustered
Bar.
2. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
3. Right-click the customer names along the left side of the chart and choose Format
Axis to open the Format dialog box.
4. Choose Categories in Reverse Order.
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5. Choose Specify Interval Unit and make sure the unit is 1. Close the Format dialog box.
6. Resize the chart so that it is taller.
7. Click outside the chart. You now need to define a couple of range names that point to a
dynamic range of data.
8. From the Formulas ribbon, choose the Name Manager.
9. Click the New button. Excel displays the New Name dialog.
10. Type a name such as Customers.
11. Leave Workbook as the scope.
12. Adding a comment, which is new in Excel 2007, helps when you want to document
how a complicated name works. Perhaps the comment here could be “See Chapter 7 of
Jelen’s Excel Charting book.”
13. Set Refers to Box to the following:
=OFFSET(‘Dynamic Chart’!$A$5,0,0,COUNTA(‘Dynamic Chart’!$A:$A)-1,1)
This basically says to start in cell A5, move 0 rows down, and 0 rows over but to
include as many entries as are found in column A, except for the heading.
14. Click OK to return to the Name Manager dialog. You then see the new name added in
the box.
15. Repeat steps 9 through 14 to assign a name to a formula for the sales values. Use the
name Sales, and use the following formula in step 13:
=OFFSET(‘Dynamic Chart’!$B$5,0,0,COUNTA(‘Dynamic Chart’!$A:$A)-1,1)
NOTE
Note that the fourth argument is still counting the number of customer names in column A. This allows a new customer to appear but have a blank in column B to indicate
zero sales. People should never leave a cell blank to indicate a zero, but this would handle it in case they did.
Once you’ve set up the relatively complicated Customers named range, you could base the Sales
range as being 1 column offset from the first range. A formula of =OFFSET(Customers,,1)
would achieve the same result as the formula in step 15.
16. Close the Manage Names dialog box.
17. Test whether your range names are working. Click in the Name Box drop-down just to
7
the left of the Formula bar. Type Customers and press Enter. Excel highlights the
range of customers. Repeat for sales. Type a new test customer in A17. Type Customers
in the name box again and press Enter. Excel should now highlight a range that has
been extended to include the new customer. If this is not working, go back and check
the formulas you entered in steps 13 and 15.
18. Click the chart to activate it.
19. Click the data bars in the chart. Wait for Excel to display the SERIES formula in the
formula bar, which should initially look like this:
Creating Dynamic Charts
255
NOTE
=SERIES(‘Dynamic Chart’!$B$4,’Dynamic Chart’!$A$5:$A$16,
➥‘Dynamic Chart’!$B$5:$B$16,1)
The SERIES formula is too long for the physical constraints of this book.You will not see the continuation arrow at the beginning of the second line in your formula.
The first argument in this formula means that the series name comes from cell B4. The
labels along the vertical axis come from cells A5:A16. The values for each bar are
located in B5:B16. This is the first (and only) series in the chart.
20. On the Design ribbon, click the Select Data button. Excel displays the Select Data
Source dialog.
21. In the left side of the Select Data Source dialog, choose Series1 and click Edit. Excel
displays the Edit Series dialog.
22. Assuming that Sales is a workbook-level name, you have to specify the workbook name
in apostrophes, an exclamation point, and then the range name as the series values. In
my workbook, this is =’7-Dynamic1.xlsm’!Sales. Click OK.
23. On the right side of the Select Data Source dialog, choose Edit for Axis Labels. Excel
displays the Axis Labels dialog.
24. In the Axis Labels dialog, type a similar reference that points to Customer. In my case,
this is =’7-Dynamic1.xlsm’!Customers. Click OK to close the Axis Labels dialog.
25. Click OK to close the Edit Series dialog. In the formula bar, you should see the following new SERIES formula:
=SERIES(‘Dynamic Chart’!$B$4,’7-Dynamic1.xlsm’!Customers,
➥‘7-Dynamic1.xlsm’!Sales,1)
Figure 7.38 shows the final chart and the SERIES formula. Two new test customers have
been added to the bottom of the dataset and appear in the chart.
Figure 7.38
As new customers are
added to the bottom of
the data range, the series
formula automatically
expands. Customers and
Sales are names that
are defined using the
OFFSET function.
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CAUTION
If you are a careful typist, you can edit the SERIES formula in the formula bar in Excel.There is no
error checking, however, so if you mistype something, you lose the data for your chart.
This example uses the OFFSET function to automatically expand a chart. The next example
uses the OFFSET function to chart a rolling 12 months of data.
Creating a Scrolling Chart
An interesting dynamic chart is a chart that shows a scrolling 12 months of data. In Figure
7.39, 36 months of data are available and are shown in the bottom chart. However, you can
show a scrolling 12 months in the top chart. As you move the scrollbar, the top chart shows
a closer view of a 12-month segment of the longer chart.
In Figure 7.39, a gray box shades the portion of the bottom chart that is shown in the top
chart.
Figure 7.39
When the scrollbar in
row 2 is scrolled toward
the right, you see recent
months.
In Figure 7.40, the scrollbar is moved left to show a different portion of the detail.
You follow these steps to create a scrolling chart:
7
1. Format your dates with a MMMMMYY custom format. The five M’s are the code to
force the month to be displayed with only the first letter of the month. This allows
more dates to fit across the bottom of the chart.
2. Select the data in cells A1:B37. From the Insert ribbon, choose Line, Line. Delete the
legend. Excel creates a basic line chart with all 36 months of data.
Creating Dynamic Charts
257
3. Move the chart so that it starts in row 22. Make a copy of the chart that starts in cell D3.
4. Deselect the chart. Enter a number between 1 and 25 in cell D1.
Figure 7.40
Note the number 9 in cell
D1.This cell changes in
response to the scrollbar
changes.
5. From the Formulas ribbon, choose Name Manager. Click the Add button.
6. Type Months in the Name field. In the Refers To field, enter:
=OFFSET(Scroll!$A$1,Scroll!$D$1,0,12,1)
This says to start from cell A1 of the Scroll worksheet, move down the number of rows
in cell D1, and then take a range that is 12 rows by 1 column. Click OK to accept the
name.
7. Add another name. Type the name SalesByMonth. In the Refers To box, use:
=OFFSET(Scroll!$A$1,Scroll!$D$1,1,12,1)
The only change is that in the third argument, you move right one column to grab
data from column B.
8. Click the line series in the first chart. Wait for the SERIES formula to appear in the formula bar. Edit the formula so that it looks like this:
=SERIES(Scroll!$B$1,’7-Dynamic.xlsm’!Months,
➥‘7-Dynamic.xlsm’!SalesByMonth,1)
9. Test the chart. Enter a new number between 1 and 25 in cell D1. The top chart should
change. You now need to provide an easy way for the reader to change the number in
cell D1. This can be accomplished through a scrollbar.
The icon for adding a scrollbar is located on the Developer ribbon. Open the Insert
dropdown and find the Scrollbar icon in the center of the second row of Form
Controls. Since many people do not have the Developer tab available in the ribbon,
you can use Step 10 to add the scrollbar control to the Quick Access Toolbar.
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10. From the Office icon menu, choose Excel Options. Choose Customize. In the top-left
drop-down, choose Command Not in the Ribbon. Browse through the list box on the
left for Scroll Bar (Form Control). Select this item and click the Add>> button to add
the control to the Quick Access Toolbar. Click OK to close the Excel Options dialog.
11. Click the newly added scrollbar control in the Quick Access toolbar. (Depending on
your computer, the Quick Access toolbar is the row of icons either immediately below
or immediately above the ribbon.) After clicking the scrollbar icon, drag to draw a
scrollbar control on the worksheet. Drag from the top left of cell D2 to the bottom
right of cell K2.
12. Right-click the scrollbar and choose Format Control.
13. Change Minimum Value to 1 and Maximum Value to 25. Set Incremental Change to 1.
For Cell Link, click the Refers To button and choose cell D1. Click OK. Click outside
the scrollbar to deselect it. To test the scrollbar, drag the slider. The value in cell D1
should change. The top chart should also change.
14. Change the chart title of the top chart to indicate that it is a rolling 12 months. The
top chart is now complete. If you want to draw the shaded box on the bottom chart,
continue with the following steps.
15. Enter the heading Shading in cell C1.
16. Enter the following formula in cell C2:
=IF(AND(ROW(A1)>=$D$1,ROW(A1)-$D$1<12),MAX(SalesByMonth),0)
Copy this formula down to the other 35 months.
17. Select the range C1:C37. Press Ctrl+C to copy the range. Select the bottom chart.
Press Ctrl+V to paste a new series to the chart.
18. Click the line for the second series. From the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart
Type, Area Chart.
19. Click the area chart to select the second series. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape
Fill and select light gray to make the box less obtrusive.
The scrollbar makes this chart fun to use. People will be encouraged to interact with the
chart, which will mean they spend more time with the chart. Perhaps it is a bit gimmicky.
Perhaps it makes sense when you have 20 years of monthly data. I can certainly understand
the argument that the 12-month chart is less informative than the 36-month chart.
However, the scrolling chart is here in this book because it is unusual.
Modifying the Scrollbar Example to Show the Last 12 Months
7
In the previous section, a scrollbar was used to determine which 12-month range was plotted on a chart. You can use similar concepts without the scrollbar. Say that you always want
to display the latest 12 months of data. After you add a new month to the end of the range,
and you want the chart to automatically shift to show the last 12 months. This would be the
start of the OFFSET formula:
=OFFSET(A1,Some Number of Rows,0,12,1)
Creating Advanced Charts
259
This formula always grabs 12 rows by 1 column. The trick is figuring out where to start the
selection in order to get the last 12 months.
You can figure out how many months are present in column A by using =COUNTA(A:A).
When there are 36 months, you want to use the data A26:A37. This means you need to
move 25 rows down from a starting position of cell A1. Thus, the Some Number of Rows
argument would be =COUNTA(A:A)-11.
To create a chart that shows the latest 12 months, you follow the steps in the
previous example except that in step 6, the formula for months should be
=OFFSET(Scroll!$A$1,COUNTA(Scroll!$A:$A)-11,0,12,1) and in step 7, the formula for
SalesByMonth should be =OFFSET(Scroll!$A$1,COUNTA(Scroll!$A:$A)-11,1,12,1).
Creating Advanced Charts
The last few examples in this chapter are unconventional charts that you can create. Each
chart requires a few tricks in order to coax the result out of Excel.
Thermometer Chart
A thermometer chart is a big way to display a single number. It is great for use on a dashboard display where you want everyone to see progress toward a goal.
To create a thermometer chart like the one shown in Figure 7.41, you follow these steps:
Figure 7.41
This chart is a single column based on the number in cell A1.
7
1. Enter a number between 0 and 100 in cell A1.
2. Select cell A1. From the Insert ribbon, choose Column, 2-D Column, Clustered
Column.
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3. From the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, None.
4. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axes, Primary Horizontal Axis, None.
5. From the Layout ribbon, choose Gridlines, Primary Horizontal Gridlines, None.
6. Right-click the single column and choose Format Data Series. Change Gap Width to
0%. For the Fill category, choose Gradient Fill. In the Preset Colors drop-down,
choose the ninth thumbnail, a blend from red to orange. For Border Color, choose
Solid Line and then choose an orange color from the drop-down. You can leave the
Format dialog open while you do steps 7 and 8.
7. Choose Plot Area from the Current Selection drop-down. Format the border color as a
solid line and choose an orange color.
8. Choose the chart area and format the border as No Line. Close the Format dialog box.
9. Resize the chart area so that it is narrow and long.
10. Right-click the numbers along the vertical axis. Choose Format Axis. Then do the
following:
• Choose Minimum, Fixed, 0.
• Choose Maximum, Fixed, 100.
• Choose Major Unit, Fixed, 10.
• For the Line Color category, choose Solid Line and then select orange.
Click OK to close the Format dialog box.
11. With the axis labels still selected, choose Font Color and then select orange on the
Home ribbon.
12. Select the plot area. Drag the bottom resizing handles up so that there is space between
the bottom of the plot area and the bottom of the chart area.
13. From the Insert ribbon, choose Shapes, Basic Shapes and then select an oval. Hold
down the Shift key while you draw a circle at the bottom of the chart. Note that the
shift key forces the oval shape to be drawn as a circle.
14. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill and then select a dark orange and then
choose Shape Outline and select a dark orange color for the ball at the bottom of the
thermometer.
Benchmark Chart
7
A benchmark chart shows sales for each period as a column chart. The quota, goal, or
benchmark for the period is shown as a cap. If the sales exactly meet the quota, the sales
column fits perfectly into the cap. If sales fell short of the quota, you see some whitespace
between the cap and the column.
Creating Advanced Charts
261
You follow these steps to create a benchmark chart like the one in Figure 7.42:
Figure 7.42
The horizontal markers
on each column indicate
where the quota had
been for that month.
1. Enter Months in column A, Sales in column B, and Quota in column C.
2. Create a clustered 2-D column chart from the data. Delete the legend.
3. Click the Quota series in the chart. From the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart
Type and then choose Scatter (XY). Excel automatically moves the series to a secondary axis.
4. Select one of the quota data markers. Right-click and choose Format Data Series.
Choose Primary Axis.
5. Make sure the quota series is still selected. From the Layout ribbon, choose Error
Bars, More Error Bar Options. Close the Error Bar Format dialog and open the
Current Selection drop-down. If you see Series Quota Y Error Bars, select that and
press the Delete key. Select Series Quota X Error Bars and click Format Selection.
Change Fixed Value from 1.0 to 0.2. For the Line Style category, choose a 3-point
width.
6. Choose Series Quota from the Current Selection drop-down. Click Format Selection.
For the Marker Options category, choose None.
The horizontal lines in this chart are actually error bars that show the goal or quota for
each month.
Delta Chart
You can use a delta chart to plot revenue and a quota as line charts. A special data marker
appears halfway between the two lines to show the percentage of quota (see Figure 7.43).
The hard part of creating a delta chart is getting the labels to float halfway in between the
two lines.
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Figure 7.43
The labels automatically
float halfway between
the two lines.
You follow these steps to create a delta chart:
1. Set up a dataset with months in column A, quota in column B, and revenue in column C.
2. In column D, enter the following formula to average revenue and quota:
=AVERAGE(B2:C2)
This will be the location point for the data label. Copy the formula down the column.
3. In column E, enter the formula =C2/B2 to hold the label. This formula will show the
percentage to quota. Format the results as a percentage with 0 decimal places and copy
the formula down the column.
4. Create a chart from cells A1:D13. From the Insert ribbon, choose Line, Line with
Markers.
5. Select Value Axis from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon. Click
Format Selection. Choose a fixed minimum and a fixed maximum that are appropriate
to zoom in on the data in the chart.
6. Choose Series Average from the Current Selection drop-down on the Layout ribbon.
Click Format Selection. Choose to move the series to the secondary axis. This allows
the labels to be adjusted for just this series.
7. Choose Secondary Vertical (Value) Axis from the Current Selection drop-down on the
Layout ribbon. Choose the same minimum and maximum as in step 5.
8. Close the Format dialog box.
9. Click the Average series to select it. From the Design ribbon, choose Select Data.
10. Click the Average series on the left side of the Select Data Source dialog. On the right
7
side of the dialog, click the Edit button. Excel displays the Axis Labels dialog, where
Amazing Things People Do with Excel Charts
263
you can choose new Horizontal Category Axis Labels. Point to the percentages in column E. Click OK to close the Axis Labels dialog. Click OK to close the Select Data
Source dialog.
11. Make sure Average Series is still selected. From the Layout ribbon, choose Data
Labels, More Data Label Options. In the Format Data Labels dialog, choose Category
Name and deselect Value. Then do the following:
• For Label Position, choose Center.
• For Fill, choose Solid Fill and choose a light color.
• For Border Color, choose Solid Line and choose a dark color.
12. Click the Average series to select it. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape Fill, No
Fill. Choose Format, Shape Outline and select No Outline. Close the Format dialog
box.
13. From the Layout ribbon, choose Lines, High-Low Lines. Select High Low Lines 1
from the Current Selection drop-down. From the Format ribbon, choose Shape
Outline, Dashes and choose the fourth dash selection.
14. From the Layout ribbon, choose Axes, Secondary Value Axis and set it to None.
15. Click the Average entry in the legend. The first click selects the whole legend. The
second click selects just the Average entry. Press Delete to remove that entry.
Because the average series was converted to an XY chart, you could have a separate set of
category labels for the series. This allows the markers to be at one height while displaying
the label from a different value.
Amazing Things People Do with Excel Charts
The last few examples are not charts that you are likely to create. They are simply a few
displays that you won’t believe are created in Excel. In each case, the author created the display using VBA.
Earl Takasaki submitted the Civil War chart shown in Figure 7.44 as an entry to a
MrExcel.com Challenge of the Month as the most innovative use of graphics in Excel.
With this chart, you can enter a cannon trajectory in an attempt to hit a target. The trajectory of the shot is graphed at the bottom of the figure.
Earl’s workbook and many other entries from this contest are available for download at
www.mrexcel.com/pc11.shtml.
Mala Singh of XLSoft Consulting created the chart in Figure 7.45. Mala used a shape to
create a cross-section of a river at the proposed location for a bridge.
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Figure 7.44
The graph at the bottom
teaches students about
physics.
Figure 7.45
Blue shapes create the
profile of the river at the
bridge location.
In Figure 7.46, Mala drew the bridge abutment using an XY chart in Excel.
7
Brett Bernardo sent in the chart shown in Figure 7.47 for his entry in the innovative charts
contest at MrExcel.com. The VBA macro in this proprietary system starts with a manifest
and actually draws the 3-D bundles in the Excel workbook.
Next Steps
265
Figure 7.46
Don’t have AutoCAD?
This blueprint is actually
an XY chart.
Figure 7.47
VBA macros draw
bundles to scale as they
should be loaded on a
truck.
You can read more about innovative chart entries at www.mrexcel.com/pc15.php.
Next Steps
In Chapter 8, “Creating and Using Pivot Charts,” you will learn how to summarize thousands of rows of detailed data into a summary chart. Pivot tables are Excel’s most powerful
feature. The pivot chart feature has been vastly improved in Excel 2007.
7
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Creating and Using Pivot
Charts
Creating Your First Pivot Chart
Pivot tables are the most powerful feature in Excel.
A pivot table allows you to summarize a million
records of transactional data in Excel with a few
mouse clicks. A pivot chart is an extension of the
pivot table concept. While building a summary of
your data using a pivot table, you can specify that
the results be presented in a chart. With the resulting chart, you can quickly filter to see a summary of
records that match current criteria. You can also
replicate a pivot chart so that you have one chart
for each region, product, customer, and so on.
8
IN THIS CHAPTER
Creating Your First Pivot Chart . . . . . . . . . . . .267
What’s New in Excel 2007 Pivot Tables . . . . .267
Deciding Which Comes First: The Table or the
Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .268
Rules for Preparing Underlying Pivot Data .268
Creating Your First Pivot Chart . . . . . . . . . . . .269
What’s New in Excel 2007 Pivot Tables
If you are a pivot table veteran, you will find a few
changes in Excel 2007. Rather than dragging and
dropping fields on a pivot table or pivot chart, you
now build a pivot table by dragging fields to drop
zones right in the PivotTable Field List box. This
eliminates the chances of dropping a field in the
wrong place and the chaos that would normally
ensue.
The drop zones have been renamed in Excel 2007.
The old Page fields are now named Report Filter
fields. The old Data Fields are now named Σ Values
fields. When you are creating a pivot chart, Excel
further renames the row fields as Axis fields and
renames column fields as Legend fields.
By default, a pivot chart is now created on the same
worksheet as the underlying pivot table. This is a
welcome improvement: You can now easily see the
relationship between the pivot table and the pivot
chart. If you want to print only the pivot chart, you
can either set the print range to include just the
chart, or you can select the Charting Tools Layout
ribbon and then choose the Move icon to move the
pivot chart to a new worksheet.
Returning to a Pivot Table for Advanced
Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .273
Filtering a Pivot Table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .274
Creating a Chart for Every Customer . . . . . . .278
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .280
268
Creating and Using Pivot Charts
Another improvement is that you can now apply more logical filters to fields that are in the
row or column areas. Whereas previous versions of Excel allowed you to apply the Top 10
AutoShow settings, you can now ask for fields that match a certain pattern, dates that fall in
a certain month, and many other options.
CAUTION
The new filtering features are not compatible with Excel 2003 pivot tables. If you have a pivot table
that was originally created in Excel 2003, Excel assumes that you might want to be able to save the
file with backward compatibility, so it turns off the new features for that pivot table.To overcome
this problem, you should save the file as an Excel 2007 file and then re-create the pivot table from
your dataset.
Deciding Which Comes First: The Table or the Chart
The examples in this chapter assume that you have set out to create a pivot chart.
However, if you have an existing pivot table, you can add a pivot chart by selecting one cell
in the pivot table and pressing Alt+F1. Either way, you should follow these simple rules:
■
Any fields in the column area (that is, going across the columns at the top of the pivot
table) will be converted to series. You should have either one or zero fields in this area.
■
Any fields in the row area (that is, going down the left column of the report) will
become categories along the horizontal axis.
Rules for Preparing Underlying Pivot Data
Pivot tables work best when they are created from transactional data. Every row in a dataset
should represent a detailed transaction. You do not want any sort of a summary in your
dataset. If you have months going across the columns, this dataset is not ideal for creating
pivot charts. A report with months going across the columns is a cross-tab summary of the
detailed records in your dataset. You should go back to the person who provided that dataset
and see if you can get the original underlying data that person used to produce the summary.
Your data should have no blank columns or blank rows. An occasional blank cell is not fatal
but really compromises the pivot table engine’s internal logic. If you have 99,999 cells with
numbers and 1 blank cell, Excel assumes that the column contains text and chooses to
count the records instead of summing them. If you can, you should fill any blank cells with
zeros before you begin.
TIP
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Chapter 8
To find and fill any blank cells with zeros, you select the cells in your dataset and then choose Home,
Find & Select, Go to Special. In the GoTo Special dialog, choose Blanks and then click OK. All the
blank cells in your selection are then selected. Next, you type a zero and then press Ctrl+Enter to
put the zero in all the cells in the selection.
Creating Your First Pivot Chart
269
Every column should have a unique one-cell heading. These headings will appear in the
PivotTable Field List box, so they should be relatively short but meaningful.
It is not necessary, but you might want to convert your dataset to a table before creating a
pivot table. The advantage is that if you later add new records to the table, you can easily
refresh your pivot chart without re-specifying the range of data to be used. To create a
table, you select a cell in the dataset and press Ctrl+T.
Creating Your First Pivot Chart
You follow these steps to create your first pivot chart:
1. Select one cell in your dataset and choose Insert, PivotTable, PivotChart, as shown in
NOTE
Figure 8.1.
The leftmost icon on the Insert ribbon is a PivotTable icon; it has a top half and a bottom half.
Rather than click the top half of the icon, you need to click the bottom half, where you can access
the PivotChart menu item.
Figure 8.1
You use the drop-down
at the bottom of the
PivotTable icon to access
the PivotChart menu
item.
2. In the Create PivotTable with PivotChart dialog, Excel guesses about the extent of
your dataset. If your dataset is either a table or follows the rules given earlier, Excel
guesses correctly. In this dialog, you can choose to create the pivot table on the current
worksheet or on a new worksheet. The default is to use a new worksheet. Click OK.
You now have the makings of a blank pivot table and pivot chart. There are four elements
visible on the worksheet shown in Figure 8.2.
■
Columns A:C contain a blank area where the pivot table will be built.
■
Columns E:M contain the area where the chart will be built.
■
The PivotTable Field List box contains a list of fields at the top of the dialog and four
drop zones at the bottom of the dialog. (If your field list looks different than the one
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in Figure 8.2, you can select the drop-down at the top of the list and choose Fields
Section and Areas Section Stacked.)
8
■
The PivotChart Filter Pane box is an abbreviated version of the PivotTable Field List
box. You can use the icon in the upper-right corner of this pane to turn on or off the
larger field list.
Four new PivotChart Tools ribbon tabs appear. The first three tabs—Design, Layout, and
Format—are identical to the charting ribbon tabs that you have been using throughout this
book. You can use the Analyze tab to toggle on or off the PivotTable Field List box or
PivotChart Filter Pane box or to refresh the pivot chart (see Figure 8.2).
Figure 8.2
You are ready to
start building a pivot
chart by adding
fields to the report.
Say that you want to create a chart that summarizes revenue by product. To do so, you follow these steps:
1. Choose the check box next to the Product field in the top of the PivotTable Field List
box. Excel shows a unique list of products in column A of the pivot table. The Product
field heading appears in the Axis Fields section of the PivotTable Field List box. You
do not see a chart yet; you need to specify at least one field in the Σ Values area of the
PivotTable Field List box.
2. Click the Revenue field in the top of the PivotTable Field List box. If your data contains no blank cells, the Revenue field appears in the Σ Values area of the field list, and
your chart appears as shown in Figure 8.3. If the Revenue field instead moves to the
Axis Fields area, you have one or more blank or text cells in your data. In an ideal
world, you would fix these. Instead, you can drag the field from the Axis Fields drop
zone to the Σ Values drop zone.
Creating Your First Pivot Chart
271
Figure 8.3
Excel starts with the
default chart, as defined
in your copy of Excel.
The summary in Figure 8.3 is remarkable. Even if you count clicking the PivotTable icon
as two clicks, you need only five mouse clicks to summarize the 100,000+ records of data
from Figure 8.1 into the summary chart in Figure 8.3.
Changing the Chart Type and Formatting the Chart
You can use the tools on the Design ribbon to change from a default chart type to almost
any other chart type. (However, you cannot use scatter, XY, or bubble charts as pivot
charts.) To change the chart type, you choose Design, Change Chart Type and select a
chart type from the gallery.
You can use the tools on the Layout ribbon to change elements such as data labels, titles, or
the 3-D rotation. Figure 8.4 shows the data from Figure 8.3 recast as a 3-D pie chart. To
create this chart, you use the familiar tools on the Design and Layout ribbon tabs:
1. On the Design ribbon, choose Change Chart Type and select a 3-D pie chart.
2. On the Layout ribbon, choose Chart Title, None.
3. Choose Layout, Legend, None.
4. Choose Data Labels, More Data Label Options, Category Name, Percentage, Outside
End. Uncheck the Value box.
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Figure 8.4
8
With just a few
clicks, you can
change the default
pivot chart to any
other available
chart type.
Adding Additional Series to a Pivot Chart
So far, each of the pivot charts in this chapter has plotted a single series. You can easily
specify values in another text field that can be used to differentiate the single series into
multiple series.
To specify a field as the legend, you need to drag the field from the top of the PivotTable
Field List box to the Legend Fields drop zone. To create the chart in Figure 8.5, you follow
these steps:
Figure 8.5
You can add a field
to the Legend drop
zone in order to
break the total into
multiple series.
1. Drag the Region field to the Legend Fields drop zone. Excel breaks the total revenue
into three series.
2. Choose Design, Change Chart Type, Stacked Column.
3. Choose Layout, Legend, Show Legend at Right.
4. Choose Layout, Axes, Primary Vertical Axis, Show Axis in Millions.
Returning to a Pivot Table for Advanced Operations
273
Returning to a Pivot Table for Advanced Operations
Pivot tables are very powerful. A subset of pivot table operations are available in the pivot
chart interface. Sometimes, however, you need to return to the pivot table in order to carry
out an advanced operation. After you have made the change to the pivot table, you can then
click the pivot chart in order to return to the pivot chart interface.
One example of an advanced operation is grouping daily dates up to months and years.
Because the underlying data is transactional, it is reported at the daily level. If you build a
pivot chart with dates along the Axis Field, your chart will be a confusing mess. In Figure
8.6, for example, Product is moved to the Legend field, and Date is shown in the Axis field.
With five years’ worth of dates, you cannot make out any details.
Figure 8.6
It is easy to summarize
the daily dates to yearly
and monthly dates in a
pivot table.
To group the data in the Date field, you follow these steps:
1. Select any date cell, such as cell A3. Excel puts away the Pivot Chart Tools ribbon tabs
and adds the PivotTable Tools ribbon tabs.
2. From the Options ribbon, choose Group Field.
3. In the Grouping dialog, Excel defaults to grouping by months. You need to add Years
in the Grouping dialog box. Otherwise, Excel will add January of this year and January
of last year into a single value called January (see Figure 8.7).
Figure 8.7
You choose Months and
Years from the Grouping
dialog.
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4. Click OK. Excel adds a new virtual field called Years to your field list and adds this
8
field to the Row Labels field. The original field called Date is recast to include
months.
5. Click the chart to put away the PivotTable Tools ribbon tabs and bring back the
PivotChart Tools ribbon tabs.
After grouping, you can see details by month and year, as shown in Figure 8.8.
Figure 8.8
Excel presents both
years and months
along the horizontal
axis.
Although the grouping feature initially adds both the year and month information to the
same area of the pivot table, you can easily split them apart in order to show year versus
year data. In Figure 8.9, the Product field was dragged out of the Legend Fields drop zone,
and the Date field was moved to the Legend Fields drop zone. You can now compare
monthly sales from one year to the next.
Figure 8.9
You can separate the
year and date fields
in order to show
year-over-year
comparisons.
Filtering a Pivot Table
There are two ways to filter a pivot table report. If you have used pivot tables before, you’ll
find that the Report Filter field works similarly to Page Fields in previous versions of
Excel. You can add a field to the Report Filter field and choose to limit the report to one or
more values from the filter.
New in Excel 2007, you can also apply logical filters to fields in either the Axis or Legend
fields. These filters allow you to specify various ranges. For example, you can select dates
that occur in this year or customers that fall alphabetically between A and E.
Filtering a Pivot Table
275
Filtering Using a Report Filter Field
To add fields to the report filter, you drag them from the top of the PivotTable Field List
box to the Report Filter drop zone at the bottom of the PivotTable Field List box.
You can drag multiple fields to the Report Filter section. However, you cannot drag a field
that has already been used elsewhere in the pivot table.
For each field you add to the Report Filter section, you have a new drop-down in the
PivotChart Filter Pane box. When you initially open this drop-down, you can select only
one value from the drop-down. For example, you can select to filter the report to the east
region, as shown in Figure 8.10.
Figure 8.10
Initially, each filter field
allows you to select a
single value.
You can build filters that select multiple items. For example, to create a chart for two
related customers, you would follow these steps:
1. Open the Customer drop-down in the Report Filter section of the PivotChart Filter
Pane box.
2. In the lower-left corner, choose the Select Multiple Items check box. Then, annoyingly, Excel checks every customer in the list.
3. The top entry in the drop-down is (All). Uncheck this box, and all the other check
marks are cleared.
4. Select the customers of interest, as shown in Figure 8.11. Click OK.
The pivot chart is redrawn to show totals for only the selected customers. The Customer
field in cell B2 shows the somewhat cryptic (Multiple Items) entry. At this point, you
should add a title above the chart, perhaps in cell D2, to identify the customers shown in
the chart.
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Figure 8.11
8
By using the
Multiple Items check
box, you can create a
report for related
customers.
Any filters defined in the Report Filter field will persist when you later drop those fields in
either the Axis or Legend fields. In Figure 8.12, after pivoting the report, Excel presents a
report comparing two customers.
Figure 8.12
After pivoting the
filtered Customer
field, the filters
persist.
Using the Excel 2007 Filters for Axis and Legend Fields
If your pivot chart was created in a new Excel 2007 worksheet and never existed as an
Excel 2003 pivot table, you can try out the new filters available for the Legend and Axis
fields.
The drop-downs for the Axis and Legend fields in the PivotChart Filter Pane box offer the
same list of items shown previously, as well as new entries for Value Filters, Text Filters,
and/or Date Filters.
The new Label Filters list, shown in Figure 8.13, allows you to select customers whose
names start with certain letters or that contain certain words.
Filtering a Pivot Table
277
Figure 8.13
Text filters allow you to
filter based on patterns
in the items for a field.
The Date Filters list, shown in Figure 8.14, allows you to select transactions that fall into a
number of virtual date periods. These periods recalculate when you open the file in a later
month. So, if you select records from last month, the report updates after you refresh the
report in a new month.
Figure 8.14
Date filters allow you to
select records from a
certain quarter, month,
or period.
Value filters are more powerful than the other types of filters discussed so far. While label
and date filters allow you to filter the items in the list based on the items themselves, value
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filters allow you to filter the items in the list based on values in other fields. For example,
you can choose all customers where the sum of revenue is over $1 million. Or you can use
the Top 10 Filter to limit the pivot chart to the top five customers.
Every Axis and Legend field features a value filter. You will also see either label or date filters based on the type of data that Excel finds in the original column.
NOTE
8
Chapter 8
In order to see the date filters, all the values in the original column must be formatted as dates
when you create the pivot table. One single cell with a text value in a column of one million dates
will cause Excel to show a label filter instead of a date filter.
Creating a Chart for Every Customer
The Show Report Filters Pages functionality allows you to copy a pivot table for every
value in a Report Filter field. This would be a fantastic bit of functionality to have available
for pivot charts. However, when you use this feature, Excel copies the pivot table but not
the pivot chart.
You have a couple of choices in solving this problem. First, you could set up a simple looping macro in VBA to print the chart for each value in the report filter. Or, you could follow
these basic steps:
1. Set up a pivot chart that has the proper formatting. Make sure the Customer field is in
the Report Filter area.
2. Select the pivot chart. Choose Design, Save as Template. Define that template as the
default chart type.
3. Select a cell in your pivot table. The PivotTable Tools ribbon tabs appears.
4. Look for the Options button on the far left of the Options tab. Don’t click the
Options button. Instead, click the drop-down at the right side of this button.
5. Select Show Report Filter Pages (see Figure 8.15).
Figure 8.15
You can choose
Show Report Filter
Pages.
6. In the Show Report Filter Pages dialog that appears, choose Customer and then click
OK. Excel copies the current worksheet once for each customer.
7. Select the worksheet for the first customer. Select a cell in the pivot table. Press
Alt+F1. Excel creates a pivot chart on the worksheet.
Stratifying Invoice Amounts
279
Repeat step 7 for each additional customer. Every time you press Alt+F1, you can wonder
why the fine folks at Microsoft could not have allowed pivot charts to work with the Show
Report Filter Pages feature.
C A S E S T U DY
Stratifying Invoice Amounts
You cannot create a scatter chart based on a pivot table. Although scatter charts are best for stratifying data, you can still
achieve the same effect by using a pivot chart.
During the process of building a pivot chart, there are two steps during which you might temporarily have thousands of
data points along the axis field. Rather than ask Excel to attempt to render a chart with thousands of data points, it
would make more sense to build the analysis as a pivot table first, group the fields, and then convert it to a pivot table.
You follow these steps to analyze invoice sizes for the five largest customers in your dataset:
1. Select one cell in your data.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose the top half of the PivotTable icon.
3. Click OK to confirm the information in the Create PivotTable dialog.
4. Drag the Revenue field to the Σ Values drop zone.
5. Drag a second copy of the Revenue field to the Row Labels drop zone.
6. Right-click one value in column A of your pivot table and choose Group from the context menu.
7. As shown in Figure 8.16, Excel suggests grouping the data into strange groups, starting at 8002.40. Change those
figures to round numbers, perhaps 5000 to 130000, in increments of 5000. Click OK.
Figure 8.16
When grouping numeric
values, Excel suggests
strange starting points.
You should round them
to even ranges.
8. Add Customer as the first Row Labels field.Then move Customer before Revenue by dropping the field slightly
above the Revenue button in the Row Labels drop zone.
9. Hover the mouse above the Customer field at the top of the PivotTable Field List. A new drop-down appears. Click
this drop-down. Choose Value Filters,Top 10. Choose Top 5 Items by Sum of Revenue. Click OK.
10. Hover the mouse over the Revenue field in the Σ Values area of the PivotTable Field List box. Click the drop-down
and Choose Value Field Settings.
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11. In the Value Field Settings dialog that appears, change Sum to Count. Click OK.
12. In the Options ribbon, click the PivotChart icon. Choose a Stacked Columns chart. Click OK.
13. In the Layout ribbon, choose Lines, Series Lines.
14. Also in the Layout ribbon, choose Legend, No Legend.
The result is the chart shown in Figure 8.17. For each customer, you can expect the invoices to be grouped around a central value. If you see any invoices that fall far outside the normal range, they might be worthy of audit. In Figure 8.17, for
example, you can see that Fabulous Tripod tends to order in the $10,000 to $30,000 range, yet they had at least one
invoice in the $125,000 range.This might be the result of a keying error because it is so far outside the norm.
TIP
8
To find the invoice(s) outside the $10,000 to $30,000 range for Fabulous Tripod , you can go back to
the original pivot table and double-click the value next to the 125000-130000 range for Fabulous
Tripod. Excel then extracts all the records that make up that data and presents them on a new
worksheet for you.
Next Steps
Pivot charts are about as high-tech as you can get. In some cases, you don’t need a chart to
present your data. Chapter 9, “Presenting Data Visually Without Charts,” goes low-tech,
showing you how to use various formula tricks to build graphic displays of information
right in your spreadsheet cells.
Presenting Data Visually
Without Charts
Creating Charts in the Worksheet
Cells
In many cases, you don’t need to create a chart in
order to visually communicate data. While prior
versions of Excel have included features such as
slider controls, text bar charts, and conditional
formatting to automatically color in certain cells,
Excel 2007 offers three fantastic new data visualization tools under the rewritten conditional formatting logic:
■
■
■
Data bars—This tool offers a tiny, in-cell bar
chart for each number in a range. The reader’s
eye is drawn to the largest numbers because of
the size of the bars.
Color scales—Color scales, also called heat
maps, color cells in a range of colors. You can
use one of six built-in schemes where red is
high and blue is low, or green is high and red is
low, or you can define your own color scheme.
Icon sets—You can now add a tiny icon next
to each number in a range. Icons can use a traffic light metaphor, power bar metaphor, or
arrow metaphors to show which data points are
the best performers in a dataset.
With each of these new data visualizations, Excel
requires only three clicks to get a result. However,
each visualization offers advanced settings that give
you finer control.
This chapter starts by discussing the new data visualizations on the Conditional Formatting dropdown on the Home ribbon and then describes some
of the legacy data visualizations, such as using the
REPT function to build bar charts in cells.
9
IN THIS CHAPTER
Creating Charts in the Worksheet Cells . . . . .281
Using Data Bars to Create In-Cell
Bar Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .282
Using Color Scales to Highlight Extremes . . .288
Using Icon Sets to Segregate Data . . . . . . . .290
Creating a Chart Using Conditional
Formatting in Worksheet Cells . . . . . . . . . . . .293
Creating a Chart Using the REPT Function . .296
Creating a Chart Using Scrollbar Controls . . .297
Creating Stem-and-Leaf Plots . . . . . . . . . . . .301
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .306
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Using Data Bars to Create In-Cell Bar Charts
A data bar is a semitransparent swath of color that starts at the left edge of a cell. The
smallest numbers in a formatted range have just a tiny bit of color in the cell. The largest
numbers in the formatted range are 90% filled with color. This creates a visual effect that
enables you to visually pick out the larger and smaller values.
Creating data bars requires just a few clicks. You follow these steps:
1. Select a range of numeric data. Do not include the total in this selection. If the data is
in noncontiguous ranges, hold down the Ctrl key while selecting additional areas. This
range should be numbers of similar scale. For example, you can select a column of sales
data or a column of profit data. If you attempt to select a range that contains both
units sold and revenue dollars, the size of the revenue numbers will overpower the
units sold numbers, and no color will appear in the units sold cells.
2. From the Home ribbon, select Conditional Formatting, Data Bars. You see six built-in
colors for the data bars: blue, green, red, orange, bright blue, and pink. Select one of
them.
NOTE
9
If you don’t like the six basic colors Excel offers for data bars, you can choose any other color, as
described in the next section.
The result is a swath of color in each cell in the selection, as shown in Figure 9.1.
Figure 9.1
After applying a data
bar, you can easily
see that California is
a leading exporter of
agriculture products.
Customizing Data Bars
By default, Excel assigns the largest data bar to the cell with the largest value and the
smallest data bar to the cell with the smallest value. You can customize this behavior by
following these steps:
Using Data Bars to Create In-Cell Bar Charts
283
1. From the Conditional Formatting drop-down on the Home ribbon, choose Manage Rules.
2. From the Show Formatting Rules drop-down, choose This Worksheet. You now see a
list of all rules applied to the sheet.
3. Click the Data Bar rule.
4. Click the Edit Rule button. You see the Edit Formatting Rule dialog, as shown in
Figure 9.2.
Figure 9.2
You customize data bars
by using the Edit
Formatting Rule dialog.
5. To change the color of the data bars beyond the six basic colors, choose the Bar Color
drop-down and then choose from the theme colors or standard colors or click More
Colors to build any RGB value you like.
6. Select the Show Bar Only check box. Excel hides the numbers in the cells and shows
only the data bars. This is an interesting variation, as shown in Figure 9.3.
Figure 9.3
Showing only the data
bars is an interesting
alternative.
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There are two Type drop-downs in the Edit Formatting Rule dialog: Shortest Bar and
Longest Bar. These drop-downs offer the choices Lowest Value and Highest Value,
Number, Percent, Formula, and Percentile, as explained in the following section.
Controlling the Size of the Smallest/Largest Bar
9
Any dataset is likely to have a few outliers. Say that the vast majority of your customers
account for over $10,000 in sales each, but one stray account has sales of just a few dollars.
For such situations, Microsoft gives you explicit control over the cell value that gets the
smallest bar.
For example, consider column A in Figure 9.4. The values are mostly in the 10,000 to
20,000 range. However, one outlier value of 15 forces Excel to assign a medium-sized data
bar to the 10,000 value in cell A1.
For the numbers in column D, the steps in the preceding section were used to edit the rule.
In this case, the Shortest Bar Type drop-down is set to 10,000. Excel then treats any value
of 10,000 as the value with the shortest bar. Any value less than 10,000 is given the same
size bar as the 10,000 bar.
Figure 9.4
You can manage the
rules for column D to
set the shortest bar
to any value of
10,000 or below.
Are Data Bars Truly Evil Incarnate, as Some Suggest?
Using data bars is a way to quickly call attention to the largest and smallest values in a range of data. If your goal is to
highlight large customers versus small customers, the visualizations in column D in Figure 9.4 do a better job than the
visualizations in column A.
However, many statisticians cry foul when they analyze the new data bars feature.There are two main reasons. First,
Microsoft decided that every cell would get a bar. It also decided that the smallest bar would occupy 10% of the cell.
This means that the tiny value of 15 in cell A4 is given about 10 pixels of shading. Statisticians complain that when a
value of 15,000 is then given 60 pixels of shading, as in cell A9, the data is grossly misrepresented.The ratio of cell A1 to
A6 is better. Cell A1 uses 40 pixels for 10,000 and cell A6 uses 72 pixels for 19,000. In both cells, each pixel of shading
represents $250–$260.
Using Data Bars to Create In-Cell Bar Charts
285
Second, Microsoft allows the creator of a spreadsheet to control the value for the shortest bar, as in column D. In this
case, the 10,000 in cell D1 gets 4 pixels.The 19,000 in cell D6 gets 62 pixels. Edward Tufte and others would argue that
the $2,500 per pixel in cell D1 is out of line with the $306 per pixel in cell D6.
Personally, I prefer data bars to color scales and icon sets. Icon sets lump customers into one of three to five buckets.
Color scales reproduce horribly in black-and-white printouts and are problematic for people who are color-blind. Data
bars allow you to show a graduated indicator in a single color that prints well.You can think of a data bar as an icon set
with 70 different icons instead of 5 power bars; data bars do a perfectly acceptable job of allowing the reader to hone in
on the largest values in a sea of numbers.
If you feel compelled to do so, you can add notes to your spreadsheets to indicate that the “data bars are not to scale” or,
perhaps,“Data bars are scaled from a range of 10,000 (shortest) to 20,000 (longest).”
Because data bars are designed to highlight the relative size of the largest customers, you might try showing data bars
for only the top 20% of values. For more information, see “Showing Data Bars for a Subset of Cells,” later in this chapter.
You need to keep in mind the following rules for each of the Type options in the Edit
Formatting Rule dialog:
■
For Lowest Value/Highest Value, Excel evaluates all the values in the range of cells
and selects the lowest value as the shortest bar and the highest value as the longest bar.
This is the default behavior.
■
For Number, you enter the values that should receive the shortest and/or longest bars.
For numbers that are more or less than that value, Excel simply draws the shortest or
longest bar, as appropriate.
■
For Percent, you enter a percentage to associate with the shortest and longest bars. For
example, if the values in the selected cells range from 0 to 1,000, a minimum value
associated with 10% would be 100. In this example, any cells having values equal to or
less than 100 would have the shortest bar drawn in the cell.
■
Percentile examines the values in the range of cells, sorts them, and then uses their
positions within the sorted list to determine their percentiles. In a set of 20 ordered
cells, for example, the 30th percentile would always be the 6th cell, regardless of the
value contained within it. If you choose Percentile and enter 10 for the shortest bar
and 90 for the longest bar, any outliers below 10 would get the shortest bar assigned to
them and any outliers above 90 would get the longest bar assigned to them.
■
Formula allows you to enter a formula that is evaluated to determine the value used for
the shortest and longest bars. This is useful for developing conditional formats that
aren’t easily handled by the other four choices.
One frustrating feature with data bars is that you cannot reverse their size, using the smallest bar for the highest number and vice versa. Although in some scenarios, such as top 100
rankings, the lowest score might deserve the largest bar, there is no way to make this happen with data bars. If you need to do this, you should consider using color scales instead.
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Showing Data Bars for a Subset of Cells
9
In the data bars examples given in the previous sections, every cell in the range receives a
data bar. But what if you just want some of the values (for example, the top 20%) to have
data bars? The process for making this happen isn’t intuitive, but it is possible. Basically,
you apply the data bar to the entire range. Then you add a new conditional format (a very
boring format) to all the cells that you don’t want to have data bars. For example, you
might tell Excel to use a white background on all cells with values in the lowest 80th percentile. The final important step is to manage the rules and tell Excel to stop processing
more rules if the white background rule is met. This requires clever thinking. If you want
to apply data bars to cells in the top 20%, you first tell Excel to make all the cells in the
bottom 80% look like every other cell in Excel. Turning on Stop if True (in the
Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog) is the key to getting Excel to not apply the
data bar to cells with values in the lower 80%.
Figure 9.5 shows data bars applied to only the top 20% of states.
Figure 9.5
Using Stop if True
after formatting the
lower 80% with no
special formatting
allows the data bars
to appear only on
the top states.
In Figure 9.5, the goal is to have the data bars appear only on the top 20% of states. You
can use the following steps to create an analysis similar to this:
1. Apply a data bar to the range of cells.
2. With the range of cells selected, from the Home ribbon, select Conditional
Formatting, Manage Rules. Excel displays the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager
dialog.
3. Click New Rule. Excel displays the New Formatting Rule dialog.
Using Data Bars to Create In-Cell Bar Charts
287
4. In the top of the New Formatting Rule dialog, choose Format Only Top or Bottom
Ranked Values. In the bottom of the dialog, change Top to Bottom. Enter 80 in the
text box and select the % of the Selected Range check box. Leave the Preview box as
No Format Set (see Figure 9.6). Click OK to create the rule.
Figure 9.6
You can choose to highlight the bottom 80%
with no special
formatting.
5. In the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog, make sure that the Stop if True
box is checked for the Bottom 80% rule. Note that new rules are initially added to the
top of the list (see Figure 9.7). Click Close to dismiss the dialog.
Figure 9.7
Using these settings,
Excel applies no special
formatting to the bottom 80% and then stops
processing more rules.
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Using Color Scales to Highlight Extremes
Color scales are similar to data bars. Instead of having a variable-size bar in each cell, however, color scales use gradients of two or three different colors to communicate the relative
size of each cell. Here’s how you apply color scales:
1. Select a range that contains numbers. Be sure not to include headings or total cells in
the selection.
2. Select Conditional Formatting, Color Scales from the Home ribbon.
9
3. From the Color Scales fly-out menu, select one of the eight styles to apply the color
scale to the range. (Note that this fly-out menu offers subtle differences that you
should pay attention to. The top four options are scales that use three colors. These
are great onscreen or with color printers. The bottom four options are scales that use
two colors. These are better with monochrome printers.)
In a default color scale with a three-color scale, the smallest cells are assigned a value of red.
The middle values are assigned a value of yellow. The largest cells are assigned a value of
green. Even within the green values, the larger numbers are greener than the other numbers.
In Figure 9.8, a three-color scale highlights the largest numbers in blue, middle numbers in
yellow, and the smallest numbers in red.
Figure 9.8
Excel provides a
range of shading,
depending on the
value.When viewed
in color, you would
see that Carole and
John’s receivables
have been increasing throughout the
year.
Converting to Monochromatic Data Bars
As you can see from the black-and-white images in this book, color scales do not perform
well when printed in black and white. When you know you’ll be printing in black and
white, one option is to convert a color scale to a monochromatic scale that varies from
white to a dark color. To do so, you follow these steps:
1. Select a single cell in your formatted range.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose Conditional Formatting, Manage Rules. In the
Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog that appears, the initial drop-down
defaults to Current Selection. This works fine as long as your selection is part of the
range that has conditional formatting. The dialog shows any conditional formatting
rule(s) applied to the current selection.
Using Color Scales to Highlight Extremes
289
3. Even if there is only one rule in the dialog, click the rule to select it and then click
NOTE
Edit Rule. Initially, the Edit Formatting Rule dialog shows the selected yellow–red
scale, as shown in Figure 9.9.
You might believe from the choices at the top of the Edit Formatting Rule dialog that you can apply
a color scale to only cells that are above or below average, but the dialog does not work that way.
This common dialog is used to edit many types of conditional formatting, and color scales apply
only to the top rule: Format All Cells Based on Their Values.
9
Figure 9.9
You can customize the
settings for a color scale
in the lower half of the
Edit Formatting Rule
dialog.
4. For color scales, change any of the settings in the lower half of the dialog box, in the
Edit the Rule Description section. From the Format Style drop-down, choose 2-Color
Scale. (The other options included are 3-Color Scale, Data Bar, and Icon Sets.)
5. For the minimum, select the Color drop-down and choose white. For the maximum,
select the Color drop-down and choose a dark color. Click OK to return to the
Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog and then click OK again to complete
the operation.
The new monochromatic color scale is shown in Figure 9.10.
Figure 9.10
Setting up a two-color
gradient from white to
dark works best with a
printed document.
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Troubleshooting Color Scales
Excel 2007 considers a three-color scale and a two-color scale to be completely different
visualizations. This leads to some erratic behavior when you attempt to change the color
scale pattern by using the Color Scale icon on the Conditional Formatting drop-down.
However, say that you decide to choose a visualization from the second row of color
scales—perhaps the green–yellow visualization. Even though this is accessed on the same
fly-out menu, Excel 2007 considers the two-color scale to be a different visualization from
the three-color scale. Instead of replacing the visualization, Excel adds a second rule. This
can lead to muting of the colors from both rules. To avoid this problem, when switching
from two-color to three-color scales, you need to be sure to use the Manage Rules choice
at the bottom of the Conditional Formatting drop-down on the Home ribbon to convert
from a three-color to a two-color scale.
Using Icon Sets to Segregate Data
Icon sets, which were popular with expensive management reporting software in the late
1990s, have now been added to Excel. An icon set might include green, yellow, and red
traffic lights or another set of icons to show positive, neutral, and negative meanings. With
icon sets, Excel automatically applies an icon to a cell, based on the relative size of the value
in the cell compared to other values in the range.
NOTE
9
Say that you use the Color Scale icon to apply a three-color red–yellow–green visualization.
You decide to go back to the icon and instead apply a three-color blue–yellow–red visualization. Excel 2007 is smart enough to convert the red–yellow–green pattern to
blue–yellow–red. This behavior is logical enough.
Initially, icon sets look like they will be cool. However, there are a few limitations in Excel 2007 that
make them annoying. I suspect that the implementation of icon sets will improve greatly in future
versions of Excel.
Excel 2007 ships with icon sets that contain three, four, or five different icons. The icons
are always left-justified in the cell. Excel applies rules to add an icon to every cell in the
range:
■
Three-icon sets—For the three-icon sets, you have a choice between arrows, flags,
two varieties of traffic lights, signs, and two varieties of what Excel calls “3 Symbols.”
This last group consists of a green check mark for the good cells, a yellow exclamation
point for the middle cells, and a red X for the bad cells. You can either get the symbols
in a circle (that is, 3 Symbols(Circled)) or alone on a white background (that is, 3
Symbols). One version of the arrows is available in gray. All the other icon sets use red,
yellow, and green.
Using Icon Sets to Segregate Data
291
■
Four-icon sets—For the four-icon sets, there are two varieties of arrows: a black-tored circle set, a set of cell phone power bars, and a set of four traffic lights. In the traffic light option, a black light indicates an option that is even worse than the red light.
The power bars icons seem to work well on both color displays and monochromatic
printouts.
■
Five-icon sets—For the five-icon sets, there are two varieties of arrows, a five-power
bar set, and an interesting set called “5 Quarters.” This last set is a monochromatic circle that is completely empty for the lowest values, 25% filled, 50% filled, 75% filled,
and completely filled for the highest values.
Setting Up an Icon Set
NOTE
Given that icon sets are in their first Excel incarnation, they require a bit more thought
than the other data visualization offerings. Before you use icon sets, you should consider
whether they will be printed in monochrome or displayed in color. Several of the 17 icon
sets rely on color for differentiation and look horrible in a black-and-white report.
After creating several reports with icon sets, I have started to favor the cell phone power bars, which
look good in both color and black and white.
To set up an icon set, you follow these steps:
1. Select a range of numeric data of a similar scale. Do not include the headers or total
rows in this selection.
2. From the Home ribbon, select Conditional Formatting, Icon Sets. Select 1 of the 17
icon sets. Figure 9.11 shows the “5 Ratings” choice selected.
Figure 9.11
You can choose from the
17 icon sets.
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Moving Numbers Closer to Icons
In the top rows of Figure 9.12, the icon set has been applied to a rectangular range of data.
The icons are always left-justified. There is no way to center them, and there is no way to
have an icon appear to the right of the value. This can be problematic; in Figure 9.11, for
example, the icons for column F appear to apply to the numbers in column E.
One way to mitigate this problem is to center all the numbers in the range. This at least puts
the value and the icon closer together. Rows 11 through 19 of Figure 9.12 show this solution.
9
Figure 9.12
Changing the alignment of the numbers moves them
closer to the icon.
Choosing left-justified for the numbers is another choice. In this case, the numbers appear
adjacent to the icon set, as shown in rows 22 through 29 of Figure 9.12.
If you don’t want to show numbers at all, you can edit the conditional formatting rule and
choose Show Icon Only. Rows 31 through 39 show this solution. Ironically, when the
numbers are no longer displayed, you can position the icons by using the Left Align,
Center Align, and Right Align icons.
To show the icons only, as in the last rows of Figure 9.12, you follow these steps:
1. Select one of the cells with the icon set formatting.
2. From the Home ribbon, select Conditional Formatting, Manage Rules.
3. In the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog, click the Icon Set rule and then
click Edit Rule.
4. In the lower-right corner of the Edit Formatting Rule dialog, choose Show Icon Only.
Click OK twice to close the two dialog boxes.
5. Select all the cells that contain icons and click the Align Center button on the Home
ribbon.
Creating a Chart Using Conditional Formatting in Worksheet Cells
293
C A S E S T U DY
Reversing the Sequence of Icons
Say that you have data to track reject rates for several manufacturing lines.You apply an icon set that offers green check
marks, yellow exclamation points, and red X icons.
In the default view of the data, Excel always assumes that higher numbers are better. However, that is not the case in this
situation, where higher reject rates are bad.
Unlike with color scales or data bars, with icon sets, you can reverse the order.To do so, you follow these steps:
1. Select one cell in your data.
2. From the Conditional Formatting drop-down on the Home ribbon, select Manage Rules.
3. Click Icon Set to select this rule.The rule color changes from gray to blue.
4. Click the Edit Rule button.The Edit Formatting Rule dialog appears.
5. In the Edit Formatting Rule dialog, choose the Reverse Icon Order check box. Click OK twice to close both open
dialog boxes.
Creating a Chart Using Conditional Formatting in Worksheet
Cells
In the old days, charts were drawn by hand, using a sheet of graph paper and a pencil.
Think about the Excel worksheets on your computer. Basically, an Excel worksheet is a
very large sheet of graph paper, with 17 billion tiny little boxes.
You can create plenty of charts right on a worksheet, without ever invoking the Excel charting engine. Figure 9.13 shows such a chart. The gray bars in D2:R6 are drawn based on
conditional formatting rules in response to data entered in B2:C6. Note how the bars have
expanded or contracted in the bottom image when starting or ending years are adjusted.
I created this worksheet for a friend who was trying to visualize the years of production for
various models of Mullins Steel Boats. With Excel 2007’s limit of only three rules for prior
conditional formatting, it was not quite possible to handle every condition by using Excel’s
conditional formatting. However, it is possible to manually create this type of chart.
The years stretch from cell D1 and would extend as far right as necessary. To make the
chart narrow, you can select Vertical Text from the Orientation drop-down in the Home
ribbon (see Figure 9.14). You can then resize the columns to a column width of 2.
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Figure 9.13
The gray bars are
created through a
series of conditional
formatting rules.
9
Figure 9.14
The Vertical Text setting is located
behind the diagonalab icon in the Home
ribbon.
The logic for creating the bars is as follows:
■
If the start and end year are equal and they match the year in row 1, color the cell gray,
with borders on all four sides.
■
If the start year in column B matches the year in row 1, color the cell gray. Include left,
top, and bottom borders.
■
If the end year in column C matches the year in row 1, color the cell gray. Include
right, top, and bottom borders.
■
If the year in row 1 is greater than the start year and less than the end year, color the
cell gray, with top and bottom borders but no side borders.
You follow these steps to create the conditional formatting rules for this logic:
1. Select the range D2:R6. (Although you have selected many cells, you write the conditional formatting rules as if they applied to the top-left cell, D2.)
2. From the Home ribbon, choose Conditional Formatting, Manage Rules. Excel displays
the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog.
3. Click the New Rule button. Excel displays the New Formatting Rule dialog.
Creating a Chart Using Conditional Formatting in Worksheet Cells
295
4. In the top half of the dialog, choose Use a Formula to Determine Which Cells to
Format. The bottom half of the dialog box redraws to show Format Values Where
This Formula Is True.
5. Enter the formula =$B2=D$1 for the first condition. This formula checks whether the
start year in column B of the current row is equal to row 1 of the current column. It is
crucial that you enter dollar signs before the B and 1 but not before the 2 and D.
6. Click the Format button in the dialog. On the Fill tab, choose a fill color for the cell.
On the Border tab, click None and then click the Top, Bottom, and Left. Click OK to
close the Format Cells dialog. Click OK to close the New Formatting Rule dialog. If
you click the Apply button, you should see that the first cell for each bar is drawn in
the worksheet.
7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 and then enter the formula =$C2=D$1 for the second rule; this is
the formula to format the last cell of the bar. The Format selection is the same color
fill as in step 6. On the Border tab, choose None, Top, Bottom, and Right.
8. Repeat step 7 and then enter the formula =AND($B2<D$1,$C2>D$1) for the third rule;
this is the formula to format center cells in the bar. The Format selection is the same
fill as in step 6. On the Border tab, choose None, Top, and Bottom.
9. Repeat step 7 and then enter the formula =AND($B2=$C2,$B2=D$1) for the last rule; this
is the formula to find where the model was only available for a single year. The Format
selection is the same fill color as in step 6. On the Border tab, choose Outline. Rules
are added to the beginning of the rule list. By entering this rule last, you ensure that it
is evaluated first.
At this point, your Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog should look similar to
the one in Figure 9.15.
Figure 9.15
Four rules create the
chart. One drawback: the
dot for row 6 appears
outside the print area.
Single year, both
side borders
Middle year,
no side borders
Ending year,
no left border
Starting year,
no right border
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This example is complicated by the fact that you draw borders on the appropriate edges of
each cell. If you instead used a solid black fill, you could create the effect with a single rule,
using the formula =AND($B2<=D$1,$C2>=D$1), as shown in Figure 9.16.
Figure 9.16
9
If you aren’t concerned with the cell
borders, the chart
can be reduced to a
single conditional
formatting rule.
Creating a Chart Using the REPT Function
The REPT function, which has been around since Excel 5, takes two arguments. The first argument is the text to repeat. The second argument is the number of times to repeat the text.
In Figure 9.17, column B shows cotton exports. The numbers range from 1,337 down to 13.
You create the bar charts in column C by repeating the | character numerous times. Rather
than show a line of 1,337 pipe characters in cell C4, however, the repeat argument in cell
B4 is 1,337 divided by 10; cell C4 therefore contains 133 vertical bars. Cell C20 contains
1 vertical bar. (Although 13.7 divided by 10 is 1.3 bars, Excel shows only complete bars.)
The result of the REPT function can be left- or right-justified. In Figure 9.18, the results in
column E are right-justified, and the results in column G are left-justified to create a comparative histogram. The formulas on the right side of the chart use a REPT function concatenated with a space and then the value. The formulas on the left side of the chart
concatenate the value, a space, and the REPT function.
In Figure 9.19, the REPT function repeats a number of spaces and then concatenates a single
dot at the end of the spaces to create a simple dot chart.
Creating a Chart Using Scrollbar Controls
297
Figure 9.17
Using the REPT function
is a quick way to produce
a bar chart right in a
worksheet.The trick is to
use the proper scaling
factor.
9
Figure 9.18
Here, pairs of REPT
functions create a comparative histogram.
Figure 9.19
Repeating spaces followed by a single lowercase letter o creates a
simple dot chart.
Creating a Chart Using Scrollbar Controls
The worksheet in Figure 9.20 uses horizontal scrollbars to produce a chart in the worksheet cells. Setting up this chart requires a bit of up-front work. However, the reader of the
worksheet can adjust numbers in the spreadsheet by using the slider on the scrollbars.
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Figure 9.20
A dozen scrollbars
comprise this chart.
9
To create the chart in Figure 9.20, you follow these steps:
1. If you have labels in column A and values in column B, copy the values in column B
and move them to column H (see Figure 9.21). (The process of building the scrollbars
will destroy the data in column B, so you need a copy of the values to paste back later.)
Figure 9.21
You need to make a
copy of your original
data.
2. Right-click the Quick Access toolbar and choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar.
Excel displays the Customize section of the Excel Options dialog.
3. In the left-top drop-down in the dialog, choose Commands Not in the Ribbon.
4. In the left list box in the dialog, find Scroll Bar (Form Control). Note that there are
two different scrollbars. You specifically want the Form Control scrollbar for this
chart. Click Scroll Bar (Form Control) and then click the Add button in the center of
the screen. Click the OK button to return to the worksheet.
5. Select rows 3:15. On the Home ribbon, choose Format, Row Height, type 20 and then
click OK.
6. In the Home ribbon, click the Middle Align icon (which is usually the second icon
in the top row of the Alignment group). The icon moves the numbers to the vertical
middle of each cell.
Creating a Chart Using Scrollbar Controls
299
7. Click the Scrollbar control in the Quick Access toolbar. Click and drag to draw the
first scrollbar, starting just inside the top-left corner of cell C3 and dragging to the
bottom-right corner of cell G3. It is very important that neither corner extends outside
row 3.
8. Right-click the scrollbar and choose Format Control. Excel displays the Format
Control dialog. Choose the Control tab in the dialog. You see that the scrollbar is set
to accept values from 0 to 100, in increments of 1. These settings work for the current
dataset, but if your dataset includes higher values, choose appropriate start and end
points for the scrollbars (see Figure 9.22).
Figure 9.22
Each scrollbar control is
formatted to display a
certain range of values.
9. Click in the Cell Link text box and then click cell B3 in the worksheet. This tells Excel
to get the value for the slider from cell B3. You can optionally type 85 as the initial
value for the scrollbar, but in this case, you do not have to because you are copying the
original values back in step 15.
10. It is fairly difficult to select cell C3 now, so click in cell C4 and use the up arrow to
move to cell C3. Hold down the Shift key and press the right arrow four times to
select cells C3:G3.
11. Type Ctrl+C to copy cells C3:G3. If you were careful in step 7 to keep the entire control inside row 3, you have also copied the scrollbar control.
12. Select cells C4:C15 and paste. You now have 12 identical scrollbar controls.
13. Right-click the next scrollbar control and choose Format Control. The control has the
same range as the initial control. You will have to reassign the cell link to point to column B of the current row; that will be cell B4 for the second control. You can optionally assign the current value or just wait until step 15 to fix the values in one step.
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14. Repeat step 13 for each additional control.
15. If you did not set the initial value for each scrollbar, you will have lost your original
data values in column B, as shown in Figure 9.23. Copy the values in H3:H15 and
paste them to B3:B15. The sliders on the scrollbar adjust into their proper locations.
You can now clear the data from H3:H15.
Figure 9.23
9
Setting up the scrollbars overwrites the
data in column B.
You need to copy the
temporary values
from column H back
to column B.
This display in the worksheet has the benefit of being interactive. You can build formulas
that rely on the values in column B. As the person using the spreadsheet moves the slider
on each scrollbar, the values in column B change, allowing the results of the formulas to
change. In Figure 9.24, for example, formulas in B16 and H3:H15 use new values in column B as the basis for allocating a federal grant.
Figure 9.24
As you move the
slider, the values
in column B and
formulas that point
to column B automatically adjust.
Creating Stem-and-Leaf Plots
301
Creating Stem-and-Leaf Plots
Stem-and-leaf plots became popular in the 1980s as a means of showing frequency distributions. Figure 9.25 shows two stem-and-leaf plots of the same dataset.
Figure 9.25
A stem-and-leaf plot
shows the distribution of
numbers in a population.
9
In both of the plots in Figure 9.25, the number to the left of the line indicates groups of 10.
The marks to the right of the line indicate how many members of the population occur in
that group. In the bottom chart, you can see that one member of the population fell in the
10–19 range, one in the 20–29 range, one in the 30–39 range, and eight in the 40–49 range.
You sometimes see plots such as the bottom plot in Figure 9.25 on the Internet because it is
easier to create that plot in Excel than to create the top one. The true stem-and-leaf plot
appears at the top of the figure. In this version, the digits to the right of the line indicate the
final digit in each member of the population. These numbers are always sorted. The first row
in the chart with 1|9 indicates that the only member in the population between 10 and 19
is a single member at 19. The next row of 2|2 indicates that there is one member of the
population in the 20s and that member is 22. The fourth row contains 4|44568889. This
indicates 8 members of the population fell in the 40s. The members were 44, 44, 45, 46,
48, 48, 48, and 49.
Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot with X’s as the Leaves
The X-based stem-and-leaf plot requires only a single formula, but it is a rather complex
formula. Follow this logic to understand how the formula is built: If you divide 42 by 10,
you get 4.2. If you want to know the tens digit of 42, you can take the integer portion of
42/10 to get 4. The Excel function to take the integer portion of a positive number is
INT(). Thus, INT(B2) returns a value of 4 for 42 or a value of 6 for 66. This is useful for
figuring out in which group a member belongs.
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Say you have a heading in A1 and 25 integers in A2:A26, as shown in Figure 9.26. If you
want to count how many members of the range A2:A26 fall in the 40s, you can use an IF
statement to look at each value. If INT(A2/10)=4, you add 1 to the total. This is a very powerful type of formula in Excel that allows you to check all members of a population at once.
This formula returns an array of 25 values, with each value being a 0 or a 1:
=IF(INT(A2:A26/10)=4,1,0)
=SUM(IF(INT(A2:A26/10)=4,1,0))
After you type this formula, you should not press Enter. Instead, you hold down Ctrl+Shift
and then press Enter. This tells Excel to treat the formula as an array formula.
Ctrl+Shift+Enter puts Excel in super-formula mode, where Excel figures out the answer to
each of the 25 cells in A2:A26 and then adds up the result.
When you have a formula that counts how many members fall in the 40s, you can use the
=REPT() function to place the proper number of X’s in the stem-and-leaf plot.
Say that you have a population of numbers in A2:A26. You follow these steps to create a
stem-and-leaf plot using X’s as the markers:
1. Scan the population to find the high and low values. In this case, the values range from
the 30s to the 70s. In a new worksheet range, enter the digits 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 in C2:C6.
2. Select cells C2:C6. From the Border drop-down on the Home ribbon, select Right
Border to draw a line to separate the stems in column C from the leaves in column D.
3. In cell D2, type the formula =REPT(“X”,SUM(IF(INT(A$2:A$26/10)=C2,1,0))), as shown
in Figure 9.26. This formula generalizes the array formula discussed previously. Dollar
signs in A2:A26 ensure that the formula can be copied. Instead of comparing the integer portion to a specific value, you compare it to the stem value in C2.
Figure 9.26
You press
Ctrl+Shift+Enter
after typing this
formula.
4. After typing the formula, hold down Ctrl+Shift while pressing Enter. A single X
appears.
NOTE
9
You can sum this array to find the number of values that fall in that category. The following
formula returns the total:
If you look in the formula bar, you see that Excel has added curly braces around the formula, indicating an array formula.You must take care when copying array formulas. Many people would copy cell
D2 and paste to D2:D6, but this will not work.You can copy cell D2 and paste to D3:D6, or you can
use the trick in step 5.
Creating Stem-and-Leaf Plots
303
5. Select cell D2. Double-click the fill handle in the lower-right corner of the cell to copy
the array formula down to D3:D6.
The result is the stem-and-leaf plot shown in Figure 9.27.
Figure 9.27
It is relatively easy to
create a stem-and-leaf
plot using X’s as the
leaves.
9
Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot with Digits as the Leaves Using a Long Formula
The stem-and-leaf plot you created in the preceding section requires no sorting of the data
and no extra temporary columns, but it does require a horrendous formula that you probably would not want to type.
Assume now that you have the same dataset as in the previous example; the members of the
population are in A2:A26. You need to set up the stems by entering the numbers 3 through
7 in cells C2:C6.
The population happens to contain the values 42, 44, 44, 45, and 48. You need to construct
a set of leaves for the 40s that show the ones digits from each number: 24458.
The formula in cell D3 could start by repeating the digit 0 once for every occurrence of 40
in the original dataset. Because there is a 4 in cell C3, you use the following formula to
show the number of zeros:
=REPT(“0”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C3*10+0)).
To find the number of 1s needed in the leaves, you append the following to the above formula:
&REPT(“1”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C3*10+1)).
After continuing this concept for all the digits, you end up with the following incredibly
long formula:
TIP
=REPT(“0”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+0))&REPT(“1”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+1))
&REPT(“2”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+2))&REPT(“3”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+3))
&REPT(“4”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+4))&REPT(“5”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+5))
&REPT(“6”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+6))&REPT(“7”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+7))
&REPT(“8”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+8))&REPT(“9”,COUNTIF(A$2:A$26,C2*10+9)).
After entering the formula for the digit 0 in the formula bar and entering the ampersand, you select
characters in the formula bar from the R in REPT to the ampersand.Then you press Ctrl+C to copy
those characters to the Clipboard. Next, you move the insertion point to the end of the formula.
Then you press Ctrl+V nine times to paste nine copies of this text at the end of your formula.You
still have to go through and change the “0” and 0 to the appropriate digits in the pasted formula.
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Figure 9.28 shows the completed stem-and-leaf plot.
Figure 9.28
A horribly long formula creates the
leaves for this stemand-leaf plot.
9
Creating a Stem-and-Leaf Plot with Digits as the Leaves Using Sorting and
Formulas
It is possible, with a bit of sorting, to create a stem-and-leaf plot that does not require a
361-character formula.
Assuming that your data is in A2:A26, you follow these steps to create a stem-and-leaf plot:
1. Sort the data in descending order.
2. Enter the headings Stem, Leaf, and Leaves in cells B1, C1, and D1, respectively.
3. Enter a formula of =INT(A2/10) in cell B2. Copy the formula from cell B2 down to all
rows.
4. Enter the formula =A2-B2*10 in cell C2. Copy this formula down to all rows. (You
could also use =MOD(A2,10) or =RIGHT(A2,1).)
5. Enter the formula =IF(B2=B3,D3,””)&C2 in cell D2. Copy this formula down to all
rows. This formula concatenates all the leaves for the current stem. Because your data
is sorted in descending sequence, the best collection of leaves occurs on the first row
for each stem. (This is important because the VLOOKUP function used in step 7 returns
the first match found.)
6. Enter the numbers 3 through 7 in F2:F6. Add a right border to the edge of this range.
7. Enter the formula =VLOOKUP(F2,B$2:D$26,3,FALSE) in cell G2 to look up the stem
number in G2 and find the first Leaves value from column D. Copy this formula down
to all rows.
The resulting stem-and-leaf plot is shown in Figure 9.29.
Next Steps
305
Figure 9.29
This stem-and-leaf plot
requires more steps than
the one described in the
preceding section, but it
is a bit more intuitive.
NOTE
9
Figure 9.30
This stem and leaf plot is
an actual stacked bar
chart.
For more formulas you can use to create stem-and-leaf plots, view the January 2007 challenge at
MrExcel.com. Readers were invited to submit innovative methods for creating stem-and-leaf plots.
More than 20 different approaches were submitted. Review the best entries at www.mrexcel.
com.pc16.shtml and the entire thread at www.mrexcel.com/board2/viewtopic.php?p=1202649.
Excel MVP Andy Pope created his winning entry by using a stacked bar chart with a custom fill, as
shown in Figure 9.30.
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Next Steps
In Chapter 10, “Presenting Your Excel Data on a Map Using Microsoft MapPoint,” you
will learn how to combine Microsoft Excel with Microsoft MapPoint in order to visually
show geographic data. Several of the examples in this chapter show tables of data by state;
think of how these examples would take on a whole new meaning if they were plotted on a
map. Microsoft MapPoint adds this functionality to Excel.
9
Presenting Your Excel Data
on a Map Using Microsoft
MapPoint
10
Plotting Data Geographically
In many cases, the best way to present data is to
plot it on a geographic map. Mapping software used
to cost thousands of dollars, but Microsoft now
offers a product called Microsoft MapPoint 2006.
MapPoint debuted in 2001 in both North American
and European editions.
IN THIS CHAPTER
Figure 10.1 shows a customer database plotted on a
map. Note how many of the customers are around
the store, but others travel in from the interstate to
shop at the specialty store. Any dataset with a geographic component such as street addresses, zip
codes, postal codes, states, or provinces are suitable
for mapping.
Using Other Map Styles to Illustrate Data . .314
Plotting Data Geographically . . . . . . . . . . . . .307
Building a Map in Excel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .308
Using a Chart on a Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .312
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .316
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Figure 10.1
Customers plotted
on a map.
10
TIP
When you install MapPoint, a new add-in is available in Excel 2007 that allows you to plot
your data on a map within Excel. For a bit more functionality, you can save your Excel data
as an Excel 2003 workbook and import it into MapPoint.
MapPoint 2006 has a list price of $299 and regularly sells at Amazon.com for $249. However,
Microsoft seems to regularly give MapPoint to CIOs as an incentive for attending conferences.
Consequently, you can often find brand-new, factory-sealed versions of MapPoint for sale on eBay
for less than $100.
Building a Map in Excel
Figure 10.2 shows a database of locations for a chain of stores in the United States. You
hope to sell products to those stores and need to analyze their geographic locations.
Figure 10.2
This data lends itself
to geographic
analysis.
Building a Map in Excel
309
To create a map for this data in Excel 2007, you follow these steps:
1. Make sure that MapPoint is installed on your computer. You should have an extra AddIns tab available on the ribbon, with one or more MapPoint Map icons.
2. Select your data in Excel, including headings. MapPoint recognizes headings such as
“City,” “State,” and “Zip Code.”
3. Click the MapPoint Map icon on the Add-Ins ribbon. Excel displays the Link Data
Wizard dialog. For each column in your selection, Excel shows the column heading
and then a drop-down that identifies the data type for that column (see Figure 10.3).
Valid data types are Name, Address, City, County, State, Country, Zip Code, Census
Tract, Latitude, and Longitude. If you have columns in your data that are not in the
list, choose <Other Data> for that column. For example, if you had sales figures for
each store, you would select <Other Data>.
Figure 10.3
For each column in your
dataset, either identify it
as a geographic column
or choose <Other
Data>.
4. Click Next and then click Finish. Excel attempts to find a matching location for each
record in your database.
5. After Excel finds all the exact matches, it reports any items that were not matched. In
Figure 10.4, for example, there are two possible locations for Centerville, Indiana, so
you must choose either the Centerville in Wayne County or the one in Spencer
County. For each unmatched record, choose a location and click OK or simply click
Skip Record if you don’t know the location.
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Figure 10.4
You usually have to
manually match a
few records from a
dataset.
6. Repeat step 5 for each unmatched record. After you match the last record, Excel plots
10
each record as a thumbtack on a map and zooms in to show the complete set of data
points.
7. While the map is active, the Excel ribbon is replaced with a MapPoint menu. From
the menu, select View, Legend and Overview. Excel adds a sidebar showing the
Pushpins set.
8. Right-click the pushpin in the legend and choose Properties, as shown in Figure 10.5.
Figure 10.5
Right-click to access
the Properties dialog
for the Pushpins set.
9. In the Properties dialog, change the symbol from a thumbtack to a small circle, as
shown in Figure 10.6.
Building a Map in Excel
311
Figure 10.6
The small circle icons
work better than thumbtacks on a map with
hundreds of mapped
points.
10
10. Click OK to close the Properties dialog box.
11. Choose View, Legend and Overview to remove the legend.
12. Excel always tightly crops the map to include all the pushpins in the dataset. Use the
Zoom Out icon in the toolbar to see a 50,000-foot view of the data. In Figure 10.7,
you can see that the stores are concentrated in the southeastern part of the United
States.
Zoom Out
Select
Pan
Figure 10.7
You can zoom out to see
the entire country.
Two icons to the right of the Zoom icon provide you with better control over the
zooming process. The Select icon is a rectangle with a mouse arrow in it.
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13. Using the Select icon, drag a box around an area and click inside the box. Excel
roughly zooms to your selection. For example, you can roughly zoom in on the state of
Georgia, as shown in Figure 10.8. To move to a new spot on the map, use the Pan
icon. Click anywhere on the map and drag to move the map.
14. Choose View, Map Style. You can select from a road map, a terrain map, data maps,
and so on. Figure 10.8 shows a terrain map.
Figure 10.8
A terrain map,
zoomed in to show
details for the state
of Georgia.
10
Using a Chart on a Map
If your dataset includes some numeric data, you can ask Excel to change the color or size of
the circle used for each data point. Figure 10.9 shows a map where the color of the circle
indicates the numeric data attached to that city. The white circles are the smaller cities, and
the dark gray circles are the larger cities.
Figure 10.9
The color of each circle indicates the size
of a numeric column
associated with each
record.
To color the circles on the map, you follow these steps:
1. Create a map as described in the preceding section.
2. Choose View, Legends and Overview.
Using a Chart on a Map
313
3. Right-click the appropriate pushpin and choose Map Type. While the properties selection lets you choose a different icon for the pushpin, Map Type allows you to replace
the icons with pie charts, column charts, sized circles, or shaded circles.
4. In the dialog that appears next (see Figure 10.10), choose Shaded Circle and click
Next.
Figure 10.10
MapPoint offers several
different map styles.
10
5. Choose to map by city. Click Next.
6. For the range type, choose Equal Data Points. Change the color scheme. If desired,
customize the data ranges, as shown in Figure 10.11.
Figure 10.11
You can customize the
ranges and colors used
for the data points.
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The shaded circle map is better than the sized circle map. With the sized circle map, the
largest circle is about five times bigger than the small circle. This makes it nearly impossible to see small dots near the biggest dots. Even with the shaded circles, it is possible for
dots to appear too close and for some dots to be obscured. If you zoom in, you can see the
detail of the closer dots. Figure 10.12 shows a close-up of the Midwest. At this zoom level,
you can see several dots that are hidden at the countrywide level.
Figure 10.12
You can zoom in to
see more details.
10
Using Other Map Styles to Illustrate Data
The shaded area map style is great if you have data that can be aggregated by zip code,
census tract, county, or state. In Figure 10.13, for example, crime statistics are plotted by
zip code. This dataset is a bit too dense to see the entire country at once. You have to zoom
in to about a quarter of the country to see the detail.
Figure 10.13
This shaded area
map shows crime
per capita by zip
code.
In Figure 10.14, annual rainfall is plotted by county. The county data allows MapPoint to
show the entire country. This map illustrates more than 3,000 data points.
Using Other Map Styles to Illustrate Data
315
Figure 10.14
The map of data by
county shows 3,141 data
points in a single picture.
C A S E S T U DY
Mapping Your Customers
Almost every business has a mailing list of its customers. If you have this data in Excel and you have MapPoint, you can
plot up to 10,000 customers on a map.
Seeing your customers on a map helps you to plan advertising and helps you understand how far your customers travel
to reach your location.To plot your company’s customers on a map, follow these steps:
1. Import your customer list into Excel. Be sure to add headings such as Name, Address, City, State, and Zip Code. Save
the data as an Excel 2003 workbook. (At press time, MapPoint 2006 could not import an Excel 2007 file type. It is
possible that by the time you are reading this, Microsoft has offered an upgrade to MapPoint.)
2. Start MapPoint. Choose Data, Import Data Wizard.
3. Browse to and select your Excel file.
4. Confirm the field mapping. Click Next and then click Finish. MapPoint matches your fields up with known
addresses.
5. If there are unmatched records, MapPoint shows you any close guesses.When you are matching at the address
level, you are likely to have a high rate of unmatched addresses. If you are in a hurry, click Skip All Records to map
the records that do match.
6. Choose a pushpin map. Click Next.
7. Change the symbol from a thumbtack to a small circle. Click Finish.
Typically, you might have a few stray customers who visited your business while they were traveling.These distant customers cause MapPoint to zoom out to show all the customers. Figure 10.15 shows the customer information with a
zoom to show the entire country.
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Figure 10.15
A few stray customers from each
coast force the map
to be zoomed out to
show the continental United States.
10
Use the Select icon (see Figure 10.7) to draw a square around your business location and then click inside the square.You
now have a map of the densest concentration of customers, as shown in Figure 10.16.This enables you to determine
which newspapers or radio stations might be effective for reaching other customers who live in the same area as your
current customers.
Figure 10.16
This is a powerful
type of map for a
business owner. It
helps you see where
your customers are
from and think
about ways to reach
other customers in
that area.
Next Steps
In Chapter 11, “Using SmartArt Graphics and Shapes,” you will learn how to use Excel’s
new business diagramming tools to communicate relationships and organization charts.
Using SmartArt Graphics
and Shapes
Understanding SmartArt Graphics
and Shapes
Images and artwork provide an interesting visual
break from tables of numbers. Excel 2007 offers a
broad new array of business diagramming tools.
The Excel 2003 Insert Diagram menu held six types
of business diagrams. The improved gallery of 84
SmartArt graphics in Excel 2007 helps you to communicate messages about your organization and
processes.
While SmartArt graphics allow you to create diagrams quickly, they have one annoying limitation in
Excel 2007: The text in the shapes is static, so there
is no way to link the text in a SmartArt shape to a
value calculated in an Excel formula. This is particularly frustrating because Excel has enabled text on
shapes to be dynamic since Excel 97.
This one limitation means that to get the most out
of SmartArt graphics, you have to understand how
to use shapes in your worksheet.
This chapter covers the following:
■
SmartArt—SmartArt is a collection of similar
shapes, arranged to imply a process, groups, or
a hierarchy. In former versions of Excel,
SmartArt was known as Diagrams. As in the
past, with Excel 2007 it is easy to add new
shapes, reverse the order of shapes, and change
the color of shapes. Office 2007 includes a text
editor that allows for Level 1 and Level 2 text
for each shape in a diagram. Many styles of
SmartArt include the capability to add a small
picture or logo to each shape.
11
IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding SmartArt Graphics and
Shapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .317
Using SmartArt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .318
Choosing the Right Layout for
Your Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .333
Exploring Business Charts That Use
SmartArt Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .334
Using Shapes to Display Cell Contents . . . . .339
Using WordArt for Interesting Titles and
Headlines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .342
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .346
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■
Shapes—You can add interesting shapes to a document. A shape can contain words; it
is the only art object in which the words can come from a cell on the worksheet. You
can add glow, bevel, and 3-D effects to shapes. In previous versions of Excel, shapes
were known as AutoShapes. Microsoft has added some new shapes as well as several
formatting properties.
■
WordArt—You use WordArt to present ordinary text in a stylized manner. You can use
it to bend, rotate, and twist the characters in text. In Excel 2007, you can add glow,
bevel, and material effects. WordArt has been completely redesigned from previous
versions of Excel. A limited version of WordArt is available for formatting titles and
labels in Excel 2007 charts.
Using SmartArt
You use SmartArt to show a series of similar shapes, where each shape represents a related
step, concept, idea, or grouping. SmartArt in Excel 2007 is an enhanced version of business
diagrams from previous versions of Excel. In Excel 2007, Microsoft has addressed many of
the shortcomings of business diagrams, including the following:
11
■
Each shape has an associated text editor.
■
Shapes can contain Level 1 text for headlines and Level 2 text for body copy.
■
Some styles now allow shapes to include an image.
■
Automatic settings in SmartArt can automatically resize the text in all shapes to allow
the longest text to fit.
■
SmartArt styles allow you to apply glow and bevels to an entire SmartArt diagram.
The goal of SmartArt is to allow you to create a great-looking graphic with minimal effort.
After you define a SmartArt image for your text, you can quickly change to any of the other
84 styles by clicking the desired style in the gallery. Figure 11.1 shows four different
SmartArt styles:
■
Basic Process—In this style, all text is typed as Level 1.
■
Accent Process—This style puts the Level 1 text in the background and highlights
the Level 2 text in the foreground boxes.
■
Picture Accent Process—This style gives equal weight to the Level 1 and Level 2
text. Pictures are added behind each shape.
■
Picture Accent List—Unlike the process charts, a list chart does not include arrows
to indicate a process.
If you want to fine-tune the text in a particular shape, you can use the Format ribbon to
micromanage any element in the SmartArt.
Using SmartArt
319
Figure 11.1
Subtle differences in 4 of
the 84 possible SmartArt
styles give more weight
to either Level 1 or Level
2 text. Notice that the
Level 1 text is prominent
(top), in the background
(second), small (third), or
vertical (bottom).
Elements Common Across Most SmartArt
A SmartArt style is a collection of two or more related shapes. In most styles, you can add
additional shapes in order to illustrate a longer process. A few styles are limited to only n
items. Each shape can contain a headline (Level 1 text), body copy (Level 2 text), and a
graphic. Some of the 84 styles show only Level 1 text. If you switch to a style that does not
display Level 2 text and then switch back, the shape remembers the Level 2 text it originally had.
Some of the SmartArt styles can include pictures. You should add pictures after you have
selected your final style. Changing layout styles always causes pictures to be lost, so you
should finalize a layout before adding the images. Some styles include arrows between
shapes to illustrate a process.
CAUTION
If you insert pictures in a layout, switch to another layout, and then back to the original layout without closing the document, your pictures do come back.This is somewhat of a privacy concern. After
you save and close the document, the hidden pictures are removed.
While you’re editing SmartArt, a text pane that is slightly reminiscent of PowerPoint
appears. You can type some bullet points in the text pane. If you demote a bullet point, the
text changes from Level 1 text to Level 2 text. If you add a new bullet point, Excel adds a
new shape to the SmartArt.
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A Tour of the SmartArt Categories
The SmartArt gallery groups the 84 SmartArt layouts into 7 broad categories:
11
■
List—This category is designed to show a nonsequential list of information. Variations
include horizontal, vertical, and bending lists. Some lists include chevrons, and some
include pictures. In general, these styles do not include arrows between shapes.
■
Process—This category is designed to show a sequential list of steps. Variations
include horizontal, vertical, bending, equations, funnels, gears, and several varieties of
arrows. Some process charts allow the inclusion of images. Most styles include arrows
or other connectors in order to convey a sequence.
■
Cycle—This category is designed to show a series of steps that repeat. It includes cycle
charts, radial charts, a gear chart, and a pie chart.
■
Hierarchy—This category is designed to show organization charts, decision trees, and
other hierarchical relationships. Variations include horizontal and vertical charts and
charts with and without connecting lines.
■
Relationship—This category is designed to show a relationship between items. Many
of the layouts in this category are duplicated from the other six categories. This category includes examples of arrow, chart, cycle, equation, funnel, gear, hierarchy, list,
process, pyramid, radial, target, and Venn chart layouts.
■
Matrix—This category is designed to show four quadrants of a list. Only two options
exist: either four quadrants with a central element or four quadrants.
■
Pyramid—This category is designed to show containment, overlapping, proportional,
or interconnected relationships.
Figure 11.2 shows one version of each of the seven categories.
List
Hierarchy
Pyramid
Figure 11.2
SmartArt diagrams
exist in seven broad
categories.
Process
Cycle
Relationship
Matrix
Using SmartArt
321
Inserting SmartArt
Although there are 84 different layouts of SmartArt, you follow the same basic steps to
insert any SmartArt layout:
1. Select a cell in a blank section of the workbook.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose SmartArt from the Illustrations group. The Choose a
SmartArt Graphic dialog appears.
3. From the left side of the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog, select a category.
4. Click a SmartArt type in the center of the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog.
5. Read the description on the right side. This description tells you whether the layout is
good for Level 1 text, Level 2 text, or both. In Figure 11.3, you can see that the
Vertical Chevron List layout is good for large amounts of Level 2 text.
Figure 11.3
The information for each
style provides information about whether a
particular style is appropriate for more Level 1 or
Level 2 text.
11
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you find a style suitable for your content. Then click OK.
As shown in Figure 11.4, an outline of the SmartArt is drawn on the worksheet. The
flashing insertion cursor is in the first item of the text pane. One element of the
SmartArt is selected. When you type text at the flashing insertion point, it is added to
the selected shape.
Figure 11.4
When you type in the
text pane, the text is
added to the selected
element of the SmartArt.
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7. Fill in the text pane with text for your SmartArt. You can add, delete, promote, or
demote items by using icons in the SmartArt Tools, Design, Create Graphic group.
The SmartArt updates as you type more text. In many cases, adding a new Level 1 item
adds a new shape element to the SmartArt. If you add longer text to the SmartArt,
Excel shrinks all the elements in order to make the text fit.
8. Make the entire SmartArt graphic larger, if needed, by grabbing the resizing handles in
the corners of the SmartArt and dragging to a new size. After you resize the graphic,
Excel resizes the text to make it fit in the SmartArt at the largest size possible.
9. If you like, change the color scheme of the SmartArt, which initially appears in one
color. To do so, from the SmartArt Tools Design ribbon, select Change Colors from
the SmartArt Styles group. Excel offers several versions of monochromatic styles and
five styles of color variations for each shape.
10. Choose a 2-D or 3-D style from the SmartArt Styles gallery on the Design ribbon.
The Inset and Cartoon styles have a suitable mix of effects but are readable.
11. Move the SmartArt to the proper location. Position the mouse over the border of the
SmartArt, avoiding the eight resizing areas. The cursor changes to a four-headed
arrow. Click and drag the SmartArt to a new location. If you drag the SmartArt to the
left side of the worksheet, the text pane moves to the right of the SmartArt.
12. Click outside the SmartArt. Excel embeds the SmartArt graphic in the worksheet and
hides the SmartArt ribbons. Figure 11.5 shows some completed SmartArt.
11
Figure 11.5
You click outside the
SmartArt boundary
to embed the
completed
SmartArt.
Changing the Color of SmartArt Graphics
The Design ribbon’s Change Colors drop-down offers 38 different color schemes for each
theme. Five options in the Colorful category offer to mix up the colors used for each
shape. Thirty other options offer five varying shades of each of six accent colors.
Using SmartArt
323
Changing the Theme colors on the Page Layout ribbon affects the colors offered in the
Change Colors drop-down.
Applying a SmartArt Style
The Design ribbon offers a large gallery of 14 different SmartArt styles. There are five 2-D
styles in a section labeled Best Fit for Document. There are also nine 3-D styles.
Choosing a style from the gallery applies a different mix of bevel, shadow, transparency,
gradient, reflection, and glow to all shapes. The built-in styles range from subtle to outlandish. Some of the later 3-D styles, such as Bird’s Eye Scene and Brick Scene, are very
hard to read. If you are trying to present bad news that no one can read, you might want to
choose the later 3-D styles. Otherwise, the second and third 3-D styles, known as Inset and
Cartoon, seem to offer a great mix of effects and readability. Figure 11.6 shows a
Continuous Arrow Process graphic with the 14 different styles applied.
Figure 11.6
The SmartArt styles
range from simple to
over-the-top.The Inset
and Cartoon styles offer
a mix of style and
readability.
11
Changing Existing SmartArt to a New Style
There are a couple of ways to change SmartArt to a new style:
■
You can left-click the SmartArt and then choose the SmartArt Tools, Layouts from the
Design ribbon to choose a new layout. As shown in Figure 11.7, the Layouts dropdown initially shows only the styles that Excel thinks are a close fit to the current style.
If you want to access the complete list of styles, you have to select More Layouts. The
advantage of this method is that Live Preview shows you the changes before you commit to a style.
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Figure 11.7
List Process 2 provides a new shape
for each bullet point
in Level 2.
11
■
A faster way to access the complete list of styles is to right-click between two shapes in
the SmartArt and choose Change Layout from the context menu. This step is a little
tricky because you cannot click an existing shape; you must click inside the SmartArt
border—but on a section of the SmartArt that contains nothing.
Micromanaging SmartArt Elements
The are two ribbons for SmartArt tools: the Design and Format ribbons.
The Design ribbon allows you to change the overall design of the SmartArt. If you stay on
the Design ribbon, Microsoft makes sure that your SmartArt looks good. It keeps the font
for all Level 2 text consistent for all shapes. It keeps all the shapes proportional. If you have
a particular need to override some aspect of one shape, however, you can do so on the
Format ribbon.
CAUTION
When you change any setting on the Format ribbon, Microsoft turns off the automatic formatting
for the other elements. Changing a setting on the Format ribbon is a great way to make horriblelooking SmartArt. If you absolutely have to use the Format ribbon, you should first get your
SmartArt as close as possible to the final version by using the Design ribbon.
Using SmartArt
325
Changing Text Formatting in One Element
In Automatic mode, Excel chooses a font size that is small enough to show the longest text
completely. This can cause problems if you have one shape with long text and short text
everywhere else. In this case, Excel chooses a small font size for the long text and then
forces all the other items to have the same tiny text as well. In such a situation, you might
want to override the text size for the shape that has the longest text. Excel then automatically resizes the font size in the remaining automatic shapes to be larger.
The mini toolbar is useful for making these types of changes. You select the text either
directly in the shape or in the text pane. Immediately after you complete the selection, you
should watch for an almost-transparent formatting box to appear. Then you immediately
move the mouse to the box to prevent it from disappearing. You can then change the font
size by using the drop-down in the mini toolbar. If you allow the mini toolbar to disappear,
you can use the formatting tools on the Home ribbon to change the font size.
In Figure 11.8, the long Level 2 text in step 4 was resized. Excel then calculated the proper
text size for steps 1 through 3, resulting in the text in the top three shapes automatically
growing to a larger font size.
Figure 11.8
When you manually
override the font size in
the fourth shape, the
text in the remaining
three shapes automatically becomes larger.
11
Mini Toolbar
Changing One Shape
There are many items you can edit for a SmartArt shape. To see how this works, you can
click any shape in the SmartArt and then try the following:
■
Use the green handle to rotate the shape.
■
Use the resize handles to resize the shape.
■
Use the move handle to nudge the shape.
■
Choose Change Shape from the Format ribbon to change the outline to a different
shape.
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■
Choose settings from the Shape Styles group to change fill, outline, and effects for the
shape.
■
Choose settings from the WordArt Styles group to change the text inside the shape.
■
Right-click the shape and choose Format Shape to have complete control over the
shape.
In general, SmartArt created on the Design ribbon looks uniform and neat. When you
move to the Format ribbon, the possibility for chaos arises. For example, the SmartArt in
Figure 11.9 contains mixed effects, font sizes, and rotation; it was created in the Format
ribbon.
Figure 11.9
After experimenting
with the Format ribbon, you can choose
Reset Graphic on the
Design ribbon to
turn the SmartArt
back into something
more uniform.
11
Controlling SmartArt Shapes from the Text Pane
The text pane represents a fantastic improvement over business diagrams in Excel 2003. By
using only the keyboard, you can add or delete shapes and promote or demote items.
Further, the text pane includes proofing tools, such as spell check. Using the text pane is
similar to creating bullet points in a PowerPoint slide.
Figure 11.10 shows a newly inserted pyramid SmartArt in Excel. By default, most new
SmartArt diagrams have three shapes, but you can change that number by using the text
pane.
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327
Figure 11.10
A default SmartArt
includes three shapes.
You can edit the number
of shapes by using the
text pane.
The following rules apply to the text pane for SmartArt:
■
You press the Up Arrow and Down Arrow keys to move from one line to another.
■
You press the Enter key to insert a new line below the current line. The new line will
be at the same level as the current line. Adding a new Level 1 line inserts a new shape
in the SmartArt.
■
You press the Tab key to demote Level 1 text to Level 2 text.
■
You press Shift+Tab to promote Level 2 text to Level 1 text.
■
You press the Backspace key on an empty line to delete the line.
■
You press Delete at the end of any line to combine text from the next line with this
line.
■
You press End to move to the end of the current line.
■
You press Home to move to the beginning of the current line.
As you add shapes, Excel continues to attempt to squeeze them into the default size. You
can resize an entire piece of SmartArt by using the resizing handles around the SmartArt.
As an example of how the text pane works, you can use the following steps to customize the
inverted pyramid graphic shown in Figure 11.10 into the one shown in Figure 11.11. This
example illustrates how quickly and simply you can change from the default SmartArt with
three shapes to any number of shapes:
1. Type Shape
1
and then press Enter.
2. Type Subtext and then press Tab to demote the item. Then press the Down Arrow key
to move to text 2.
3. Type Shape
2
and then press Enter.
4. Type Point
1
and then press Tab and Enter.
5. Type Point
2
and then the Down Arrow key.
6. Type Shape
3
and then press Enter.
7. Type Point
3
and then press Tab and Enter.
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8. Excel wants the next item to be Level 2 text, so press Shift+Tab to promote this item.
9. Type Shape
4 and then press Enter, type Shape 5 and then press Enter, type Shape
and then press Enter, and type Shape 7 and then press Enter.
10. Type Point
4
6
and then press Tab, Enter, and Shift+Tab, and then type 8.
11. Using the mouse, resize the SmartArt so it is larger.
12. From the SmartArt Styles gallery on the Design ribbon, choose a color scheme.
The result is shown in Figure 11.11. As this example shows, by using only the keyboard and
the text pane, you can quickly expand SmartArt and add Level 2 subpoints.
Figure 11.11
You can add additional shapes and
subpoints simply by
using the text pane.
11
Adding Images to SmartArt
Seven SmartArt layouts in the List category are designed to hold small images in addition
to text. In some of these styles, the picture is emphasized; in others, the focus is on the text,
and the picture is an accent:
■
Picture Caption List—This style includes a large picture and is designed to emphasize the picture.
■
Horizontal Picture List—This style includes a large picture and a large space for
text. It is good for a balance of pictures and text.
■
Continuous Picture List—This style includes a large picture and minimal text.
■
Vertical Picture List—This style contains a small square picture and text.
■
Vertical Picture Accent List—This style contains a small round picture on the left
and text.
■
Bending Picture Accent List—This style contains a small circular picture.
■
Picture Accent List—This style contains a small square picture in the upper right of
each block.
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329
When you select one of these styles, you first build the text and then add shapes, as necessary. The SmartArt shows a picture icon in each shape (see Figure 11.12).
Figure 11.12
In the SmartArt styles
that include pictures, you
should arrange the
shapes before trying to
add pictures.
You can click a picture icon to display the Insert Picture dialog. You can then choose a picture and click Insert. You repeat this process to add each additional picture. The pictures
are automatically resized to fit the allotted area, as shown in Figure 11.13.
Figure 11.13
Pictures have been
added to each shape.
Only seven SmartArt
styles are prebuilt with
placeholders for pictures.
11
CAUTION
If you change the layout of SmartArt after adding pictures, the picture information is lost.This is
particularly frustrating when you switch from one picture style to another picture style.
Special Considerations for Organization Charts
Hierarchical SmartArt can contain more than two text levels. As you add more levels to the
SmartArt, Excel continues to intelligently add boxes and resize them to fit.
Figure 11.14 shows a diagram created in the Hierarchy style. In this style, each level is
assigned a different color.
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Figure 11.14
Hierarchical
SmartArt can contain more than two
levels.
Using Assistant Shapes in Organization Charts
The first style available in the Hierarchy category is the Organization Chart style. You use
this style to describe reporting relationships in an organization. There are a few extra
options in the ribbon for organization charts. For example, select one manager shape in
your organizational chart diagram. The Add Shape drop-down on the Design ribbon
includes the option Add Assistant, as shown in Figure 11.15. You can select this option to
add an extra shape immediately below the selected level.
Figure 11.15
11
The Add Assistant
selection adds a box
for an assistant
below the selected
shape.
Arranging Subordinates on an Organization Chart
In the Create Graphic group of the Design ribbon, the Layout drop-down offers four
options for showing the boxes within a group. First, you select the manager for the group.
Then you select the appropriate type from the drop-down to affect all direct reports for
the manager. Figure 11.16 illustrates the four options for the Layout drop-down:
■
VP of Sales—This option shows a standard organization chart. The regions are
arranged side-by-side.
■
VP of Manufacturing—This option has a right hanging group. The departments are
arranged vertically to the right of the line.
Using SmartArt
■
VP of Engineering—This option has a left hanging group. The departments are
arranged vertically to the left of the line.
■
CFO—This option has a Both group. The direct reports are listed in two columns
under the manager, on both sides of the vertical line.
331
In each group, the assistant box is arranged to the left of the vertical line.
Figure 11.16
Organization charts
include options to control the arrangement of
direct reports.
Showing Dotted-Line Reporting Relationships
NOTE
The SmartArt graphics engine cannot automatically create dotted-line reporting relationships. However, you can manually add a line to a diagram.
You should get your graphic as close to being done as possible before adding manual shapes. Any
subsequent changes to the text pane require manual repositioning of the lines.
To add a dotted line, you follow these steps:
1. Prepare the organization chart, using the SmartArt tools.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose the Shapes drop-down.
3. Click the elbow connector.
4. Draw a line that connects the appropriate two boxes on the organization chart. Grab
the yellow diamond handle to lower the horizontal portion of the line to be at the
same height as the lower box. Don’t worry that the line is the wrong weight and style.
5. Click the line to select it.
6. In the Drawing Tools, Format tab, choose the Shape Outline drop-down. From the
Weight fly-out menu, choose a thicker line style, such as 3 pt.
7. Access the Shape Outline drop-down again. From the Dashes fly-out menu, choose
one of the dotted-line styles.
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Figure 11.17
Add the shape, drag
the yellow diamond
into position, then
format the line as
dotted.
Using Limited SmartArt
Most of the SmartArt examples described so far are expandable: As you add Level 1 text,
new shapes are added to the SmartArt. However, some SmartArt styles cannot be expanded
(see Figure 11.18):
11
■
Both gear and funnel charts are limited to three items. If you add additional items to
the text pane, each appears with a red x. These items do not display in the SmartArt,
but they are stored in case you later change to another SmartArt layout. For privacy
reasons, the extra text is discarded when you save and close the file.
■
Many of the arrow layouts in the Relationship category are limited to two shapes.
■
The Matrix layouts are limited to four quadrants. Grid Matrix offers four quadrants
plus a title, as shown in the center of Figure 11.18.
■
The Segmented Pyramid style can be expanded, but it must contain 1, 4, 9, or 16
shapes. As soon as you add a fifth style to the SmartArt in the upper-left corner of the
display, an entire row is added to the bottom of the pyramid, resulting in the SmartArt
shown in the lower right of Figure 11.18.
■
The Equation style can be expanded, but the answer is always the last Level 1 item in
the text pane.
Figure 11.18
Arrows, gears, funnels, and matrix
shapes have certain
limitations on the
number of shapes
they can contain.
Choosing the Right Layout for Your Message
333
Choosing the Right Layout for Your Message
With 84 built-in layouts of SmartArt graphics, choosing the right layout can be daunting.
The following questions are designed to help you narrow down your choices, assuming that
you do not want to further customize the look of a graphic:
■
Do you need accent images in the shape? If so, choose Bending Picture Accent List,
Picture Caption List, Horizontal Picture List, Picture Accent List, Continuous Picture
List, Vertical Picture Accent List, Vertical Picture List, Picture Accent Process, or
Radial List.
■
Do you have extremely long sentences of Level 2 text? If so, choose Vertical Box List
or Vertical Bullet List.
■
Do you need to show a continuous process? If so, choose one of the cycle charts: Text
Cycle, Basic Cycle, Continuous Cycle, Block Cycle, or Segmented Cycle.
■
Do you need to show a circular process that can travel both ways? If so, choose
Multidirectional Cycle.
■
Do you need to show a process that progresses from left to right? If so, choose Basic
Process, Accent Process, Continuous Arrow Process, Alternating Flow, Process
Arrows, Detailed Process, Continuous Block Process, Picture Accent Process, Basic
Chevron Process, or Closed Chevron Process.
■
Do you need to show many processes that progress from left to right? If so, choose
Chevron List.
■
Do you need to show a process that progresses from top to bottom? If so, choose
Vertical Process, Segmented Process, Vertical Chevron List, or Staggered Process.
■
Do you need to show a one-way process and need to fit many shapes into a small area?
If so, choose Basic Bending Process, Circular Bending Process, Repeating Bending
Process, or Vertical Bending Process.
■
Do you need to show an organization? If so, choose Organization Chart.
■
Do you need to show a hierarchy? If so, choose one of the pyramid, radial, matrix, target, or hierarchy layouts.
■
Do you need to make a decision between two choices? If so, choose Balance.
■
Do you need to show how parts add together to create an output? If so, choose an
Equation or a Funnel layout.
■
Do you need to illustrate two opposing forces? If so, choose Diverging Arrows,
Counterbalance Arrows, Opposing Arrows, Converging Arrows, or Arrow Ribbon.
■
Do you need to illustrate a containment chart? If so, choose Nested Target or Stacked
Venn.
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Exploring Business Charts That Use SmartArt Graphics
NOTE
The examples in this section show off a few of the 84 different SmartArt graphics that
might be suitable for your business presentations.
To see examples of all 84 styles in use, take a look at Leveraging SmartArt Graphics in the 2007
Microsoft Office System, an e-book published by Que (ISBN 0-7686-6833-6).
In particular, a few of the examples in this section show layouts that are a bit more difficult
than average to utilize.
Illustrating a Pro/Con Decision by Using a Balance Chart
The Balance layout is used to illustrate weighing two alternatives, as shown in Figure
11.19.
Figure 11.19
11
This graphic leans
either left or right,
depending on which
side has more Level
2 text entries.
The layout requires two Level 1 text entries to represent the boxes at the top of the
graphic. You can then have up to three Level 2 entries for each Level 1 entry. The scale
tips in the direction of the side that has more boxes.
Illustrating Growth by Using an Upward Arrow
Microsoft had to create a new shape, called a Swoosh Arrow, in order to add the Upward
Arrow layout. This layout holds up to five bullets of Level 1 text. Any Level 2 text is shown
below the Level 1 text. This makes it very difficult to fit any Level 2 text beneath the first
bullet point of Level 1 text.
In Figure 11.20, a few bullet points of Level 2 text are placed beneath the final Level 1 text
entry to provide a caption for the whole chart.
Exploring Business Charts That Use SmartArt Graphics
335
Figure 11.20
The swoosh arrow shows
up to five bullets of Level
1 text.
Showing an Iterative Process by Using a Basic Cycle Layout
Several cycle process charts are available in the SmartArt gallery. In some layouts, the
arrows are too small to be seen. The Basic Cycle layout offers a good balance between textholding shapes and arrows (see Figure 11.21).
Figure 11.21
The Basic Cycle layout
offers a balance between
text and arrows.
11
Showing a Company’s Relationship to External Entities by Using a Diverging
Radial Diagram
The radial layouts show the relationship of one center entity to several entities around the
perimeter of the diagram. While many layouts offer a hub-and-spokes arrangement, the
Diverging Radial layout adds arrows that point outward from the central diagram to each
external shape.
The text for the central circle should be entered as a single bullet of Level 1 text. You build
the remaining shapes around the perimeter by adding Level 2 bullets.
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Figure 11.22
The Diverging Radial
layout shows how a
central organization
supports many other
organizations.
Illustrating Departments Within a Company by Using a Table List Diagram
11
The Table List layout holds a single entry of Level 1 text as a title across the top of the diagram. Each Level 2 entry causes the diagram to be vertically split. You could show additional bullets in each box by adding Level 3 text (see Figure 11.23).
Figure 11.23
You can illustrate
groups within a
whole by using the
Table List layout.
Adjusting Venn Diagrams to Show Relationships
The Basic Venn layout illustrates two to seven overlapping circles. Unfortunately, all the
Venn diagrams created by the SmartArt engine show circles that are perfectly overlapping,
as shown on the left side of Figure 11.24. This is not how relationships usually happen.
To create Venn diagrams that actually represent relationships, you can usually adjust the
size of each circle and the percentage of overlap in the circles. For example, on the right
side of Figure 11.24, the diagram indicates that while 80% of the bowling team is made up
of people from the accounting department, fewer than one-fifth of the accountants are on
the bowling team. To create this chart, you follow these steps:
Exploring Business Charts That Use SmartArt Graphics
337
Figure 11.24
Venn diagrams require
adjustment in order to
show the real size and
proportion of overlap.
1. Add a SmartArt diagram with a Basic Venn layout.
2. Enter two Level 1 text entries and name them Accounting and Bowling Team.
3. Click the Accounting circle. Excel displays resizing handles. Drag a resizing handle out
from the center of the circle to make the circle larger.
4. Click the Bowling circle. Drag a resizing handle inward to make the circle smaller.
5. While the resizing handles are displayed, drag the Bowling circle so that about 80% of
that circle is inside the larger circle.
Understanding Labeled Hierarchy Charts
To figure out two of Excel 2007’s hierarchy charts—Labeled Hierarchy and Horizontal
Labeled Hierarchy—you almost need a Ph.D. However, when you figure out the bizarre
layouts required in the text pane, these are really handy hierarchy charts.
The Horizontal Labeled Hierarchy (see Figure 11.25) offers a horizontal hierarchy chart
that progresses from left to right. Each level of the chart lies in a colored band with a title.
To create this chart, you follow these steps:
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Figure 11.25
Getting the titles at
the top of each band
requires Level 1
shapes at the end of
the text pane.
1. Create a single Level 1 item.
11
2. Beneath the first Level 1 item, build the complete hierarchy of Level 2, Level 3, and so
on.
3. Count the number of levels in the hierarchy, including the first level. The chart in
Figure 11.25 includes three levels. Remember this number for step 4.
4. At the bottom of the text pane, add new Level 1 entries. The first new Level 1 entry
should include the title for the leftmost level of the hierarchy. The second new Level 1
entry should include the title for the second level of the hierarchy. Do not add any
Level 2 text to these Level 1 entries.
When the number of bottom Level 1 entries exactly matches the number of levels in the
hierarchy, the diagram snaps into place, with the titles lining up in the colored bands.
Using Other SmartArt Layouts
With Excel’s 84 built-in layouts, you can use SmartArt graphics in a wide variety of ways.
During Power Excel seminars that I conducted during 2006, I often showed a slide with a
few of the new graphics, such as the funnel or gear charts. A clever accountant in one of my
audiences wryly pointed out that the funnel chart would be perfect for illustrating the
ingredients in a martini (see Figure 11.26).
Although Microsoft does not currently allow SmartArt to be created using VBA, it does
allow someone with an understanding of XML to create brand-new SmartArt layouts.
Leveraging SmartArt Graphics in the 2007 Microsoft Office System, an e-book published by
Que (ISBN 0-7686-6833-6), includes several examples written by Suat Ozgur. It is easy to
Using Shapes to Display Cell Contents
339
create new layouts that use different shapes (for example, pentagons instead of circles) or
change the default proportions of the SmartArt layouts. I expect that many third-party vendors will begin offering custom SmartArt types for sale.
Figure 11.26
Your use of SmartArt
diagrams for illustrating
business concepts is
limited only by your
imagination.
All in all, SmartArt is a great addition to the Office family. The one real drawback related
to SmartArt in Excel 2007 is the inability to link cell content to the text in SmartArt. To do
that, you have to use shapes, as described in the following section.
Using Shapes to Display Cell Contents
Shapes were known in previous versions of Excel as AutoShapes. Microsoft has added new
shapes to the already long list of shapes available in AutoShapes. In addition, Excel 2007
shapes have some new formatting options, such as shadow, glow, and bevel.
Perhaps the best part of shapes is that you can tie the text on a shape to a worksheet cell. In
Figure 11.27, for example, the shape is set to display the current value of cell B26. Every
time the worksheet is calculated, the text on the shape is updated.
Figure 11.27
Shapes can be set to display the current value of
a cell.
You follow these steps to insert a shape into a worksheet:
1. Select a blank area of the worksheet.
2. From the Insert ribbon, open the Shapes drop-down.
3. Select 1 of the 159 basic shapes, as shown in Figure 11.28.
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Chapter 11
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Figure 11.28
Choose from these
shapes.
11
4. When the mouse pointer changes to a small crosshair, click and drag in the worksheet
to draw the shape.
5. Choose a color scheme from the Shapes Styles drop-down.
6. Select Shape Effects, Preset and select an effect.
7. Look for a yellow diamond on the shape. Change the inflection point for the shape, if
necessary. On the rounded rectangle, for example, sliding the yellow diamond controls
how wide the rounded corners are.
8. Look for a green circle on the outside of the shape. Drag this circle to rotate the
shape, if necessary.
9. To include static text in the shape, click in the middle of the shape and type the text.
You can control the style by using the WordArt Styles drop-down. You can control text
size and color by using the formatting buttons on the Home ribbon. The shape can
include text from any cell, but it cannot perform a calculation. If you want the shape to
include a calculated value, skip this step and follow steps 10 through 12.
10. If desired, add a new cell that will format a message for the WordArt. As shown in
Figure 11.29, you can add the formula =”We are at “&TEXT(B13,”0%”)&” of our
to an empty cell to convert the calculation in cell B13 to a suitable message.
goal!”
11. Click in the middle of the text box as if you were about to type some text.
12. Click in the formula bar and type =B14 and then press Enter. As shown in Figure
11.29, the shape displays the results from the selected cell.
Using Shapes to Display Cell Contents
341
Figure 11.29
This shape picks up the
formula from cell B14 to
show a message that
changes with the worksheet.
Working with Shapes
The Drawing Tools Format ribbon contains options to change the shape style, fill, outline,
effects, and WordArt effects.
In the Insert Shapes group of the Format ribbon, you use the Edit Shape, Change Shape
command to choose another shape style.
If you right-click a shape and choose Format Shape, Excel displays the Format Shape dialog, with the fine-tuning settings Fill, Line, Line Style, Shadow, 3-D Format, 3-D
Rotation, and Text Placement.
11
Using the Freeform Shape to Create a Custom Shape
Despite my friendly relationship with Microsoft, I have not convinced them to add the
MrExcel logo to the Shapes gallery (yet). However, you can build any shape by using the
Freeform line tools in the Shapes gallery.
After you create a shape, you can add 3-D effects, glow, and so on to make a cool-looking
version of your company logo, as shown in Figure 11.30.
Figure 11.30
This shape was created
with the Freeform shape
tool and then enhanced
using the Drawing Tools
section of the Format
ribbon.
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To create a custom shape, you follow these steps:
1. Insert a picture of the shape that you can use as a guide to trace.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose the Shapes drop-down. In the Lines section, the last
two shapes are Freeform and Scribble. Select the Freeform shape.
3. Click one corner of your logo.
4. Move the mouse to the adjacent corner of the logo and click again.
5. Repeat step 4 for each corner. If your logo has a curve, click several times around the
perimeter of the curve. The more often you click, the better the curve will be.
6. When you arrive back at the original corner, click one final time to close the shape and
complete the drawing.
7. Use the effect and fill settings to color and stylize the logo.
Using WordArt for Interesting Titles and Headlines
11
WordArt has been rewritten in Excel 2007. As in previous versions, WordArt is best used
sparingly—possibly for a headline or title at the top of a page. It is best used for impressive
display fonts to add interest to a report. You would probably not want to create an entire
20-page document in WordArt.
To use WordArt, you follow these steps:
1. Select a blank section of a worksheet.
2. From the Insert ribbon, choose the WordArt drop-down.
3. As shown in Figure 11.31, choose from the 25 WordArt presets in the drop-down.
Don’t worry that these presets seem less exciting than the WordArt in prior versions of
Excel. You will be able to customize the WordArt later.
Figure 11.31
Excel offers 25
WordArt presets.
Using WordArt for Interesting Titles and Headlines
343
4. Excel adds the generic text Your Text Here in the preset WordArt you chose. Select this
default text and then type your own text.
5. Select the text. Choose a new font style by using either the mini toolbar that appears
or the Home ribbon.
6. Use the WordArt Styles group on the Drawing Tools Format ribbon to color the
WordArt. To the right of the Styles drop-down are icons for text color and line color
and a drop-down for effects. The Effects drop-down includes the fly-out menus
Shadow, Reflection, Glow, Bevel, and 3-D Rotation.
7. To achieve the old-style WordArt effects, from the Format ribbon, select Drawing
Tools, WordArt Styles, Text Effects, Transform and then select a shape for the text.
Figure 11.32 shows the WordArt with a Wave 1 transformation.
Figure 11.32
WordArt includes the
Transform menu to bend
and twist type.
11
C A S E S T U DY
Converting SmartArt to Shapes to Allow Dynamic Diagrams
Microsoft’s official position is that you cannot use formulas to populate the text pane in SmartArt diagrams. However,
using the steps in this section, you can simulate this effect.
The diagram in Figure 11.33 looks like a SmartArt Table Hierarchy layout, yet the values in all the shapes are fed from
formulas on the Excel worksheet.
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Chapter 11
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Figure 11.33
This looks like a
SmartArt diagram,
but the values come
from formulas on
the worksheet.
Although using formulas this way
sounds simple, the
feature is not
hooked up in Excel
2007.
You achieve the live formulas in the SmartArt diagram by cheating slightly. In the steps that follow, you first use the
SmartArt diagram engine and then convert the SmartArt diagram to a collection of shapes.
11
CAUTION
This solution does not work when the number of shapes needs to change in response to the values
in the Excel worksheet.The number of shapes has to remain the same. Only the text in the shapes is
based on live formulas.
To build the workbook shown in Figure 11.34, you follow these steps:
Figure 11.34
You build the
SmartArt diagram
with sample text of
about the same
length as that with
which you expect
to populate the
diagram.
Using WordArt for Interesting Titles and Headlines
345
1. Choose Insert, SmartArt and choose a Table Hierarchy from the relationship group.
2. Build a static SmartArt diagram with a single Level 1 item, four Level 2 items, and a Level 3 item for each Level 2
item.Type sample values in the text pane, as shown in Figure 11.34.The sample values should be about the same
size as the real values that you expect to have in the final diagram.
3. On the Page Layout tab, change the Theme to Opulent.
4. On the SmartArt Tools Design tab, change the SmartArt Styles to Cartoon.
5. Use the Change Colors tab to select Colorful, Accent Colors.
6. Click on the Level 1 shape. On the Format tab, use the Change Shape drop-down to select a wave shape.
7. Also on the Format tab, choose Shape Styles, Shape Effects, Shadow, Offset Diagonal Bottom Right.
8. Choose Shape Styles, Shape Effects, Shadow, Shadow Options.
9. In the Format Shape dialog box, change the distance from 4 points to 9 points.
10. Select the text within the Level 1 shape. On the Format ribbon, choose WordArt Styles,Text Effects,Transform,
Wave1.
11. Click one of the Level 3 shapes. Press Ctrl+A to select the remaining shapes in the diagram.
12. Press Ctrl+C to copy the shapes in the diagram.
13. Choose a blank cell below the SmartArt diagram and press Ctrl+V to paste the nine shapes in formation.
14. Click in the range of the original SmartArt diagram, but not on any shape in the SmartArt diagram.This selects the
entire SmartArt diagram. Press the Delete key to delete the static SmartArt diagram.
15. If necessary, delete the rows or columns where the old diagram was.
16. Create an external query in row 30 to retrieve TicketID, Associate, and SaleTotal from a point-of-sale system. Set up
the query properties to refresh every minute.
17. In cell A24, enter the formula =”Scoreboard
as of “&TEXT(NOW(),”H:MM AM/PM”).
18. In cells A25:D25, type the names of the four associates working in the store today.
19. In cell A26, enter the formula =TEXT(SUMIF($B$31:$B$300,A25,$C$31:$C$300),”$#,##0”).
20. Copy the formula from cell A26 to B26:D26.
21. Select the text in one shape. Click in the formula bar and type a formula such as =A24.
22. Use the mini toolbar to center the text and select the same size as used for similar shapes in the diagram.
23. Repeat steps 21 and 22 for the other eight shapes.
Throughout the day, the external query brings new data into the worksheet, and it is presented in the scoreboard
diagram (refer to Figure 11.33).
Although this is a tedious process, it is a way to use the SmartArt engine to create a great-looking scoreboard in Excel.
It is unfortunate that Microsoft did not have time to hook up the decade-old Shapes formula functionality for SmartArt
graphics. Perhaps this will be added in the next version of Office.
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Next Steps
In Chapter 12, “Exporting Your Charts for Use Outside of Excel,” you will learn how to
share your charts and graphics with others through either PowerPoint or by publishing to
the web. While the charting functionality between Excel and PowerPoint left much to be
desired in Excel 2003, you should be able to flawlessly share charts and SmartArt graphics
between Excel 2007 and PowerPoint 2007.
11
Exporting Your Charts for
Use Outside of Excel
Presenting Excel Charts in
PowerPoint or Word
Although Excel is a great place for you to create
charts, you might need to share charts with others,
either in PowerPoint, as Word documents, as Web
pages, or simply as graphic files.
Word 2007 and PowerPoint 2007 use the new
charting engine in Excel 2007, so you now get a
better result when you copy a chart from Excel
to one of those products. However, there are a
number of different ways to copy a chart, and
each method has different ramifications. If you are
not careful, you might end up sending an entire
20-sheet workbook along with your PowerPoint
presentation when you mean to send only a single
chart.
There are a number of frustrating gotchas when
you copy charts from Excel to PowerPoint. In previous versions of Office, the gotchas were so bad
that most tipsters, including me, recommended that
you simply copy your charts from Excel to
PowerPoint as static pictures.
Office 2007 adds a new wrinkle that makes the issue
less cut and dried. In Office 2007, a chart copied
from Excel and pasted to PowerPoint is completely
editable. All the great tools on the Charting Tools
ribbon in Excel are available in PowerPoint. You
can also make your charts match the themes in
PowerPoint. I am so enamored with the charting
tools in Office 2007 that the ability to copy the
charts as live charts is worth the hassles.
12
IN THIS CHAPTER
Presenting Excel Charts in PowerPoint or
Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .347
Presenting Charts on the Web . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Exporting Charts to Graphics . . . . . . . . . . . . .355
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .356
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Chapter 12
Exporting Your Charts for Use Outside of Excel
My concerns with copying the charts revolve around several issues:
■
Privacy—Even though you copy just the chart, Excel brings along all the data in the
entire workbook. This means that the recipient of your PowerPoint presentation can
right-click the slide and open a complete copy of all 50 worksheets in your workbook.
■
Links—Depending on how the chart is pasted, the recipient might need to have a copy
of the underlying workbook if he or she wants to edit the chart.
■
Live data—If you want the chart in PowerPoint to reflect the current values from the
Excel file, you have to have access to the Excel file.
There are at least eight different ways of getting charts from Excel to PowerPoint or Word.
Considering all the positives and negatives, I prefer copying the underlying chart data from
Excel to PowerPoint and re-creating the chart in PowerPoint. This method requires a few
extra steps, but it allows you to have an editable chart without sending along the entire
50MB workbook.
Table 12.1 shows some of the methods and the advantages and disadvantages of each
method.
Table 12.1 Methods for Moving Excel Charts to PowerPoint or Word
Method
Advantages
Disadvantages
Copy the chart in Excel and
paste it into PowerPoint
Full access to the Charting
Tools ribbon.
Data updates when the
underlying Excel data updates.
Recipient must have access to
the original Excel file to edit
data.
Recipient can see all worksheets
of the underlying Excel file by
right-clicking the chart.
12
After pasting to PowerPoint,
Full access to the Charting
use the Format icon to select
Tools ribbon.
Excel Chart, Entire Workbook
Recipient can see all worksheets
of the underlying Excel file by
right-clicking the chart.
Chart does not update when the
original Excel file changes.
PowerPoint file size increases by
the size of the Excel file.
After pasting to PowerPoint,
use the Format icon to select
Paste as Picture
No privacy concerns.
Small file size.
No linking issues.
Cannot update the chart (other
than by using the Picture
Tools ribbon).
Use Paste Special, Microsoft
Office Excel Chart Object
None
No access to the Charting
Tools ribbon.
Access to copy of entire
workbook.
Use Paste Special, Microsoft
Office Graph Object
Access to the Charting
Tools ribbon.
Can access to a copy of the
entire workbook.
Presenting Excel Charts in PowerPoint or Word
349
Method
Advantages
Disadvantages
Use Paste Special, Paste
as Picture
No privacy concerns.
Small file size.
No linking issues.
Cannot update the chart
(other than by using the
Picture Tools ribbon).
Use Paste Special, Link,
Microsoft Office Excel
Chart Object
Works with files saved in
Compatibility mode.
Have to right-click and choose
Update in order to get new data.
Need to have access to the
original Excel file in order to
update.
No access to the Charting
Tools ribbon.
Create the chart in
PowerPoint and copy and
paste the original data from
the original Excel file
Full access to the Charting
Tools ribbon.
Small file size.
No linking issues.
Does not reflect changes in the
original workbook.
Copying a Chart as a Live Chart Linked to the Original Workbook
Copying a chart as a live chart linked to the original workbook is the easiest method of getting a chart from Excel to PowerPoint. You basically just copy the chart from Excel and
paste it to PowerPoint.
With this method, you have full access to all the Charting Tools ribbon tabs in PowerPoint.
You can customize the chart to match the theme of the PowerPoint presentation, and you
can choose new layouts, styles, and so on.
The data remains linked to the original workbook. If you change the workbook and later
open the PowerPoint presentation, the chart reflects the new numbers from the Excel
workbook. Obviously, this feature works only if the PowerPoint presentation still has access
to the original Excel file. Otherwise, PowerPoint shows a static version of the last-known
numbers in the chart.
To copy the chart, you follow these steps:
1. Open both PowerPoint and Excel.
2. In Excel, click the chart.
3. Press Ctrl+C or click the Copy icon on the Home ribbon.
4. Switch to PowerPoint by pressing Alt+Tab.
5. Paste by pressing Ctrl+V or clicking the Paste icon on the Home ribbon.
The chart fills the text area of the slide. The Chart Tools ribbon icons are available, as
shown in Figure 12.1.
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Figure 12.1
Copying and pasting
is the simplest
method for getting a
chart from Excel to
PowerPoint.
Copying a Chart as a Live Chart Linked to a Copy of the Original Workbook
The problem with a straight copy and paste is that the PowerPoint slide and the original
Excel workbook must remain on the same computer in order to maintain the link. If you
plan on distributing the PowerPoint file to others, you can copy the chart along with the
entire workbook.
To copy the chart, you follow these steps:
12
1. Open both PowerPoint and Excel.
2. In Excel, click the chart.
3. Press Ctrl+C or click the Copy icon on the Home ribbon.
4. Switch to PowerPoint by pressing Alt+Tab.
5. Paste by pressing Ctrl+V.
6. An icon appears at the lower-right corner of the pasted chart. Hover over the icon, and
a drop-down arrow appears. Click the drop-down arrow. Choose Excel Chart (Entire
Workbook), as shown in Figure 12.2.
One advantage of this method is that you can send the PowerPoint presentation to any
recipient whose computer has Office 2007. The recipient can right-click the chart, choose
Edit, and see the entire Excel workbook. If that person makes changes to the assumptions
in the workbook, the chart updates. The recipient also has full access to the Charting Tools
ribbons in PowerPoint.
Presenting Excel Charts in PowerPoint or Word
351
Figure 12.2
After pasting, you choose
to embed the entire
workbook.
The main advantage of this method is also a disadvantage. Even though you paste a single
chart, Office 2007 embeds the entire workbook. This can create privacy concerns if the
workbook contains sensitive data on other worksheets or file size concerns if you have millions of cells on other worksheets in the workbook.
Copying a Chart as a Picture
You can paste a picture of a chart in a PowerPoint slide. The picture is initially the same
size as the chart in the Excel worksheet. Instead of having access to the Charting Tools ribbon, you only have access to the Picture Tools ribbon. The Picture Tools ribbon might
allow you to change the chart to grayscale or a monochrome color, but you do not have
access to the rich chart formatting tools.
To paste a chart as a picture, you copy the chart in Excel. On the PowerPoint slide, you can
perform either of the following tasks:
■
Press Ctrl+V to paste the chart. Then use the drop-down arrow to the lower right of
the chart and choose Paste As Picture.
■
Select the drop-down arrow on the Paste icon in the PowerPoint Home ribbon.
Choose Paste Special and then those to paste the picture as PNG, GIF, JPEG, bitmap,
Enhanced Metafile, or Windows Metafile.
The Paste Special dialog is shown in Figure 12.3.
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Figure 12.3
You can choose a
picture format in the
Paste Special dialog.
After the chart is pasted as a picture, you can use any of the settings on the Picture Tools
Format ribbon to apply a frame, bevel, shadow, or reflection to the chart. Figure 12.4
shows a frame with a reflection and a bit of perspective angle.
Figure 12.4
The picture formatting
tools offer interesting
possibilities but do not
have the flexibility of the
charting tools.
12
Pasting a Chart as a Linked Object
If you plan to save your chart in Compatibility mode, to be shared with people using
PowerPoint 2003, you might consider using the linked object choice in the Paste Special
dialog.
Presenting Excel Charts in PowerPoint or Word
353
First, you copy the chart from Excel. In PowerPoint, you choose Home, Paste, Paste
Special, Paste Link, Microsoft Office Excel Chart Object, and then you click OK. This
choice is far more limiting than the choices described so far in this chapter. In order to
update the chart, you have to right-click the chart and choose Update. To edit the chart,
you right-click the chart and choose Linked Worksheet Object, Edit. This means that the
person using the PowerPoint file must have access to the original Excel file.
Creating a Chart in PowerPoint and Copying Data from Excel
Creating a chart in PowerPoint and copying data from Excel may seem to be the most
tedious method, but it has the advantage of getting a completely editable chart into
PowerPoint without the need to copy an entire workbook into the PowerPoint file.
You follow these steps to create the chart:
1. In PowerPoint, choose New Slide from the Home ribbon. A new slide appears, with
six icons in the center of the slide (see Figure 12.5).
Figure 12.5
When you insert a new
slide in PowerPoint, six
icons appear in the center of the slide.
12
2. Click the Chart icon in the center of the slide.
3. Choose a chart type and click OK. You see your PowerPoint slide on the left and a
new Excel worksheet on the right. The worksheet is called Chart in Microsoft Office
PowerPoint - Microsoft Excel (see Figure 12.6).
4. Click the original Excel workbook in the taskbar.
5. Highlight your source data and press Ctrl+C to copy it to the Clipboard.
6. Click the new workbook in the taskbar. Click in cell A1 and press Ctrl+V to paste the
data. Your data will probably cover a smaller or larger range of data than the default
dataset. If your dataset is smaller, remnants of the default dataset will appear outside
your paste area, as shown in Figure 12.7.
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Figure 12.6
PowerPoint creates a
new workbook with
default data.
Figure 12.7
You paste your data
over the default
data.
12
7. A blue outline appears around A1:D5. Grab the blue handle in the corner of cell D5
and drag the handle to match the size of your pasted data.
8. Click the maximize button in the title bar of the PowerPoint application to return to
PowerPoint.
You’ve now created a new chart in PowerPoint. The chart can be edited using the Chart
Tools ribbon tabs. You’ve also minimized the size of the Excel data that must travel with
the PowerPoint file.
Exporting Charts to Graphics
355
Presenting Charts on the Web
You can export a chart to appear on a webpage. This technique is also the easiest way to
make a GIF version of your chart.
You follow these steps to create an HTML page with a chart:
1. Save your Excel file as an Excel file.
2. If your chart is embedded on a worksheet, click the chart. On the Design ribbon,
choose Move Chart. Choose to move the chart to a new sheet.
3. From the Office icon, choose Save As, Other Formats.
4. In the Save As dialog that appears, choose Web Page (*.htm; *.html) from the Save As
Type drop-down. Excel warns you that some features of the workbook will be lost.
Because you already saved a copy of the workbook in step 1, this is okay.
5. At the bottom of the Save As dialog, change Entire Workbook to Chart.
6. Specify a filename, such as MyChart.html.
7. Click either Publish or Save.
If you browse to the selected path, you will find your HTML file and also a new folder. In
the preceding example, the folder would be called MyChart. This folder contains a GIF version of your chart.
Exporting Charts to Graphics
The steps in the preceding section are a convoluted way of creating a GIF version of a
chart. If you don’t mind typing a bit of VBA code, you can export the active chart quickly.
12
Using VBA to Export Charts as Images
VBA is the macro language behind Excel. Although Chapter 13, “Using Excel VBA to
Create Charts,” takes a more in-depth look at VBA, this section takes a quick peek into
using VBA to convert charts to graphics files.
You need to display the Developer tab in the ribbon. If this tab is not on your computer,
select the Office icon, Excel Options and then check the Show Developer Tab in the
Ribbon check box.
When the Developer tab is available, you follow these steps to export a chart to a graphic
file:
1. Select a chart.
2. From the Developer tab, choose Visual Basic.
3. Press Ctrl+G to display the Immediate window.
4. Type the following line of code and then press Enter:
ActiveChart.Export “C:MyChart.JPG”, “JPG”
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You can, of course, specify any path and filename instead of the name shown in the preceding code snippet. The file type can be GIF, JPG, or any other graphics filter installed on
your computer’s copy of Office.
Using Snag-It or OneNote to Capture Charts
Screen capture tools such as Snag-It from Camtasia and the Insert Screen Clipping feature
of Microsoft OneNote allow you to capture a specific region of the screen.
Snag-It allows you to specify an output file type of BMP, GIF, JPG, PCX, PNG, TGA, or
TIF. You can also specify a higher resolution, suitable for printing using Snag-It.
Converting to XPS or PDF
PDF is the ubiquitous Portable Document Format from Adobe. XML Paper Specification
(XPS) is the new open-source competitor from Microsoft. In October 2005, Microsoft
announced that it would add support to Office 2007 to save files as PDF files. Early beta
versions of the product included a menu item to save to PDF or XPS. But a European
court decided that Microsoft could not include this technology with Office. You thus have
to jump through a few hoops in order to install a free utility to convert a document to PDF
or XPS.
To install the free utility, you follow these steps:
1. From the Office icon, choose Save As, Find Add-ins for Other File Formats.
2. In the Help topic, follow the link to Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in for 2007
Microsoft Office Programs.
3. If validation is required, click Continue.
12
4. If asked to download a Genuine Advantage plug-in, do so.
5. After installing the plug-in, click Continue.
6. Click Download to download the actual code for saving files as PDF. If you are using
FireFox as a browser, note the location where the program is downloaded.
7. Run the download by double-clicking on the file downloaded in step 6.
8. Accept the user agreement and click Continue.
Your Save As menu now includes an entry to save as PDF or XPS.
After the add-in is installed, you can select Office icon, Save As, PDF or XPS to print to a
PDF file.
Next Steps
In Chapter 13, you will learn how to use VBA macros to automate the creation and formatting of charts. VBA is a macro language that has been in Excel for over a decade; you can
use it to automate repetitive tasks.
Using Excel VBA to Create
Charts
Introducing VBA
Version 5 of Excel introduced a powerful new
macro language called Visual Basic for Applications
(VBA). Every copy of Excel shipped since 1993 has
had a copy of the powerful VBA language hiding
behind the worksheets. VBA allows you to perform
steps that you normally perform in Excel, but to
perform them very quickly and flawlessly. A VBA
program can turn a process that used to take days
each month into a single button click and a minute
of processing time. If you have a lot of charts to
create, you can set up a macro to automatically produce a series of charts. This is appropriate if you
regularly have to produce a similar set of charts
every day, week, or month.
You shouldn’t be intimidated by VBA. The VBA
macro recorder tool gets you 80% of the way to a
useful macro, and the examples in this chapter get
you the rest of the way there.
NOTE
Every example in this chapter is available
for download from
www.mrexcel.com/chart2007data.html.
There is usually a nagging subset of features that work in the current version of Excel but do not work in prior versions of Excel.
However, all the good features in charting are new to Excel 2007;
consequently, hardly any of the code in this chapter is backward
compatible with Excel 97–Excel 2003. If you need to write code to
create Excel 2003 charts, you can use the examples from Chapter
10 of my book VBA and Macros for Microsoft Excel (ISBN
978-0789731296, Que Publishing).The project file from that chapter
is available at www.mrexcel.com/chart2007data.html.
13
IN THIS CHAPTER
Introducing VBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .357
Learning Tricks of the VBA Trade . . . . . . . . . .361
Coding for New Charting Features in
Excel 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365
Referencing Charts and Chart Objects in
VBA Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .365
Creating a Chart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .366
Recording Commands from the Layout or
Design Ribbons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .369
Using SetElement to Emulate Changes
on the Layout Ribbon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .375
Changing a Chart Title Using VBA . . . . . . . . .380
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon .380
Automating Changes in the Format
Series Dialog . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .397
Using the Watch Window to Discover
Object Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .410
Exporting a Chart as a Graphic . . . . . . . . . . . .414
Creating Pivot Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .416
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .421
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Enabling VBA in Your Copy of Excel
TIP
By default, VBA is disabled in Office 2007. Before you can start using VBA, you need to
enable macros in the Trust Center. From the Office icon menu, you choose Excel Options,
Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, Macro Settings. Then you choose Enable All Macros.
If you have previously enabled the Developer tab of the Ribbon, you can use the Macro Security icon
to jump quickly to the Trust Center dialog box.
Further, when you save your files, you have to save the files as Excel 2007 macro-enabled
workbooks, with the .xlsm extension.
Enabling the Developer Ribbon
Most of the VBA tools are located on the Developer tab of the Excel 2007 Ribbon. By
default, this tab is not displayed. To enable it, from the Office icon menu, you select Excel
Options, Popular. Then you choose Show Developer Tab in the Ribbon.
As shown in Figure 13.1, the Code group on the Developer tab of the Ribbon offers icons
for accessing the Visual Basic Editor, the Macros dialog box, macro recording tools, and
the Macro Security setting.
Visual Basic Editor
Macro Recording Tools
Figure 13.1
You need to enable
the Developer ribbon to access the
VBA tools.
Shortcut to Trust Center
Macros Dialog Box
13
The Visual Basic Editor
From Excel, you press Alt+F11 or, from the Developer ribbon, you choose Code, Visual
Basic to open the Visual Basic Editor. The VBA Editor, shown in Figure 13.2, has three
main sections:
Introducing VBA
Project Explorer
359
Code Window
Figure 13.2
The Visual Basic Editor
window is lurking
behind every copy of
Excel shipped since 1993.
NOTE
Properties Window
If this is your first time using VBA, some of these items may be disabled. Follow the instructions
given in the following list to make sure each is enabled.
■
Project Explorer—This pane displays a hierarchical tree of all open workbooks. You
can expand the tree to see the worksheets and code modules present in the workbook.
If the Project Explorer is not visible, you can enable it by pressing Ctrl+R.
■
Properties window—The Properties window is important when you begin to program user forms. It is also useful when you’re writing normal code. You enable it by
pressing F4.
■
Code window—This is the area where you write your code. Code is stored in one or
more code modules attached to the workbook. To add a code module to a workbook,
you select Insert, Code Module from the application menu.
Visual Basic Tools
Visual Basic is a powerful development environment. Although this chapter cannot offer a
complete course on VBA, if you are new to VBA, you should take advantage of the following:
■
As you begin to type code, Excel usually offers a drop-down with valid choices. This
feature, known as AutoComplete, allows you to type code faster and eliminate typing
mistakes.
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■
For assistance with any keyword, you can put the cursor in the keyword and press F1.
You might need your installation CDs because the VBA Help file can be excluded from
the installation of Office 2007.
■
Excel checks each line of code as you finish it. Lines in error appear in red. Comments
appear in green. You can add a comment by typing a single apostrophe. You should use
lots of comments so you can remember what each section of code is doing.
■
Despite the aforementioned error checking, Excel may still encounter errors at runtime. If this happens, you can click the Debug button. The line that caused the error is
highlighted in yellow. You can then hover your mouse cursor over any variable to see
the current value of the variable.
■
When you are in Debug mode, you can use the Debug menu to step through code
line-by-line. You can toggle back and forth between Excel and VBA to see the effect of
running a line of code on the worksheet.
■
Other great debugging tools are breakpoints, the Watch window, the Object Browser,
and the Immediate window. You can read about these tools in the Excel VBA Help
menu.
The Macro Recorder
Excel offers a macro recorder that is about 60% perfect for charts. Unfortunately, the last
40% is frustrating. Code that you record to work with one dataset is hard-coded to work
only with that dataset. This behavior might work fine if your chart data occupies cells
A1:E7 every single day, but if you might have a different number of customers each day, it
is unlikely that you will have the same number of rows each day. Given that you might
need to work with other data, it would be a lot better if Excel could record your actions of
selecting cells when you use the End key. This is one of the shortcomings of the macro
recorder.
13
Excel pros often use the macro recorder to record code and expect to have to then clean up
the recorded code. While this approach works perfectly with pivot tables and many other
features, it seems that Microsoft ran out of time or was not interested in hooking up the
macro recorder for most of the chart formatting tasks. You therefore have to write that
code from scratch.
CAUTION
The macro recorder is able to record most actions on the Design and Layout ribbons, but it completely ignores actions on the Format ribbon or in the Format dialog boxes.VBA code is available to
micro-format chart elements, but you have to write code to perform actions on the Format ribbon
from scratch.
Learning Tricks of the VBA Trade
361
Understanding Object-Oriented Code
If you took a class in BASIC a long time ago, the recorded code in VBA is going to appear
rather foreign to you. Whereas BASIC is a procedural language, VBA is an object-oriented
language. Most lines of VBA code follow the Noun.Verb, or Object.Method, syntax. Objects
can be workbooks, worksheets, cells, or ranges of cells. Methods can be typical Excel
actions, such as Copy, Paste, and PasteSpecial.
Many methods allow adverbs—that is, parameters you use to specify how to perform a
method. If you see a construction that includes a colon and an equals sign, it is an adverb,
and you know that the macro recorder is describing how the method should work.
You might also see adjectives, or properties. If you set ActiveCell.Font.ColorIndex = 3, you
are setting the font color (the property) of the active cell to red (the value). Note that when
you are dealing with properties, there is only an equals sign, not a colon and an equal sign.
Learning Tricks of the VBA Trade
You need to master a few simple techniques to be able to write efficient VBA code. These
techniques will help you make the jump to writing effective code.
Writing Code to Handle a Data Range of Any Size
The macro recorder hard-codes the fact that your data is in a range, such as A1:E7.
Although this hard-coding works for today’s dataset, it may not work as you get new
datasets. You need to write code that can deal with different sizes of datasets.
One method is to use the CurrentRegion property. If you specify one nonblank cell and ask
for the current region, Excel extends the selection in each direction until it encounters the
edge of the worksheet, a blank row, or a blank column. In Figure 13.3, for example, the following line of code selected A1:E4:
Range(“B1”).CurrentRegion.Select
Figure 13.3
Selecting the current
region extends the
selection out until a
blank row/column is
encountered.
If you are absolutely sure that cell B1 is nonblank and that no other data touches your
chart data, you could use the CurrentRegion approach to specify the data to a chart.
The macro recorder uses syntax such as Range(“H12”) to refer to a cell. However, it is more
flexible to use Cells(12, 8) to refer to the cell in row 12, column 8. Similarly, the macro
recorder refers to a rectangular range using syntax such as Range(“A1:K415501”). However,
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it is more flexible to use the Cells syntax to refer to the upper-left corner of the range and
then use the Resize() syntax to refer to the number of rows and columns in the range:
Cells(1, 1).Resize(415501,11)
This approach is more flexible than using Range(“A1:K415501”) because you can replace
any of the numbers with a variable.
In the Excel user interface, you can use the End key on the keyboard to jump to the end of
a range of data. If you move the cell pointer to the final row on the worksheet and press the
End key and then the Up Arrow key, the cell pointer jumps to the last row that contains
data. The equivalent of doing this in VBA is to use the following code:
Range(“A1048576”).End(xlUp).Select
You don’t need to select this cell; you just need to find the row number that contains the
last row. The following code locates this row and saves the row number to a variable named
FinalRow:
FinalRow = Range(“A1048576”).End(xlUp).Row
NOTE
There is nothing magical about the variable name FinalRow. You could call this variable x
or y, or even give it your dog’s name. However, because VBA allows you to use meaningful
variable names, you should use something such as FinalRow to describe the final row.
Excel 2007 offers 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns. Excel 97 through Excel 2003 offered 65,536
rows and 256 columns.To make your code flexible enough to handle any versions of Excel, you can
use Rows.Count to learn the total number of rows in the currently running version of Excel.The
preceding code could then be generalized like so:
FinalRow = Cells(Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Row
You can also find the final column in a dataset. If you are relatively sure that the dataset
begins in row 1, you can use the End key in combination with the Left Arrow key to jump
from cell XFD1 to the last column that contains data. To generalize for the possibility that
the code is running in earlier versions of Excel, you can use the following code:
13
FinalCol = Cells(1, Columns.Count).End(xlToLeft).Column
End+Down Arrow Versus End+Up Arrow
You might be tempted to find the final row by starting in cell A1 and using the End key in conjunction with the Down
Arrow key.You should avoid this approach. Data coming from another system is imperfect. If your program will import
500,000 rows from a legacy computer system every day for the next five years, a day will come when someone manages to key a null value into the dataset.This value will cause a blank cell or even a blank row to appear in the middle of
your dataset.The formula Range(“A1”).End(xlDown) will then stop prematurely at the blank cell instead of
including all your data.This blank cell will cause that day’s report to miss thousands of rows of data, a potential disaster
that will call into question the credibility of your report.You should take the extra step of starting at the last row in the
worksheet to greatly reduce the risk of problems.
Learning Tricks of the VBA Trade
363
Using Super-Variables: Object Variables
In typical programming languages, a variable holds a single value. You might use x
assign a value of 4 to the variable x.
= 4
to
Many properties describe a single cell in Excel. A cell might contain a value such as 4, and
the cell also has a font size, a font color, a row, a column, possibly a formula, possibly a comment, a list of precedents, and more. It is possible to use VBA to create a super-variable that
contains all the information about a cell or any other object. A statement to create a typical
variable such as x = Range(“A1”) assigns the current value of cell A1 to the variable x.
You can use the Set keyword to create an object variable:
Set x = Range(“A1”)
This formula creates a super-variable that contains all the properties of the cell. Instead of
having a variable with only one value, you now have a variable in which you can access the
value of many properties associated with that variable. You can reference x.Formula to learn
the formula in cell A1 or x.Font.ColorIndex to learn the color of the cell.
Using object variables can make it easier to write code. Rather than continuously referring to
you can define an object variable and use
that as shorthand. For example, the following code repeatedly refers to the same workbook:
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”),
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”).ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Chart _
.SetSourceData Source:= ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”) _
.Range(“A1:E4”)
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”).ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Left = 10
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”).ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Top = 30
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”).ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Width = 300
ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”).ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Height = 200
If you define an object variable first, the code becomes shorter and easier to write.
NOTE
Dim WS as Worksheet
Set WS = ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”)
WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Chart.SetSourceData Source:= WS.Range(“A1:E4”)
WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Left = 10
WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Top = 30
WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Width = 300
WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”).Height = 200
Provided that you do not type Option Explicit in the code window,VBA does not require you
to declare your variables with the Dim statement. I tend not to declare regular variables. However,
there is a benefit if you use Dim to declare your object variables; Excel will offer AutoComplete
dropdowns showing all of the methods and properties available for the object variable. For this reason, I take the extra time to declare the object variables at the top of each macro.
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Using With and End
With When Referring to an Object
In the previous code, several lines all refer to the same chart object. Rather than reference
this object on every line of code, you could specify the chart object once in a With statement. In each subsequent line, you could leave off the name of the chart and begin the line
with a period. You would end the block of code with an End With statement. This is faster
to write than typing the complete object name multiple times, and it executes faster because
Excel only has to figure out what WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”) means once. The following
code uses the With syntax while setting five properties:
Dim WS as Worksheet
Set WS = ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(“Income Statement”)
With WS.ChartObjects(“Chart1”)
.Chart.SetSourceData Source:= WS.Range(“A1:E4”)
.Left = 10
.Top = 30
.Width = 300
.Height = 200
End With
Continuing a Line
Some lines of code can get very long. To improve readability, you can break a line and continue it. To indicate that the current line is continued on the next line, you can type a space
and then an underscore character. Typically, the convention is to then indent the continued
line of code. This is not required by VBA, but improves readability. For example, the following two lines of code are really a single line of code:
NOTE
FinalCol = Cells(1, Columns.Count). _
End(xlToLeft).Column
13
You are likely to break a line only when you reach the right edge of the code window, but the physical limitations of this book require lines to be broken into much smaller segments. Feel free to rejoin
continued lines into a single line of code in your project.
Adding Comments to Code
When you figure out an interesting technique in code, it’s a good idea to add comments in
the code. This will help you if you return to the code several months later, and it will help
others who have to troubleshoot your code.
The comment character in VBA is a single apostrophe (‘). You can use a single-line comment, a several-line comment, or a comment that takes up only the end of a line. The
Visual Basic Editor changes the color of your comments to green in order to differentiate
them from other code. The following macro has comments to document where you can
turn to for more information:
Sub CommentsImproveReadability()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Referencing Charts and Chart Objects in VBA Code
365
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
‘ Create a chart on a new sheet
Charts.Add
‘ This technique is from chapter 13
‘ of the Excel Charting book
ActiveChart.ChartType = xlColumnClustered
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A1:B4”)
ActiveChart.Interior.ColorIndex = 4 ‘ Green
End Sub
Coding for New Charting Features in Excel 2007
Charts have been completely rewritten in Excel 2007. Most code from Excel 2003 will
continue to work in Excel 2007. However, if you write code to take advantage of the new
charting features, that code will not be backward compatible with Excel 2003.
The following are some of the new methods and features available in Excel 2007:
■ ApplyLayout—This
method applies one of the chart layouts available on the Design
ribbon.
■ SetElement—This
method chooses any of the built-in element choices from the
Layout ribbon.
■ ChartFormat—This
object allows you to change the fill, glow, line, reflection, shadow,
soft edge, or 3-D format of most individual chart elements. This is similar to settings
on the Format ribbon.
■ AddChart—This
method allows you to add a chart to an existing worksheet.
Referencing Charts and Chart Objects in VBA Code
If you go back far enough in Excel history, you find that all charts used to be created as
their own chart sheets. Then, in the mid-1990s, Excel added the amazing capability to
embed a chart right onto an existing worksheet. This allowed a report to be created with
tables of numbers and charts all on the same page, something we take for granted today.
These two different ways of dealing with charts have made it necessary for us to deal with
two separate object models for charts. When a chart is on its own standalone chart sheet,
you are dealing with a Chart object. When a chart is embedded in a worksheet, you are
dealing with a ChartObject object. Excel 2007 introduces a third evolutionary branch
because objects on a worksheet are also a member of the Shapes collection.
In Excel 2003, to reference the color of the chart area for an embedded chart, you would
have to refer to the chart in this manner:
Worksheets(“Jan”).ChartObjects(“Chart 1”).Chart.ChartArea.Interior.ColorIndex = 4
In Excel 2007, you can instead use the Shapes collection:
Worksheets(“Jan”).Shapes(“Chart 1”).Chart.ChartArea.Interior.ColorIndex = 4
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In any version of Excel, if a chart is on its own chart sheet, you don’t have to specify the
container; you can simply refer to the Chart object:
Sheets(“Chart1”).ChartArea.Interior.ColorIndex = 4
Creating a Chart
In previous versions of Excel, you used the Charts.Add command to add a new chart. You
then specified the source data, the type of chart, and whether the chart should be on a new
sheet or embedded on an existing worksheet. The first three lines of the following code
create a clustered column chart on a new chart sheet. The fourth line moves the chart back
to be an embedded object in Sheet1:
Charts.Add
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=Worksheets(“Sheet1”).Range(“A1:E4”)
ActiveChart.ChartType = xlColumnClustered
ActiveChart.Location Where:=xlLocationAsObject, Name:=”Sheet1”
If you plan on sharing your macros with people who still use Excel 2003, you should use
the Charts.Add method. However, if your application will only be running in Excel 2007,
you can use the new AddChart method. The code for the AddChart method can be as simple
as the following:
‘ Create chart on the current sheet
ActiveSheet.Shapes.AddChart.Select
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=Range(“A1:E4”)
ActiveChart.ChartType = xlColumnClustered
Or you can specify the chart type, size, and location as part of the AddChart method, as
described in the next section.
Specifying the Size and Location of a Chart
The AddChart method has additional parameters you can use to specify the type of chart,
the chart’s location on the worksheet, and the size of the chart.
13
The location and size of a chart are specified in points (72 points = 1 inch). For example,
the Top parameter requires the number of points from the top of row 1 to the top edge of
the worksheet.
The following code creates a chart that roughly covers the range C11:J30:
Sub SpecifyLocation()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
WS.Shapes.AddChart(xlColumnClustered, _
Left:=100, Top:=150, _
Width:=400, Height:=300).Select
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A1:E4”)
End Sub
Creating a Chart
367
It would require a lot of trial and error to randomly figure out the exact distance in points
to cause a chart to line up with a certain cell. Luckily, you can ask VBA to tell you the distance in points to a certain cell. If you ask for the Left property of any cell, you find the
distance to the top-left corner of that cell. You can also ask for the width of a range or the
height of a range. For example, the following code creates a chart in exactly C11:J30:
Sub SpecifyExactLocation()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
WS.Shapes.AddChart(xlColumnClustered, _
Left:=WS.Range(“C11”).Left, _
Top:=WS.Range(“C11”).Top, _
Width:=WS.Range(“C11:J11”).Width, _
Height:=WS.Range(“C11:C30”).Height _
).Select
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A1:E4”)
End Sub
In this case, you are not moving the location of the Chart object; rather, you are moving
the location of the container that contains the chart. In Excel 2007, it is either the
ChartObject or the Shape object. If you try to change the actual location of the chart, you
move it within the container. Because you can actually move the chart area a few points in
either direction inside the container, the code will run, but you will not get the desired
results.
To move a chart that has already been created, you can reference either ChartObject or the
Shape and change the Top, Left, Width, and Height properties as shown in the following
macro:
Sub MoveAfterTheFact()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
With WS.ChartObjects(“Chart 9”)
.Left = WS.Range(“C21”).Left
.Top = WS.Range(“C21”).Top
.Width = WS.Range(“C1:H1”).Width
.Height = WS.Range(“C21:C25”).Height
End With
End Sub
Later Referring to a Specific Chart
When a new chart is created, it is given a sequential name, such as Chart 1. If you select a
chart and then look in the name box, you see the name of the chart. In Figure 13.4, the
name of the chart is Chart 16. This does not mean that there are 16 charts on the worksheet. In this particular case, many individual charts have been created and deleted.
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Chapter 13
Figure 13.4
Using Excel VBA to Create Charts
Name Box
You can select a
chart and look in the
name box to find the
name of the chart.
This means that on any given day that your macro runs, the Chart object might have a different name. If you need to reference the chart later in the macro, perhaps after you have
selected other cells and the chart is no longer active, you might ask VBA for the name of
the chart and store it in a variable for later use, as shown here:
13
Sub RememberTheName()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
WS.Shapes.AddChart(xlColumnClustered, _
Left:=WS.Range(“C11”).Left, _
Top:=WS.Range(“C11”).Top, _
Width:=WS.Range(“C11:J11”).Width, _
Height:=WS.Range(“C11:C30”).Height _
).Select
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A1:E4”)
‘ Remember the name in a variable
ThisChartObjectName = ActiveChart.Parent.Name
‘ more lines of code...
‘ then later in the macro, you need to re-assign the chart
With WS.Shapes(ThisChartObjectName)
.Chart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A20:E24”), PlotBy:=xlColumns
.Top = WS.Range(“C26”).Top
End With
End Sub
In the preceding macro, the variable ThisChartObjectName contains the name of the chart
object. This method works great if your changes will happen later in the same macro.
However, after the macro finishes running, the variable will be out of scope, and you won’t
be able to access the name later.
If you want to be able to remember a chart name, you could store the name in an out-ofthe way cell on the worksheet. The first macro here stores the name in cell Z1, and the second macro then later modifies the chart using the name stored in cell Z1:
Sub StoreTheName()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
WS.Shapes.AddChart(xlColumnClustered, _
Recording Commands from the Layout or Design Ribbons
369
Left:=WS.Range(“C11”).Left, _
Top:=WS.Range(“C11”).Top, _
Width:=WS.Range(“C11:J11”).Width, _
Height:=WS.Range(“C11:C30”).Height _
).Select
ActiveChart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A1:E4”)
Range(“Z1”).Value = ActiveChart.Parent.Name
End Sub
After the previous macro stored the name in cell Z1, the following macro will use the value
in Z1 to figure out which macro to change:
Sub ChangeTheChartLater()
Dim WS As Worksheet
Set WS = Worksheets(“Sheet1”)
MyName = WS.Range(“Z1”).Value
With WS.Shapes(MyName)
.Chart.SetSourceData Source:=WS.Range(“A20:E24”), PlotBy:=xlColumns
.Top = WS.Range(“C26”).Top
End With
End Sub
If you need to modify a preexisting chart—such as a chart that you did not create—and
there is only one chart on the worksheet, you can use this line of code:
WS.ChartObjects(1).Chart.Interior.ColorIndex = 4
If there are many charts and you need to find the one with the upper-left corner located in
cell A4, you could loop through all the chart objects until you find one in the correct location, like this:
For each Cht in ActiveSheet.ChartObjects
If Cht.TopLeftCell.Address = “$A$4” then
Cht.Interior.ColorIndex = 4
end if
Next Cht
Recording Commands from the Layout or Design Ribbons
With charts in Excel 2007, there are three levels of chart changes. The global chart settings—
chart type and style—are on the Design ribbon. Selections from the built-in element settings
appear on the Layout ribbon. You make micro-changes by using the Format ribbon.
The macro recorder in Excel 2007 does a great job of recording changes on the Design and
Layout ribbon, so if you need to make certain changes, you can quickly record a macro and
then copy its code.
Specifying a Built-in Chart Type
There are 73 built-in chart types in Excel 2007. To change a chart to one of the 73 types,
you use the ChartType property. This property can either be applied to a chart or to a series
within a chart. Here’s an example that changes the type for the entire chart:
ActiveChart.ChartType = xlBubble
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To change the second series on a chart to a line chart, you use this:
ActiveChart.Series(2).ChartType = xlLine
Table 13.1 lists the 73 chart type constants that you can use to create various charts. The
sequence of Table 13.1 matches the sequence of the charts in the Chart Type dialog.
Table 13.1 Chart Types for Use in VBA
13
Chart Type
Constant
Chart Type
Constant
Clustered
Column
xlColumnClustered
3-D
Cone
xlConeCol
Stacked
Column
xlColumnStacked
Clustered
Pyramid
xlPyramid
100% Stacked xlColumnStacked100
Column
Stacked
Pyramid
xlPyramid
3-D Clustered xl3DColumnClustered
Column
100% Stacked xlPyramidCol
Pyramid
Stacked100
Stacked Column
in 3-D
3-D
Pyramid
xlPyramidCol
100% Stacked xl3DColumn
Column in 3-D Stacked100
Line
xlLine
3-D
Column
xl3DColumn
Stacked
Line
xlLineStacked
Clustered
Cylinder
xlCylinder
100% Stacked xlLineStacked100
Line
Stacked
Cylinder
xlCylinder
xl3DColumnStacked
ColClustered
ColClustered
ColStacked
Line with
Markers
xlLineMarkers
100% Stacked xlCylinder
Cylinder
ColStacked100
Stacked Line
with Markers
xlLineMarkers
3-D
Cylinder
xlCylinderCol
100% Stacked xlLineMarkers
Line with
Stacked100
Markers
Clustered
Cone
xlCone
Stacked
Cone
xlConeColStacked
ColStacked
ColClustered
100% Stacked xlConeCol
Cone
Stacked100
Stacked
3-D Line
xl3DLine
Pie
xlPie
Pie in 3-D
xl3DPie
Recording Commands from the Layout or Design Ribbons
Chart Type
371
Chart Type
Constant
Pie of Pie
xlPieOfPie
100% Stacked xlConeBarStacked100
Horizontal Cone
Constant
Exploded Pie
xlPieExploded
xlPyramidBarClustered
Exploded Pie
in 3-D
Clustered
Horizontal
Pyramid
xl3DPieExploded
xlPyramidBarStacked
Bar of Pie
xlBarOfPie
Stacked
Horizontal
Pyramid
Clustered Bar
xlBarClustered
100% Stacked xlPyramidBar
Horizontal
Stacked100
Pyramid
Stacked Bar
xlBarStacked
Area
xlArea
100%
Stacked Bar
xlBarStacked100
Stacked Area
xlAreaStacked
Clustered Bar
in 3-D
xl3DBarClustered
100%
Stacked Area
xlAreaStacked100
Stacked Bar
in 3-D
xl3DBarStacked
3-D Area
xl3DArea
100% Stacked xl3DBarStacked100
Bar in 3-D
Stacked Area
in 3-D
xl3DAreaStacked
Clustered
Horizontal
Cylinder
xlCylinderBar
Clustered
100% Stacked xl3DAreaStacked100
Area in 3-D
xlCylinderBar
Scatter with
Only Markers
xlXYScatter
Stacked
Horizontal
Cylinder
Scatter with
Smooth Lines
and Markers
xlXYScatterSmooth
Scatter with
Smooth Lines
xlXYScatter
Scatter with
Straight Lines
and Markers
xlXYScatterLines
Stacked
100% Stacked xlCylinderBar
Horizontal
Stacked100
Cylinder
Clustered
Horizontal
Cone
xlConeBar
Stacked
Horizontal
Cone
xlConeBarStacked
Clustered
SmoothNoMarkers
continues
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Table 13.1 continued
Chart Type
Constant
Chart Type
Constant
Scatter with
Straight Lines
xlXYScatter
Wireframe
Contour
xlSurfaceTopView
Doughnut
xlDoughnut
Exploded
Doughnut
xlDoughnutExploded
Volume-High- xlStockVHLC
Low-Close
Bubble
xlBubble
Volume-Open- xlStockVOHLC
High-Low-Close
Bubble with a
3-D Effect
xlBubble3DEffect
3-D Surface
Radar
xlRadar
Wireframe 3-D xlSurfaceWireframe
Surface
Radar with
Markers
xlRadarMarkers
Contour
Filled Radar
xlRadarFilled
LinesNoMarkers
High-Low-Close
Open-HighLow-Close
xlStockHLC
xlStockOHLC
xlSurface
xlSurfaceTopView
Wireframe
Specifying a Template Chart Type
In “Creating a Chart Template” in Chapter 2, you learned how to create a custom chart
template. This is a great technique for saving time when you are creating a chart with a lot
of custom formatting.
A VBA macro can make use of a custom chart template, provided that you plan on distributing the custom chart template to each person who will run your macro.
13
In Excel 2007, you save custom chart types as .crtx files and stored them in the
%appdata%\Microsoft\Templates\Charts\ folder.
To apply a custom chart type, you use the following:
ActiveChart.ApplyChartTemplate (“MyChart.crtx”)
If the chart template does not exist, VBA returns an error. If you would like Excel to simply
continue without displaying a debug error, you can turn on an error handler before the
code and turn it back on when you are done. Here’s how you do that:
On Error Resume Next
ActiveChart.ApplyChartTemplate (“MyChart.crtx”)
On Error GoTo 0 ‘ that final character is a zero
Recording Commands from the Layout or Design Ribbons
373
Changing a Chart’s Layout or Style
Two galleries—the Chart Layout gallery and the Styles gallery—make up the bulk of the
Design ribbon.
The Chart Layout gallery offers from 4 to 12 combinations of chart elements. These combinations are different for various chart types. When you look at the gallery shown in
Figure 13.5, the ToolTips for the layouts show that the layouts are imaginatively named
Layout 1 through Layout 11.
Figure 13.5
The built-in layouts for
column charts are numbered 1 through 11. For
other chart types, you
might have 4 to 12
layouts
Layout 1
Layout 11
In order to apply one of the built-in layouts in a macro, you have to use the ApplyLayout
method with a number from 1 through 12 to correspond to the built-in layouts. The following code will apply Layout 1 to the active chart:
ActiveChart.ApplyLayout 1
CAUTION
While line charts offer 12 built-in layouts, other types such as radar charts offer as few as four builtin layouts. If you attempt to specify apply a layout number that is larger than the layouts available
for the current chart type, Excel will return a runtime error 5. Unless you just created the active chart
in the same macro, there is always the possibility that the person running the macro changed your
line charts to radar charts, so include some error handling before you use the ApplyLayout
command.
13
Clearly, in order to effectively use a built-in layout, you must have actually built a chart by
hand and found a layout that you actually like.
As shown in Figure 13.6, the Styles gallery contains 48 styles. These layouts are also numbered sequentially, with Styles 1 through 8 in row 1, Styles 9 through 16 in row 2, and so
on. These styles actually follow a bit of a pattern:
374
Chapter 13
Using Excel VBA to Create Charts
Figure 13.6
The built-in styles
are numbered 1
through 48.
Simple
Moderate
Layout 1
Intense
Dark
background
Monochrome Multiple Colors
Layout 48
■
Styles 1, 9, 17, 25, 33, and 41 (that is, the styles in column 1) are monochrome.
■
Styles 2, 10, 18, 26, 34, and 42 (that is, the styles in column 2) use different colors for
each point.
■
All the other styles use hues of a particular theme color.
■
Styles 1 through 8 use simple effects.
■
Styles 9 through 17 use moderate effects.
■
Styles 33 through 40 use intense effects.
■
Styles 41 through 48 appear on a dark background.
If you are going to mix styles in a single workbook, you should consider staying within a
single row or a single column of the gallery.
To apply a style to a chart, you use the ChartStyle property, assigning it a value from 1 to 48:
ActiveChart.ChartStyle = 1
13
The ChartStyle property changes the colors in the chart. However, a number of formatting
changes from the Format ribbon do not get overwritten when you change the ChartStyle
property. For example, in Figure 13.7, the second series previously had a glow applied and
the third series had a clear glass bevel applied. Running the preceding code did not clear
that formatting.
Figure 13.7
Setting the
ChartStyle
property does not
override all settings.
Using SetElement to Emulate Changes on the Layout Ribbon
375
To clear any previous formatting, you use the ClearToMatchStyle method:
ActiveChart.ChartStyle = 1
ActiveChart.ClearToMatchStyle
Using SetElement to Emulate Changes on the Layout Ribbon
As discussed in Chapter 2, “Customizing Charts,” the Layout ribbon contains a number of
built-in settings. Figure 13.8 shows a few of the built-in menu items for the Legend tab.
There are similar menus for each of the icons in the figure.
Figure 13.8
There are built-in menus
similar to this one for
each icon. If your choice
is in the menu, the
VBA code uses the
SetElement method.
If you use a built-in menu item to change the titles, legend, labels, axes, gridlines, or background, it is probably handled in code that uses the SetElement method, which is new in
Excel 2007.
SetElement does not work with the More choices at the bottom of each menu. It also does
not work with the 3-D Rotation button. Other than that, you can use SetElement to
change everything in the Labels, Axes, Background, and Analysis groups.
The macro recorder always works for the built-in settings on the Layout ribbon. If you
don’t feel like looking up the proper constant in this book, you can always quickly record a
macro.
The SetElement method is followed by a constant that specifies which menu item to select.
For example, if you want to choose Show Legend at Left, you can use this code:
ActiveChart.SetElement msoElementLegendLeft
Table 13.2 shows all the available constants that you can use with the SetElement method.
These are in roughly the same order as they appear on the Layout ribbon.
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Table 13.2 Constants Available with SetElement
13
Layout Ribbon Icon
Chart Element Constant
Chart Title
msoElementChartTitleNone
Chart Title
msoElementChartTitleCenteredOverlay
Chart Title
msoElementChartTitleAboveChart
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisTitleNone
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisTitleBelowAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisTitleAdjacentToAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisTitleHorizontal
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisTitleVertical
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisTitleRotated
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisTitleAdjacentToAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisTitleBelowAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisTitleHorizontal
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisTitleNone
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisTitleRotated
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisTitleVertical
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisTitleAdjacentToAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisTitleBelowAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisTitleHorizontal
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisTitleNone
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisTitleRotated
Axis Titles
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisTitleVertical
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisTitleBelowAxis
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisTitleHorizontal
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisTitleNone
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisTitleRotated
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisTitleVertical
Axis Titles
msoElementSeriesAxisTitleHorizontaI
Axis Titles
msoElementSeriesAxisTitleNone
Axis Titles
msoElementSeriesAxisTitleRotated
Axis Titles
msoElementSeriesAxisTitleVertical
Axis Titles
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisTitleAdjacentToAxis
Using SetElement to Emulate Changes on the Layout Ribbon
Layout Ribbon Icon
Chart Element Constant
Legend
msoElementLegendNone
Legend
msoElementLegendRight
Legend
msoElementLegendTop
Legend
msoElementLegendLeft
Legend
msoElementLegendBottom
Legend
msoElementLegendRightOverlay
Legend
msoElementLegendLeftOverlay
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelCenter
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelInsideEnd
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelNone
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelInsideBase
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelOutSideEnd
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelTop
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelBottom
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelRight
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelLeft
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelShow
Data Labels
msoElementDataLabelBestFit
Data Labels
msoElementDataTableNone
Data Labels
msoElementDataTableShow
Data Labels
msoElementDataTableWithLegendKeys
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisNone
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisShow
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisWithoutLabels
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisReverse
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisThousands
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisMillions
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisBillions
Axis
msoElementPrimaryCategoryAxisLogScale
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisNone
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisShow
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisWithoutLabels
377
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continues
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Table 13.2 continued
13
Layout Ribbon Icon
Chart Element Constant
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisReverse
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisThousands
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisMillions
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisBillions
Axis
msoElementSecondaryCategoryAxisLogScale
Axis
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisNone
Axis
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisShow
Axis
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisThousands
Axis
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisMillions
Axis
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisBillions
Axis
msoElementPrimaryValueAxisLogScale
Axis
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisNone
Axis
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisShow
Axis
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisThousands
Axis
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisMillions
Axis
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisBillions
Axis
msoElementSecondaryValueAxisLogScale
Axis
msoElementSeriesAxisNone
Axis
msoElementSeriesAxisShow
Axis
msoElementSeriesAxisReverse
Axis
msoElementSeriesAxisWithoutLabeling
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryCategoryGridLinesNone
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryCategoryGridLinesMajor
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryCategoryGridLinesMinor
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryCategoryGridLinesMinorMajor
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryCategoryGridLinesNone
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryCategoryGridLinesMajor
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryCategoryGridLinesMinor
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryCategoryGridLinesMinorMajor
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryValueGridLinesNone
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryValueGridLinesMajor
Using SetElement to Emulate Changes on the Layout Ribbon
Layout Ribbon Icon
Chart Element Constant
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryValueGridLinesMinor
GridLines
msoElementPrimaryValueGridLinesMinorMajor
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryValueGridLinesNone
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryValueGridLinesMajor
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryValueGridLinesMinor
GridLines
msoElementSecondaryValueGridLinesMinorMajor
GridLines
msoElementSeriesAxisGridLinesNone
GridLines
msoElementSeriesAxisGridLinesMajor
GridLines
msoElementSeriesAxisGridLinesMinor
GridLines
msoElementSeriesAxisGridLinesMinorMajor
Plot Area
msoElementPlotAreaNone
Plot Area
msoElementPlotAreaShow
Chart Wall
msoElementChartWallNone
Chart Wall
msoElementChartWallShow
Chart Floor
msoElementChartFloorNone
Chart Floor
msoElementChartFloorShow
Trendline
msoElementTrendlineNone
Trendline
msoElementTrendlineAddLinear
Trendline
msoElementTrendlineAddExponential
Trendline
msoElementTrendlineAddLinearForecast
Trendline
msoElementTrendlineAddTwoPeriodMovingAverage
Lines
msoElementLineNone
Lines
msoElementLineDropLine
Lines
msoElementLineHiLoLine
Lines
msoElementLineDropHiLoLine
Lines
msoElementLineSeriesLine
Up/Down Bars
msoElementUpDownBarsNone
Up/Down Bars
msoElementUpDownBarsShow
Error Bar
msoElementErrorBarNone
Error Bar
msoElementErrorBarStandardError
Error Bar
msoElementErrorBarPercentage
Error Bar
msoElementErrorBarStandardDeviation
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CAUTION
If you attempt to format an element that is not present, Excel returns a -2147467259 Method Failed
error.
Changing a Chart Title Using VBA
The Layout ribbon’s built-in menus let you add a title above a chart, but they don’t offer
you the ability to change the characters in a chart title or axis title
In the user interface, you can simply double-click the chart title text and type a new title to
change the title. Unfortunately, the macro recorder does not record this action.
To specify a chart title, you must type this code:
ActiveChart.ChartTitle.Caption = “My Chart”
Similarly, you can specify the axis titles by using the Caption property. The following code
will change the axis title along the category axis:
ActiveChart.Axes(xlCategory, xlPrimary).AxisTitle.Caption = “Months”
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
In Excel 2007, the macro recorder does not record any actions that happen in the Format
ribbon or in the More dialog boxes on the Layout ribbon. This is incredibly frustrating. It
is particularly frustrating because Excel 2003 could record these changes with the macro
recorder. One solution, if you still have Excel 2003 installed, is to format your chart in
Excel 2003 while the macro recorder is on. You can then use that code in Excel 2007,
although you then can’t make use of all the new formatting features. For information on
discovering charting elements without the assistance of the macro recorder, see “Using the
Watch Window to Discover Object Settings,” later in this chapter.
Using the Format Method to Access New Formatting Options
13
Excel 2007 introduces a new object called the ChartFormat object. This object contains the
settings for Fill, Glow, Line, PictureFormat, Shadow, SoftEdge, TextFrame2, and ThreeD. You
can access the ChartFormat object by using the Format method on many chart elements.
Table 13.3 lists a sampling of chart elements that can be formatted using the Format
method.
The Format method is the gateway to settings for Fill, Glow, and so on. Each of those
objects has different options. The following sections give examples of how to set up each
type of format.
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
Chart Element
381
VBA to Refer to This Chart Element
Table 13.3 Chart Elements to Which Formatting Applies
Chart Element
VBA to Refer to This Chart Element
Chart Title
ChartTitle
Axis Title - Category
Axes(xlCategory, xlPrimary).AxisTitle
Axis Title - Value
Axes(xlValue, xlPrimary).AxisTitle
Legend
Legend
Data Labels for Series 1
SeriesCollection(1).DataLabels
Data Labels for Point 2
SeriesCollection(1).DataLabel(2), or
SeriesCollection(1).Points(2).DataLabels
Data Table
DataTable
Axes - Horizontal
Axes(xlCategory, xlPrimary)
Axes - Vertical
Axes(xlValue, xlPrimary)
Axis - Series
Axes(xlSeries, xlPrimary)
(Surface Charts Only)
Major Gridlines
Axes(xlValue, xlPrimary).MajorGridlines
Minor Gridlines
Axes(xlValue, xlPrimary).MinorGridlines
Plot Area
PlotArea
Chart Area
ChartArea
Chart Wall
Walls
Chart Back Wall
BackWall
Chart Side Wall
SideWall
Chart Floor
Floor
Trendline for Series 1
SeriesCollection(1).TrendLines(1)
Droplines
ChartGroups(1).DropLines
Up/Down Bars
ChartGroups(1).UpBars
Error Bars
SeriesCollection(1).ErrorBars
Series(1)
SeriesCollection(1)
Series(1) DataPoint
SeriesCollection(1).Points(3)
Changing an Object’s Fill
As shown in Figure 13.9, the Shape Fill drop-down on the Format ribbon allows you to
choose a single color, a gradient, a picture, or a texture for the fill.
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Figure 13.9
Fill options include a
solid color, a gradient, a texture, or a
picture.
To apply a specific color, you can use the RGB (red, green, blue) setting. To create a color,
you specify a value from 0 to 255 for levels of red, green, and blue. The following code
applies a simple blue fill:
Dim cht As Chart
Dim upb As UpBars
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set upb = cht.ChartGroups(1).UpBars
upb.Format.Fill.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(0, 0, 255)
If you would like an object to pick up the color from a specific theme accent color, you use
the ObjectThemeColor property. The following code changes the bar color of the first series
to accent color 6 (which is an orange color in the Office theme but might be another color
if the workbook is using a different theme):
13
Sub ApplyThemeColor()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
ser.Format.Fill.ForeColor.ObjectThemeColor = msoThemeColorAccent6
End Sub
To apply a built-in texture, you use the PresetTextured method. The following code
applies a green marble texture to the second series, but there are 20 different textures that
can be applied:
Sub ApplyTexture()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
383
TIP
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(2)
ser.Format.Fill.PresetTextured (msoTextureGreenMarble)
End Sub
When you type PresetTextured followed by an open parenthesis, the VBA editor offers a complete list of possible texture values.
To fill the bars of a data series with a picture, you use the UserPicture method and specify
the path and filename of an image on the computer, as in the following example:
Sub FormatWithPicture()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
MyPic = “C:\PodCastTitle1.jpg”
ser.Format.Fill.UserPicture (MyPic)
End Sub
Gradients are more difficult to specify than fills. Excel 2007 offers three methods that help
you set up the common gradients. The OneColorGradient and TwoColorGradient methods
require that you specify a gradient direction such as msoGradientFromCorner. You can then
specify one of four styles, numbered 1 through 4, depending on whether you want the gradient to start at the top left, top right, bottom left, or bottom right. After using a gradient
method, you need to specify the ForeColor and the BackColor settings for the object. The
following macro sets up a two-color gradient using two theme colors:
Sub TwoColorGradient()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
MyPic = “C:\PodCastTitle1.jpg”
ser.Format.Fill.TwoColorGradient msoGradientFromCorner, 3
ser.Format.Fill.ForeColor.ObjectThemeColor = msoThemeColorAccent6
ser.Format.Fill.BackColor.ObjectThemeColor = msoThemeColorAccent2
End Sub
When using the OneColorGradient method, you specify a direction, a style (1 through 4),
and a darkness value between 0 and 1 (0 for darker gradients or 1 for lighter gradients).
When using the PresetGradient method, you specify a direction, a style (1 through 4), and
the type of gradient (for example, msoGradientBrass, msoGradientLateSunset, or
msoGradientRainbow). Again, as you are typing this code in the VBA editor, the
AutoComplete tool provides a complete list of the available preset gradient types.
Formatting Line Settings
The LineFormat object formats either a line or the border around an object. You can
change numerous properties for a line, such as the color, arrows, dash style, and so on.
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The following macro formats the trendline for the first series in a chart:
Sub FormatLineOrBorders()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
With cht.SeriesCollection(1).Trendlines(1).Format.Line
.DashStyle = msoLineLongDashDotDot
.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(50, 0, 128)
.BeginArrowheadLength = msoArrowheadShort
.BeginArrowheadStyle = msoArrowheadOval
.BeginArrowheadWidth = msoArrowheadNarrow
.EndArrowheadLength = msoArrowheadLong
.EndArrowheadStyle = msoArrowheadTriangle
.EndArrowheadWidth = msoArrowheadWide
End With
End Sub
When you are formatting a border, the arrow settings are not relevant, so the code is
shorter than the code for formatting a line. The following macro formats the border
around a chart:
Sub FormatBorder()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
With cht.ChartArea.Format.Line
.DashStyle = msoLineLongDashDotDot
.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(50, 0, 128)
End With
End Sub
Formatting Glow Settings
NOTE
To create a glow, you have to specify a color and a radius. The radius value can be from 1
to 20. A radius of 1 is barely visible, and a radius of 20 is often way too thick.
13
A glow is actually applied to the shape outline. If you try to add a glow to an object where the outline is set to None, you cannot see the glow.
The following macro adds a line around the title and adds a glow around that line:
Sub AddGlowToTitle()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.ChartTitle.Format.Line.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(255, 255, 255)
cht.ChartTitle.Format.Line.DashStyle = msoLineSolid
cht.ChartTitle.Format.Glow.Color.ObjectThemeColor = msoThemeColorAccent6
cht.ChartTitle.Format.Glow.Radius = 8
End Sub
Formatting Shadow Settings
A shadow is composed of a color, a transparency, and the number of points by which the
shadow should be offset from the object. If you increase the number of points, it appears
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
385
that the object is farther from the surface of the chart. The horizontal offset is known as
OffsetX, and the vertical offset is known as OffsetY.
The following macro adds a light blue shadow to the box surrounding a legend:
Sub FormatShadow()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
With cht.Legend.Format.Shadow
.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(0, 0, 128)
.OffsetX = 5
.OffsetY = -3
.Transparency = 0.5
.Visible = True
End With
End Sub
Formatting Reflection Settings
No chart elements can have reflections applied. The Reflection settings on the Format ribbon are constantly grayed out when a chart is selected. Similarly, the ChartFormat object
does not have a reflection object.
Formatting Soft Edges
There are six levels of soft edge settings. The settings feather the edges by 1, 2.5, 5, 10, 25,
or 50 points. The first setting is barely visible. The biggest settings are usually larger than
most of the chart elements you are likely to format.
Microsoft says that the following is the proper syntax for SoftEdge:
Chart.Series(1).Points(i).Format.SoftEdge.Type = msoSoftEdgeType1
However, msoSoftEdgeType1 and words like it are really variables defined by Excel. To try a
cool trick, go to the VBA editor and open the Immediate pane by pressing Ctrl+G. In the
Immediate pane, type Print msoSoftEdgeType2 and press Enter. The Immediate window
tells you that using this word is equivalent to typing 2. So, you could either use
msoSoftEdgeType2 or the value 2.
If you use msoSoftEdgeType2, your code will be slightly easier to understand than if you use
simply 2. However, if you hope to format each point of a data series with a different format,
you might want to use a loop such as this one, in which case it is far easier to use just the
numbers 1 through 6 than msoSoftEdgeType1 through msoSoftEdgeType6 as shown in this
macro:
Sub FormatSoftEdgesWithLoop()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
For i = 1 To 6
ser.Points(i).Format.SoftEdge.Type = i
Next i
End Sub
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CAUTION
It is a bit strange that the soft edges are defined as a fixed number of points. In a chart that is sized
to fit an entire sheet of paper, a 10-point soft edge might work fine. However, if you resize the chart
so that you can fit six charts on a page, a 10-point soft edge applied to all sides of a column might
make the column completely disappear.
Formatting 3-D Rotation Settings
The 3-D settings handle three different menus on the Format ribbon. In the Shape Effects
drop-down, settings under Preset, Bevel, and 3-D are all actually handled by the ThreeD
object in the ChartFormat object. This section discusses settings that affect the 3-D rotation. The next section discusses settings that affect the bevel and 3-D format.
The methods and properties that can be set for the ThreeD object are very broad. In fact,
the 3-D settings in VBA include more preset options than do the menus on the Format
ribbon.
Figure 13.10 shows the presets available in the 3-D Rotation fly-out menu.
Figure 13.10
Whereas the 3-D
Rotation menu
offers 25 presets,
VBA offers 62
presets.
13
In order to apply one of the 3-D rotation presets to a chart element, you use the
SetPresetCamera method, as shown here:
Sub Assign3DPreset()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim shp As Shape
Set cht = ActiveChart
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
387
Set shp = cht.Shapes(1)
shp.ThreeD.SetPresetCamera msoCameraIsometricLeftDown
End Sub
Table 13.4 lists all the possible SetPresetCamera values. If the first column indicates that it
is a bonus or an Excel 2003 style, the value is a preset that is available in VBA but was not
chosen by Microsoft to be included in the 3-D Rotation fly-out menu.
Table 13.4 3-D Preset Formats and Their VBA Constant Values
Menu Location
Description
VBA Value
Parallel group, row 1, column 1
Isometric Left Down
msoCameraIsometricLeftDown
Parallel group, row 1, column 2
Isometric Right Up
msoCameraIsometricRightUp
Parallel group, row 1, column 3
Isometric Top Up
msoCameraIsometricTopUp
Parallel group, row 1, column 4
Isometric Bottom
Down
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis1
Left
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis1
Right
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis1
Top
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis2
Left
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis2
Right
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis2
Top
msoCameraIsometric
Parallel group, bonus selection
Isometric Bottom Up
msoCameraIsometricBottomUp
Parallel group, bonus selection
Isometric Left Up
msoCameraIsometricLeftUp
Parallel group, bonus selection
Isometric OffAxis3
Bottom
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis3
Left
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis3
Right
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis4
Bottom
msoCameraIsometric
Isometric OffAxis4
Left
msoCameraIsometric
Parallel group, row 2, column 1
Parallel group, row 2, column 2
Parallel group, row 2, column 3
Parallel group, row 2, column 4
Parallel group, row 3, column 1
Parallel group, row 3, column 2
Parallel group, bonus selection
Parallel group, bonus selection
Parallel group, bonus selection
Parallel group, bonus selection
BottomDown
OffAxis1Left
OffAxis1Right
OffAxis1Top
OffAxis2Left
OffAxis2Right
OffAxis2Top
13
OffAxis3Bottom
OffAxis3Left
OffAxis3Right
OffAxis4Bottom
OffAxis4Left
continues
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Table 13.4 continued
Menu Location
Description
VBA Value
Parallel group, bonus selection
Isometric OffAxis4
Right
msoCameraIsometric
Parallel group, bonus selection
Isometric Right Down
msoCameraIsometricRightDown
Parallel group, bonus selection
Isometric Top Down
msoCameraIsometricTopDown
Perspective group, row 1, column 1
Perspective Front
msoCameraPerspectiveFront
Perspective group, row 1, column 2
Perspective Left
msoCameraPerspectiveLeft
Perspective group, row 1, column 3
Perspective Right
msoCameraPerspectiveRight
Perspective group, row 1, column 4
Perspective Below
msoCameraPerspectiveBelow
Perspective group, row 2, column 1
Perspective Above
msoCameraPerspectiveAbove
Perspective group, row 2, column 2
Perspective Relaxed
Moderately
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective group, row 2, column 3
Perspective Relaxed
msoCameraPerspectiveRelaxed
Perspective group, row 2, column 4
Perspective Contrasting
Left Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Contrasting
Right Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Heroic
Extreme Left Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Heroic
Extreme Right Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Above
Left Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Above
Right Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Heroic
Left Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective Heroic
Right Facing
msoCameraPerspective
Perspective group, row 3, column 1
Perspective group, row 3, column 2
Perspective group, row 3, column 3
Perspective group, bonus selection
Perspective group, bonus selection
Perspective group, bonus selection
13
Perspective group, bonus selection
OffAxis4Right
RelaxedModerately
ContrastingLeftFacing
ContrastingRightFacing
HeroicExtremeLeftFacing
HeroicExtremeRightFacing
AboveLeftFacing
AboveRightFacing
HeroicLeftFacing
HeroicRightFacing
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Bottom
msoCameraLegacy
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Lower Left
msoCameraLegacy
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Lower Right
msoCameraLegacy
PerspectiveBottom
PerspectiveBottomLeft
PerspectiveBottomRight
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
Menu Location
Description
389
VBA Value
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Front
msoCameraLegacy
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective Left
msoCameraLegacy
PerspectiveFront
PerspectiveLeft
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Right
msoCameraLegacy
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective Top
msoCameraLegacy
PerspectiveRight
PerspectiveTop
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Upper Left
msoCameraLegacy
Perspective group, Excel 2003 styles Legacy Perspective
Upper Right
msoCameraLegacy
Oblique group, row 1, column 1
Oblique Upper Left
msoCameraObliqueTopLeft
Oblique group, row 1, column 2
Oblique Upper Right
msoCameraObliqueTopRight
Oblique group, row 1, column 3
Oblique Lower Left
msoCameraObliqueBottomLeft
Oblique group, row 1, column 4
Oblique Lower Right
msoCameraObliqueBottomRight
Oblique group, bonus selection
Oblique Bottom
msoCameraObliqueBottom
Oblique group, bonus selection
Oblique Left
msoCameraObliqueLeft
Oblique group, bonus selection
Oblique Right
msoCameraObliqueRight
Oblique group, bonus selection
Oblique Top
msoCameraObliqueTop
Oblique group, bonus selection
Orthographic Front
msoCameraOrthographicFront
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique Bottom
msoCameraLegacy
PerspectiveTopLeft
PerspectiveTopRight
ObliqueBottom
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique
Lower Left
msoCameraLegacy
Legacy Oblique
Lower Right
msoCameraLegacy
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique Front
msoCameraLegacyObliqueFront
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique Left
msoCameraLegacyObliqueLeft
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique Right
msoCameraLegacyObliqueRight
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique Top
msoCameraLegacyObliqueTop
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Legacy Oblique
Upper Left
msoCameraLegacy
Legacy Oblique
Upper Right
msoCameraLegacy
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
Oblique group, Excel 2003 styles
ObliqueBottomLeft
ObliqueBottomRight
ObliqueTopLeft
ObliqueTopRight
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If you prefer not to use the presets, you can explicitly control the rotation around the x-, y-,
or z-axis. You can use the following properties and methods to change the rotation of an
object:
■ RotationX—Returns
or sets the rotation of the extruded shape around the x-axis, in
degrees. This can be a value from -90 through 90. A positive value indicates upward
rotation; a negative value indicates downward rotation.
■ RotationY—Returns
or sets the rotation of the extruded shape around the y-axis, in
degrees. Can be a value from -90 through 90. A positive value indicates rotation to the
left; a negative value indicates rotation to the right.
■ RotationZ—Returns
or sets the rotation of the extruded shape around the z-axis, in
degrees. Can be a value from -90 through 90. A positive value indicates upward rotation; a negative value indicates downward rotation.
■ IncrementRotationX—Changes
the rotation of the specified shape around the x-axis by
the specified number of degrees. You specify an increment from -90 to 90. Negative
degrees tip the object down, and positive degrees tip the object up. (You can use the
RotationX property to set the absolute rotation of the shape around the x-axis.)
■ IncrementRotationY—Changes
the rotation of the specified shape around the y-axis by
the specified number of degrees. A positive value tilts the object left, and a negative
value tips the object right. (You can use the RotationY property to set the absolute
rotation of the shape around the y-axis.)
■ IncrementRotationZ—Changes
the rotation of the specified shape around the z-axis by
the specified number of degrees. A positive value tilts the object left, and a negative
value tips the object right. (You can use the RotationZ property to set the absolute
rotation of the shape around the z-axis.)
■ IncrementRotationHorizontal—Changes
the rotation of the specified shape horizontally by the specified number of degrees. You specify an increment from -90 to 90 to
specify how much (in degrees) the rotation of the shape is to be changed horizontally.
A positive value moves the shape left; a negative value moves it right.
■ IncrementRotationVertical—Changes
13
the rotation of the specified shape vertically by
the specified number of degrees. You specify an increment from -90 to 90 to specify
how much (in degrees) the rotation of the shape is to be changed horizontally. A positive value moves the shape left; a negative value moves it right.
■ ResetRotation—Resets
the extrusion rotation around the x-axis and the y-axis to 0 so
that the front of the extrusion faces forward. This method doesn’t reset the rotation
around the z-axis.
Changing the Bevel and 3-D Format
There are 12 presets in the Bevel fly-out menu. These presets affect the bevel on the top
face of the object. Usually in charts you see the top face; however, there are some bizarre
rotations of a 3-D chart where you see the bottom face of charting elements.
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
391
The Format Shape dialog contains the same 12 presets as the Bevel fly-out but allows you
to apply the preset to the top or bottom face. You can also control the width and height of
the bevel. The VBA properties and methods correspond to the settings on the 3-D Format
category of the Format Shape dialog. (See Figure 13.11.)
Figure 13.11
You can control the 3-D
Format settings, such
as bevel, surface, and
lighting.
You set the type of bevel by using the BevelTopType and BevelBottomType properties. You
can further modify the bevel type by setting the BevelTopInset value to set the width and
the BevelTopDepth value to set the height. The following macro adds a bevel to the
columns of Series 1:
Sub AssignBevel()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
ser.Format.ThreeD.Visible = True
ser.Format.ThreeD.BevelTopType = msoBevelCircle
ser.Format.ThreeD.BevelTopInset = 16
ser.Format.ThreeD.BevelTopDepth = 6
End Sub
The 12 possible settings for the bevel type are shown in Table 13.5; these settings correspond to the thumbnails shown in Figure 13.12. To turn off the bevel, you use
msoBevelNone.
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Figure 13.12
Samples of the 12
bevel types listed in
Table 13.5.
Table 13.5 Bevel Types
Constant
msoBevelCircle
msoBevelRelaxedInset
msoBevelCross
msoBevelCoolSlant
msoBevelAngle
13
msoBevelSoftRound
msoBevelConvex
msoBevelSlope
msoBevelDivot
msoBevelRiblet
msoBevelHardEdge
msoBevelArtDeco
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
393
Usually, the accent color used in a bevel is based on the color used to fill the object. If you
would like control over the extrusion color, however, you first specify that the extrusion
color type is custom and then specify either a theme accent color or an RGB color, as in
the following example:
ser.Format.ThreeD.ExtrusionColorType = msoExtrusionColorCustom
‘ either use this:
ser.Format.ThreeD.ExtrusionColor.ObjectThemeColor = msoThemeColorAccent1
‘ or this:
ser.Format.ThreeD.ExtrusionColor.RGB = RGB(255, 0, 0)
You use the Depth property to control the amount of extrusion in the bevel, and you specify
the depth in points. Here’s an example:
ser.Format.ThreeD.Depth = 5
For the contour, you can specify either a color and a size of the contour or both. You can
specify the color as an RGB value or a theme color. You specify the size in points, using the
ContourWidth property. Here’s an example:
ser.Format.ThreeD.ContourColor.RGB = RGB(0, 255, 0)
ser.Format.ThreeD.ContourWidth = 10
The Surface drop-downs are controlled by the following properties:
■ PresetMaterial—This
contains choices from the Material drop-down.
■ PresetLighting—This
contains choices from the Lighting drop-down.
■ LightAngle—This
controls the angle from which the light is shining on the object.
Figure 13.13 shows the Material drop-down menu from the 3-D category of the Format
dialog box. Although the drop-down offers 11 settings, it appears that Microsoft designed a
12th setting in the object model. It is not clear why Microsoft does not offer the SoftMetal
style in the dialog box, but you can use it in VBA. There are also three legacy styles in the
object model that are not available in the Format dialog box. In theory, the new Plastic2
material is better than the old Plastic material. The settings for each thumbnail are shown
in Table 13.6.
Figure 13.13
Samples of the 11
material types shown in
Table 13.6.
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Table 13.6 VBA Constants for Material Types
Bonus
13
Type
VBA Constant
Matte
msoMaterialMatte2
5
Warm Matte
msoMaterialWarmMatte
8
Plastic
msoMaterialPlastic2
6
Metal
msoMaterialMetal2
7
Dark Edge
msoMaterialDarkEdge
11
Soft Edge
msoMaterialSoftEdge
12
Flat
msoMaterialFlat
14
Wire Frame
msoMaterialWireFrame
Powder
msoMaterialPowder
Translucent Powder
msoMaterialTranslucentPowder
Clear
msoMaterialClear
13
msoMaterialMatte
1
msoMaterialPlastic
2
msoMaterialMetal
3
msoMaterialSoftMetal
Value
4
10
9
15
In Excel 2003, the material property was limited to matte, metal, plastic, and wire frame.
Microsoft apparently was not happy with the old matte, metal, and plastic settings. It left
those values in place to support legacy charts but created the new Matte2, Plastic2, and
Metal2 settings. These settings are actually available in the dialog box. In VBA, you are free
to use either the old or the new settings. The columns in Figure 13.14 compare the new
and old settings. The final column is for the SoftMetal setting that Microsoft left out of the
Format dialog box. This was probably an aesthetic decision instead of an “oh no; this setting crashes the computer” decision. You can feel free to use msoMaterialSoftMetal to create a look that has a subtle difference from charts others create using the settings in the
Format dialog box.
Emulating Changes on the Format Ribbon
395
Figure 13.14
Comparison of some new
and old material presets.
Figure 13.15 shows the Lighting drop-down menu from the 3-D category of the Format
dialog box. The drop-down offers 15 settings. The Object Model offers these 15 settings,
plus 13 legacy settings from the Excel 2003 Lighting toolbar. The settings for each of these
thumbnails are shown in Table 13.7.
Figure 13.15
Samples of the 15 lighting types shown in Table
13.7.
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Table 13.7 VBA Constants for Lighting Types
Type
VBA Constant
Value
Neutral Category
ThreePoint
msoLightRigThreePoint
13
Balanced
msoLightRigBalanced
14
Soft
msoLightRigSoft
15
Harsh
msoLightRigHarsh
16
Flood
msoLightRigFlood
17
Contrasting
msoLightRigContrasting
18
Morning
msoLightRigMorning
19
Sunrise
msoLightRigSunrise
20
Sunset
msoLightRigSunset
21
Chilly
msoLightRigChilly
22
Freezing
msoLightRigFreezing
23
Flat
msoLightRigFlat
24
TwoPoint
msoLightRigTwoPoint
25
Glow
msoLightRigGlow
26
BrightRoom
msoLightRigBrightRoom
27
Warm Category
Cool Category
Special Category
13
Legacy Category
Flat 1
msoLightRigLegacyFlat1
1
Flat 2
msoLightRigLegacyFlat2
2
Flat 3
msoLightRigLegacyFlat3
3
Flat 4
msoLightRigLegacyFlat4
4
Harsh 1
msoLightRigLegacyHarsh1
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Type
VBA Constant
Value
Harsh 2
msoLightRigLegacyHarsh2
10
Harsh 3
msoLightRigLegacyHarsh3
11
Harsh 4
msoLightRigLegacyHarsh4
12
Normal 1
msoLightRigLegacyNormal1
5
Normal 2
msoLightRigLegacyNormal2
6
Normal 3
msoLightRigLegacyNormal3
7
Normal 4
msoLightRigLegacyNormal4
8
Mixed
msoLightRigMixed
–2
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
There is a huge gap in the Excel 2007 Ribbon interface. Somewhere between the global
changes on the Design ribbon and the set element changes on the Layout ribbon,
Microsoft offers no big icons to format the individual data series. Depending on the chart
type, the Format Series dialog box holds special settings that can dramatically impact the
look of your chart.
There are a few ways to access the Format Series dialog:
■
Right-click a series in the chart and choose Format Series from the context menu.
■
From the first drop-down in either the Layout or Format ribbon, choose the item
that you want to format (for example, choose Series 1 from this drop-down to format
Series 1). Then click the Format Selection button immediately below the drop-down.
The special settings appear in the Series Options category of the Format dialog box. The
following are some of the settings you can control:
■
Gap Width and Separation—Control whether the columns in a column chart should
be touching each other, as in a histogram, or separated.
■
Plot on Second Axis—Specifies that a series should be plotted on a secondary axis.
This is useful when the magnitude of one series does not match the magnitude of
another series.
■
Angle of First Slice—Rotates pie and doughnut charts. Other settings for the round
charts control features such as explosion and hole size.
■
Bar of Pie and Pie of Pie—Control which categories appear in the secondary chart in
these combination charts.
■
Bubble Size—Controls how the bubbles are sized in a bubble chart.
■
Surface and Radar—Control certain aspects of these chart types.
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Understanding How Excel Groups Series into Chart Groups
Although you access many of the series settings in the Format Series dialog box, they actually apply globally to all the
series in the chart that have the same chart type.
Say that you have built a chart where Series 1 and Series 2 are column charts and Series 3 is a line chart. If you
format the gap width, the setting applies to both of the series that use the column chart type. In VBA, this object is
represented by ChartGroup. Chart.ChartGroups(1) might apply to the column chart elements, and
Chart.ChartGroups(2) might apply to the line chart elements. Because the groups can change when you change
the chart type for a series, it is safer to use the built-in shortcut methods to select a particular group of series.
The macro recorder uses the relatively risky method of referring to the chart group by index number:
ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1).Overlap = 35
You could instead use the named shortcut method. Strangely, the shortcut still returns a collection of chart groups, so
you still must specify the index number 1:
ActiveChart.ColumnGroups(1).Overlap = 35
This is inherently safer: Microsoft groups all the series that use column charts into a single chart group.
The shortcut methods available include AreaGroups, BarGroups, ColumnGroups, DoughnutGroups,
LineGroups, and PieGroups.
The following sections discuss the various options you can control in the Series Options
dialog.
Controlling Gap Width and Series Separation in Column and Bar Charts
Typically, the individual bars in a bar or column chart are separated by gaps. When scientists create histograms, they want to eliminate the gaps between bars.
Excel offers the GapWidth property, whose value can range from 0 to 500 to represent 0% to
500%. Figure 13.16 shows a typical chart and a chart where the gap width has been
reduced to 25%. Note that reducing the gap size automatically makes the columns thicker.
To keep the columns narrow, you should reduce the width of the chart.
13
The gap width setting applies to chart groups that contain bar or column markers. It can
also be used to format the volume markers in volume-high-low-close charts or volumeopen-high-low-close charts.
The following macro changes the gap width to 25%:
Sub FormatGapWidth()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.ChartGroups(1).GapWidth = 25
cht.ChartGroups(1).VaryByCategories = True
End Sub
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
399
Figure 13.16
TIP
In the bottom chart, the
gap width has been
reduced from the default
to 25%.
The VaryByCategories property in the preceding code gives each column in a one-series chart
a different color.This works for a pie, bar, or column chart with a single series. It is equivalent to
selecting the Vary Colors By Point check box from the Fill category of the Format Data Series dialog.
When you create a clustered column chart with two series, the columns for each data point
touch, as shown in the top chart in Figure 13.17. You can use the Overlap property to cause
the columns to overlap. Values from 1 to 100 cause the columns to overlap anywhere from
1% to 100%. Values from -1 to -100 cause separations between the data points.
The middle chart in Figure 13.17 shows a 50% overlap. The bottom chart shows a –100%
overlap.
The following macro creates a 25% overlap between the series:
Sub FormatOverLap()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.ChartGroups(1).Overlap = 25
End Sub
The Overlap property applies to clustered column and clustered bar charts. It should be set
to 100% for the volume series in stock charts.
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Figure 13.17
The middle chart has
an overlap, and the
bottom chart has a
negative overlap
(that is, a separation).
Moving a Series to a Secondary Axis
You might want to communicate data on a chart where the series are different orders of
magnitude. In the top chart in Figure 13.18, the first two series represent sales and profit
and show numbers in the hundreds of thousands. The third series is a profit percentage
where the values are between 20% and 80%. When you plot these three series on a column
chart, the columns for the profit percentage series will be so small that they will not be seen.
Figure 13.18
13
In the top chart, the
third series is too
small to be seen. In
the bottom chart, a
secondary axis, a
new chart type, and
an axis font color
solves many
problems.
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
401
The solution is to plot the third series on a secondary axis. The left axis will continue to show
hundreds of thousands, but the right axis scales to show percentages from 0% to 100%.
To move a series to the secondary axis, you use the AxisGroup property:
ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(3).AxisGroup = xlSecondary
Using a secondary axis solves one problem but introduces a new problem: How will the
reader know that it is the profit percentage series which is plotted against the secondary
axis? You can change the chart type of the third series from a column to a line. You can
change the ChartType property for an individual series as follows:
ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(3).ChartType = xlLineMarkers
To further help the chart reader, you can change the font color of the tick labels for the
secondary axis to match the line color of the third series. In the following macro, the font
color for the secondary axis is changed to match the fill color of the third series (see the
bottom chart in Figure 13.18):
Sub MoveToSecondaryAxis()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Dim ax As Axis
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(3)
ser.AxisGroup = xlSecondary
ser.ChartType = xlLineMarkers
Set ax = cht.Axes(xlValue, xlSecondary)
ax.TickLabels.Font.Color = ser.Format.Fill.ForeColor
End Sub
Unfortunately, this is a snapshot type of change. If you later change the theme or the color
scheme of the chart, you have to change the tick label color to match the new Series 3
color.
Spinning and Exploding Round Charts
Pie and doughnut charts have rotation and explosion properties. In a typical data series,
there might be a few tiny pie slices at the end of the series. These pie slices typically appear
in the back of the chart. If you move them around to the front of the chart, they are more
visible, and there is more room for the data labels to appear outside the chart.
You control the angle of the first slice of a pie by using the FirstSliceAngle property of
the ChartGroup object. Valid values range from 0 to 360, representing rotations of 0 to 360
degrees. In the bottom-left chart in Figure 13.19, the original chart was rotated 159
degrees, using the following macro:
Sub RotateChart()
‘ Bottom Left Chart in Figure 13.19
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.ChartGroups(1).FirstSliceAngle = 159
End Sub
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Figure 13.19
You can rotate or
explode pie charts to
bring the small slices
into view.
You can also explode pie and doughnut charts. In an exploded view, the individual wedges
are separated from each other. You use the Explosion property to change the explosion
effect. Valid values range from 0 to 400, representing 0 to 400%. With explosions, tiny values go a long way. The top-right chart in Figure 13.19 represents a 22% explosion and is
created with this macro:
Sub ExplodeChart()
‘ Top Right Chart in Figure 13.19
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.ChartGroups(1).FirstSliceAngle = 159
cht.ChartGroups(1).Explosion = 22
End Sub
Sometimes, a better effect is to explode just a single slice of a pie. You can apply the
Explosion property to a single data point. In the bottom-right chart in Figure 13.19, only
the Ads slice is exploded. Note that the macro then adjusts the positioning of the adjoining
data labels so that they can be seen around the exploded slice:
13
Sub ExplodeOneSlice()
‘ Bottom Right Chart in Figure 13.19
Dim cht As Chart
Dim ser As Series
Dim poi As Point
Dim dl As DataLabel
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
cht.ChartGroups(1).FirstSliceAngle = 114
‘ Explode one slice
Set poi = ser.Points(4)
poi.Explosion = 22
‘ fix the labels
Set dl = ser.Points(3).DataLabel
dl.Left = dl.Left + 30
dl.Top = dl.Top - 50
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
403
Set dl = ser.Points(5).DataLabel
dl.Left = dl.Left + 10
dl.Top = dl.Top + 20
End Sub
You can also control the hole size in the center of a doughnut chart. A typical doughnut
chart starts out with a hole size that is 50% of the doughnut. You use the DoughnutHoleSize
property to adjust this from 90% to 10%, using values of 90 to 10. The charts in Figure
13.20 show doughnut hole sizes of 70% on the top and 10% on the bottom. The following
macro adjusts the doughnut hole size to 70%:
Sub ExplodeChart()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.ChartGroups(1).DoughnutHoleSize = 70
End Sub
Figure 13.20
You can change the hole
size in doughnut charts.
Controlling the Bar of Pie and Pie of Pie Charts
When your data contains many small pie slices and you care about the differences in those
small slices, you can ask for the small slices to be plotted in a secondary pie or a secondary
bar chart. For complete details on these unique chart types, read “Using a Pie of Pie
Chart” in Chapter 4. These chart types are found in the Pie category.
As these charts include two charts inside the chart area, Excel offers many additional settings for controlling the size and placement of each chart in relation to the other. There
are also a myriad of ways to determine which pie wedges are represented in the secondary
chart. You have complete control of these settings in VBA. You might consider the
following:
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■
How do you decide which wedges are reported in the smaller pie? Excel offers choices
to move the last n slices, move all slices smaller than n%, or to move all slices smaller
than a particular value. Excel also offers the custom method for moving the pie slices.
■
Do you want leader lines from the “other” slice to the secondary plot? These are generally a good idea, but you can turn them off or even format them, if desired.
■
How large should the secondary plot be compared to the first plot? Say that you are
preparing charts for a meeting to discuss which product lines should be discontinued.
In this case, the focus really is on the tiny wedges, and you might want to have the secondary plot be as large as or larger than the original pie.
■
How wide should the gap be between the plots?
The following sections discuss how to adjust each of these settings with VBA.
Using a Rule to Determine Which Wedges Are in the Secondary Plot
Excel offers three built-in rules for determining which pie slices should be in the secondary
plot. You can specify that all slices smaller than a certain percentage should be in the secondary plot, that all slices smaller than a certain value should be in the secondary plot, or
even that the last n slices should be in the secondary plot.
You specify which of these rules to use with the SplitType property and then you specify a
SplitValue setting to indicate where the split should occur.
In Figure 13.21, the top chart used Excel’s defaults to show the last four points in the secondary plot. You could use any of these methods to create the bottom chart:
Figure 13.21
In the bottom chart,
80% of the slices
appear in the
secondary chart.
13
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
405
■
You could specify a split type of xlSplitByValue and then indicate that any values less
than 10 should be in the secondary plot.
■
You could specify a split type of xlSplitByPercentValue and then indicate that any values less than 5% should be in the secondary plot.
■
You could specify a split type of xlSplitByPosition and then indicate that the last
eight values should be in the secondary plot.
Any one of these three macros could be used to create the second chart in Figure 13.21:
Sub SmallerThan10ToPlot2()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set chtg = cht.ChartGroups(1)
‘ Anything less than 10 to second group
cht.ChartGroups(1).SplitType = xlSplitByValue
ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1).SplitValue = 10
End Sub
Sub SmallerThan10PctToPlot2()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set chtg = cht.ChartGroups(1)
‘ Anything less than 10% to 2nd plot
chtg.SplitType = xlSplitByPercentValue
chtg.SplitValue = 10
End Sub
Sub Last8ToPlot2()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set chtg = cht.ChartGroups(1)
‘ Send last 8 slices to secondary plot
chtg.SplitType = xlSplitByPosition
chtg.SplitValue = 8
End Sub
Defining Specific Categories to Be in the Secondary Plot
You can choose to have complete control over which slices of a pie appear in a secondary
chart. If you are trying to decide among three specific products to discontinue, for example,
you can move all three of those products to the secondary pie.
To do this with a macro, you first set SplitType to xlSplitByCustomSplit. You can then use
the SecondaryPlot property on individual data points. A value of 0 shows the data point in
the left pie. A value of 1 sends the data point to the secondary pie.
Because you aren’t sure how many items Excel will send to the secondary pie by default,
you can write a macro such as the following to first loop through all data points and reset
them to the primary pie, and then move three specific slices to the secondary pie:
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Sub CustomPieofPie()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Dim ser As Series
Dim poi As Point
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set chtg = cht.ChartGroups(1)
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
chtg.SplitType = xlSplitByCustomSplit
‘ Move all slices to first plot
For Each poi In ser.Points
poi.SecondaryPlot = 0
Next poi
‘ Move points 1, 6, 10 to secondary plot
ser.Points(2).SecondaryPlot = 1
ser.Points(6).SecondaryPlot = 1
ser.Points(10).SecondaryPlot = 1
End Sub
The results are shown in Figure 13.22. This figure shows a bar of pie chart with three specific wedges moved to the secondary plot.
Figure 13.22
Instead of focusing
on the smallest
slices, this bar of pie
chart focuses on
three particular
products.
Controlling the Gap, Size, and Lines of a Secondary Plot
13
You adjust the gap between an original pie and a secondary plot by using the GapWidth
property, whose values range from 0 to 500. In Figure 13.23, the bottom chart has a gap of
500, and the middle chart has a gap of 0.
You can turn on or off the two leader lines extending from the main pie to the secondary
plot by setting the HasSeriesLines property to True or False. To format those lines, you
use the Format property of the SeriesLines object. The following macro moves the secondary plot to the maximum distance and changes the series lines to a dash/dot style:
Sub MindTheGap()
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set chtg = ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1)
chtg.GapWidth = 500
chtg.HasSeriesLines = True
chtg.SeriesLines.Format.Line.DashStyle = msoLineDashDot
End Sub
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
407
Figure 13.23
You use the GapWidth
property to move the
secondary plot closer to
or farther from the main
pie.
The size of the secondary plot usually starts off at 75% of the original pie. You can use the
SecondPlotSize property to change the plot size from 5 to 200, representing 5% to 200%
of the original pie chart. Figure 13.24 shows charts with secondary plot sizes of 75%, 5%,
and 200%.
Figure 13.24
You can shift the focus
toward or away from the
secondary plot by adjusting its size.
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The following macro adjusts the size of the secondary plot to 50% of the size of the main
pie:
Sub ChangeSize()
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set chtg = ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1)
chtg.SecondPlotSize = 50
End Sub
Setting the Bubble Size
The bubble chart type includes an incredibly misleading setting that you should always
avoid. A bubble chart places circles at particular x and y coordinates. The sizes of the circles
are determined by the values specified in the third column of the data series.
By default, Excel scales the size of the circle so that the area of the circle is proportionate to
the data. This is an appropriate choice. However, you can override this setting to say that
the size represents the width of the circle. This always results in a misleading chart.
For example, in the upper-left chart in Figure 13.25, the smallest circle has a value of 1, and
the largest circle has a value of 4. Because this chart uses the xlSizeIsArea setting, the bottom-left circle is four times larger than the top-right circle. The bottom-left chart plots the
same data but uses the xlSizeIsWidth setting. With this setting, your circles will be completely out of scale.
Figure 13.25
The bottom-left
chart uses
xlSizeIsWidth
and is misleading.
The bottom-right
chart shows a negative-sized circle, represented by a circle
with no fill.
13
A circle with a width of 1 inch has an area of 0.785 square inches, according to
=PI()*(1/2)^2. A circle with a width of 4 inches has an area of 12.56 square inches, according to =PI()*(4/2)^2. This means that with the xlSizeIsWidth setting, the bottom-left
circle is 16 times larger than the top-right circle.
NOTE
Automating Changes in the Format Series Dialog
409
It is strange that Excel even offers the xlSizeIsWidth setting. Microsoft makes sure to avoid the
mistake of resizing markers in two dimensions when dealing with bar or column charts.
You can also choose to scale the circles from 0 to 300% by changing the BubbleScale property from 0 to 300. The top-left chart in Figure 13.25 has a 100% scale. The top-right
chart uses a 50% scale. The bottom-right chart uses a 300% scale.
Finally, you can specify whether Excel should show negative-sized circles on a chart. In the
lower-right chart in Figure 13.25, the –2 in the upper quadrant is represented by a circle
with a white fill instead of a circle with a blue fill.
The following macro demonstrates some of the settings available for bubble charts:
Sub BubbleSettings()
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set chtg = ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1)
‘ Never use the following setting
‘ chtg.SizeRepresents = xlSizeIsWidth
chtg.SizeRepresents = xlSizeIsArea
chtg.BubbleScale = 50
chtg.ShowNegativeBubbles = True
End Sub
Controlling Radar and Surface Charts
A couple minor settings affect surface charts and radar charts. A default surface chart uses
contour shading within each color band in order to give a 3-D feeling. You can turn this off
in a surface chart by using the Has3DShading property. In Figure 13.26, the bottom-left
chart has the shading turned off. (You may not be able to see it in this monochrome book,
but you can download the project files from www.mrexcel.com/chart2007data.html to see
the effect in color.)
Radar charts typically have the name of each category at the end of the axis. You can turn
this off by setting the HasRadarAxisLabels property to False. The bottom-right chart in
Figure 13.26 shows this setting.
The code for turning off the Has3DShading and HasRadarAxisLabels properties follows:
Sub FormatSurface()
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set chtg = ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1)
chtg.Has3DShading = False
End Sub
Sub FormatRadar()
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Set chtg = ActiveChart.ChartGroups(1)
chtg.HasRadarAxisLabels = False
End Sub
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Figure 13.26
The bottom charts
reflect removing the
3-D contour (left)
and radar axis labels
(right).
Using the Watch Window to Discover Object Settings
It is frustrating that the macro recorder does not record certain actions when you’re working with charts. Actually, there are two levels of frustration. First, the macro recorder does
not record the action of creating SmartArt graphics because Microsoft made a conscious
decision not to allow you to create SmartArt using VBA. I don’t agree with that decision,
but I can understand why the macro recorder doesn’t record these steps. Second, when you
are using the Format ribbon, the macro recorder does nothing; however, you can control
all the actions with the Format ribbon by using VBA.
With previous versions of Excel, I relied on the macro recorder to teach me which objects,
properties, and methods responded to various actions in the Excel interface. Without the
macro recorder, it becomes very difficult to learn these aspects.
13
In case you need to use a property that is not covered in this book, there is a way to be able
to explore the properties for certain chart elements. The following is an example in which
the macro defines a Chart object variable and a ChartGroup object variable and then stops:
Sub ExploreChartElements()
Dim cht As Chart
Dim chtg As ChartGroup
Dim ser As Series
Set cht = ActiveChart
Set chtg = cht.ChartGroups(1)
Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection(1)
Stop
End Sub
Using the Watch Window to Discover Object Settings
411
The Stop command in the macro is key to the success of this technique. Excel enters Break
mode when it encounters the Stop code. This allows you to examine the object variables
while they are still in scope.
You follow these steps to discover new chart properties:
1. Enter the preceding macro in your workbook.
2. Create a chart.
3. Select the chart.
4. Run the macro. VBA stops and highlights the Stop line in yellow. You are now in
Break mode.
5. Right-click the ser object variable and choose Add Watch. Click OK in the Add
Watch dialog box. Excel displays a new Watch window at the bottom of the VBA
editor. This window displays a single line with a pair of eyeglasses, a plus sign, and the
name of the variable, as shown in Figure 13.27.
Figure 13.27
Initially, the watched
variable shows a single,
useless line.
Watch
6. Click the plus sign next to the watch. A list of many properties for the series opens.
One property is the Format property. This is where all of the Format ribbon settings
are stored.
7. Click the plus sign next to the Format entry. It expands to show the settings for Fill,
Glow, Line,
and so on.
8. Click the plus sign next to the Fill entry. You see many settings that define the fill
used in Series 1. The GradientDegree setting is highlighted in Figure 13.28. You can
see that Gradient Degree is a property of the Fill property, and Fill is a property of
the Format property. From this, you can ascertain that the proper code would be this:
ser.Format.Fill.GradientDegree = 0.8825
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Figure 13.28
After browsing
through the Watch
window, you can
locate a property
without the macro
recorder.
NOTE
This isn’t exactly as easy as using the macro recorder to examine objects, properties, and
methods, but it makes it possible to figure out how to write code.
In the ExploreChartElements macro, there are variables for the chart, the series, and the chart group.
You might have to add watches for each of these variables and begin exploring to find the actual
setting.
The Watch window is “somewhat” live. With a few steps, you can change the chart formatting
in the Excel user interface and then return to the VBA Editor to discover the new settings:
1. While in Break mode, switch back to Excel using Alt+Tab or by clicking on Excel in
the taskbar.
2. Make some changes to the active chart in Excel. Make sure not to deactivate the chart.
3. Switch back to the VBA Editor.
13
4. There is a yellow arrow to the left of the Stop line in your code window. Grab this
arrow and drag upward to point to the line that set up your watched variable. In the
current example, you are watching the ser variable, so you just have to move up one
line, to the Set ser line.
5. Press the F8 key to rerun the line highlighted in yellow. The Watch window updates
to show the settings you made in step 2.
When you are done exploring, click the Reset button in the VBA toolbar (the square dot
located near the Run menu).
Using the Watch Window to Learn Rotation Settings
413
C A S E S T U DY
Using the Watch Window to Learn Rotation Settings
There is one icon on the Layout ribbon that is not recorded by the macro recorder. If you change the rotation of a 3-D
chart, the macro recorder records nothing.To see an example of this, you can follow these steps:
1. Turn on the macro recorder.
2. Select a surface chart.
3. Change the rotation settings.
4. Stop the macro recorder.
5. Switch back to Excel and change the formatting of the columns in the first series. Excel records this macro, which is
of little use:
Sub RotateChartRecordedMacro()
‘
‘ RotateChartRecordedMacro Macro
‘
‘
ActiveSheet.ChartObjects(“Chart 1”).Activate
End Sub
To solve this problem and learn how to programmatically rotate a chart, you can follow these steps:
1. Type this macro in the VBA Editor:
Sub ExploreChartElements()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
Stop
End Sub
2. In Excel, select the chart. On the Layout ribbon, choose the 3-D Rotation icon. Note the X, Y, and Perspective
settings (for example, 200, 10, and 15).
3. Click Close to close the Format Chart Area dialog.
4. Switch to VBA.
5. Run the ExploreChartElements macro.VBA enters Break mode.
6. Right-click the cht variable and choose Add Watch. Click OK in the Add Watch dialog.
7. In the Watch window, click the plus sign to expand the chart.
8. Scan through the properties.You are looking for properties that might have values of 200, 10, and 15.There is an
Elevation property with a value of 10.There is a Rotation property with the value of 200.There is a
Perspective setting with a value of 30.This one is maddening because the name is exactly right, but the value
is incorrect.
9. Switch back to Excel. Choose 3-D Rotation and change the Perspective setting from 15 to 20 in the Format
dialog box.
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10. Switch back to VBA and rerun the macro. Look in the Watch window.The Perspective setting has changed to
40.You can theorize that this is the right property but that the Perspective value shown in the Format dialog box
needs to be doubled when entered in VBA.
You now have enough information to write the following macro to change the rotation of the chart using VBA:
Sub RotateChart()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.Rotation = 100
cht.Elevation = 30
cht.Perspective = 60 ‘ Really means 30%
End Sub
Exporting a Chart as a Graphic
You can export any chart to an image file on your hard drive. The ExportChart method
requires you to specify a filename and a graphic type. The available graphic types depend
on graphic file filters installed in your Registry. It is a safe bet that JPG, BMP, PNG, and
GIF will work on most computers.
For example, the following code exports the active chart as a GIF file:
Sub ExportChart()
Dim cht As Chart
Set cht = ActiveChart
cht.Export Filename:=”C:\Chart.gif”, Filtername:=”GIF”
End Sub
CAUTION
13
Since Excel 2003, Microsoft has supported an Interactive argument in the Export method.
Excel help indicates that if you set Interactive to TRUE, then Excel asks for additional settings
depending on the file type. However, the dialog to ask for additional settings never appears, at least
not for the four standard types of JPG, GIF, BMP, or PNG.
Creating a Dynamic Chart in a UserForm
With the ability to export a chart to a graphic file, you also have the ability to load a
graphic file into an Image control in a UserForm. This means you can create a dialog box
in which someone can dynamically control values used to plot a chart.
To create the dialog shown in Figure 13.29, you follow these steps:
Exporting a Chart as a Graphic
415
Figure 13.29
This dialog box is a VBA
UserForm displaying a
chart.The chart redraws
based on changes to the
dialog controls.
1. In the VBA window, choose Insert, UserForm. In the Properties pane, rename the
form frmChart.
2. Resize the UserForm.
3. Add a large Image control to the UserForm.
4. Add two spin buttons named sbX and sbY. Set them to have a minimum of 1 and a
maximum of 5.
5. Add a Label3 control to display the formula.
6. Add a command button labeled Close.
7. Enter this code in the code window behind the form:
Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
Unload Me
End Sub
Private Sub sbX_Change()
Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O2”).Value = Me.sbX.Value
Worksheets(“Surface”).Shapes(1).Chart.Export “C:\Chart.gif”
Me.Label3.Caption = Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O4”).Value
Me.Image1.Picture = LoadPicture(“C:\Chart.gif”)
End Sub
Private Sub sbY_Change()
Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O3”).Value = Me.sbY.Value
Worksheets(“Surface”).Shapes(1).Chart.Export “C:\Chart.gif”
Me.Label3.Caption = Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O4”).Value
Me.Image1.Picture = LoadPicture(“C:\Chart.gif”)
End Sub
Private Sub UserForm_Initialize()
Me.sbX = Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O2”).Value
Me.sbY = Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O3”).Value
Me.Label3.Caption = Worksheets(“Surface”).Range(“O4”).Value
Worksheets(“Surface”).Shapes(1).Chart.Export “C:\Chart.gif”
Me.Image1.Picture = LoadPicture(“C:\Chart.gif”)
End Sub
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Chapter 13
Using Excel VBA to Create Charts
8. Use Insert, Module to add a Module1
component
with this code:
Sub ShowForm()
frmChart.Show
End Sub
As someone changes the spin buttons in the UserForm, Excel writes new values to the
worksheet. This causes the chart to update. The UserForm code then exports the chart and
displays it in the UserForm (refer to Figure 13.29).
Creating Pivot Charts
A pivot chart is a chart that uses a pivot table as the underlying data source. As I lamented
in Chapter 8, “Creating and Using Pivot Charts,” pivot charts don’t have the cool “show
pages” functionality that regular pivot tables have. You can overcome this problem with a
quick VBA macro that creates a pivot table and then a pivot chart based on the pivot table.
The macro then adds the customer field to the page field of the pivot table. It then loops
through each customer and exports the chart for each customer.
In Excel 2007, you first create a pivot cache by using the PivotCache.Create method. You
can then define a pivot table based on the pivot cache. The usual procedure is to turn off
pivot table updating while you add fields to the pivot table. Then you update the pivot
table in order to have Excel perform the calculations.
It takes a bit of finesse to figure out the final range of the pivot table. If you have turned off
the column and row totals, the chartable area of the pivot table starts one row below the
PivotTableRange1 area. You have to resize the area to include one fewer row in order to
make your chart appear correctly.
After the pivot table is created, you can switch back to the Charts.Add code discussed earlier in this chapter. You can use any formatting code to get the chart formatted as you
desire.
The following code creates a pivot table and a single pivot chart that summarize revenue by
region and product:
13
Sub CreateSummaryReportUsingPivot()
Dim WSD As Worksheet
Dim PTCache As PivotCache
Dim PT As PivotTable
Dim PRange As Range
Dim FinalRow As Long
Dim ChartDataRange As Range
Dim Cht As Chart
Set WSD = Worksheets(“Data”)
‘ Delete any prior pivot tables
For Each PT In WSD.PivotTables
PT.TableRange2.Clear
Next PT
Creating Pivot Charts
417
WSD.Range(“I1:Z1”).EntireColumn.Clear
‘ Define input area and set up a Pivot Cache
FinalRow = WSD.Cells(Application.Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Row
FinalCol = WSD.Cells(1, Application.Columns.Count). _
End(xlToLeft).Column
Set PRange = WSD.Cells(1, 1).Resize(FinalRow, FinalCol)
Set PTCache = ActiveWorkbook.PivotCaches.Create(SourceType:= _
xlDatabase, SourceData:=PRange.Address)
‘ Create the Pivot Table from the Pivot Cache
Set PT = PTCache.CreatePivotTable(TableDestination:=WSD. _
Cells(2, FinalCol + 2), TableName:=”PivotTable1”)
‘ Turn off updating while building the table
PT.ManualUpdate = True
‘ Set up the row fields
PT.AddFields RowFields:=”Region”, ColumnFields:=”Product”, _
PageFields:=”Customer”
‘ Set up the data fields
With PT.PivotFields(“Revenue”)
.Orientation = xlDataField
.Function = xlSum
.Position = 1
End With
With PT
.ColumnGrand = False
.RowGrand = False
.NullString = “0”
End With
‘ Calc the pivot table
PT.ManualUpdate = False
PT.ManualUpdate = True
‘ Define the Chart Data Range
Set ChartDataRange = _
PT.TableRange1.Offset(1, 0).Resize(PT.TableRange1.Rows.Count - 1)
‘ Add the Chart
WSD.Shapes.AddChart.Select
Set Cht = ActiveChart
Cht.SetSourceData Source:=ChartDataRange
‘ Format the Chart
Cht.ChartType = xlColumnClustered
Cht.SetElement (msoElementChartTitleAboveChart)
Cht.ChartTitle.Caption = “All Customers”
Cht.SetElement msoElementPrimaryValueAxisThousands
End Sub
Figure 13.30 shows the resulting chart and pivot table.
13
418
Chapter 13
Using Excel VBA to Create Charts
Figure 13.30
VBA creates a pivot
table and then a
chart from the pivot
table. Excel automatically displays the
PivotChart Filter
pane in response.
C A S E S T U DY
Printing a Chart for Each Customer
In this case study, you’ll use a pivot table and a pivot chart to summarize data from a pivot table.The goal is to create a
pivot table with customers in the filter field area.The pivot table should summarize revenue by year and by product.
After this pivot table is created, you will add a chart with a chart title.You can then loop through each pivot item in the
customer field. For each chart, you’ll update the pivot table, change the chart title, and then export a chart with the
name of the customer.
There is a bit more complexity in this macro than in the others shown so far in this chapter.The process of grouping daily
dates up to yearly dates requires you to calculate the pivot table and then select one of the date fields. From
TableRange1, you have to select a cell that is one row and one column from the top-left corner before you can group
up to years.
13
After the first chart is created, you can loop through each pivot item in the customer pivot field. For each customer, you
change the page field, recalculate the pivot table, change the title in the chart, and then export.To do all this, you use the
following macro:
Sub CreateChartPerCustomer()
Dim WSD As Worksheet
Dim PTCache As PivotCache
Dim PT As PivotTable
Dim PRange As Range
Dim FinalRow As Long
Dim ChartDataRange As Range
Dim Cht As Chart
Dim PI As PivotItem
Set WSD = Worksheets(“Data”)
Printing a Chart for Each Customer
419
‘ Delete any prior pivot tables
For Each PT In WSD.PivotTables
PT.TableRange2.Clear
Next PT
WSD.Range(“M1:Z1”).EntireColumn.Clear
‘ Define input area and set up a Pivot Cache
FinalRow = WSD.Cells(Application.Rows.Count, 1).End(xlUp).Row
FinalCol = WSD.Cells(1, Application.Columns.Count). _
End(xlToLeft).Column
Set PRange = WSD.Cells(1, 1).Resize(FinalRow, FinalCol)
Set PTCache = ActiveWorkbook.PivotCaches.Create(SourceType:= _
xlDatabase, SourceData:=PRange.Address)
‘ Create the Pivot Table from the Pivot Cache
Set PT = PTCache.CreatePivotTable(TableDestination:=WSD. _
Cells(2, FinalCol + 2), TableName:=”PivotTable1”)
‘ Turn off updating while building the table
PT.ManualUpdate = True
‘ Set up the row fields
PT.AddFields RowFields:=”Product”, ColumnFields:=”Date”, _
PageFields:=”Customer”
‘ Set up the data fields
With PT.PivotFields(“Revenue”)
.Orientation = xlDataField
.Function = xlSum
.Position = 1
End With
With PT
.ColumnGrand = False
.RowGrand = False
.NullString = “0”
End With
‘ Calc the pivot table
PT.ManualUpdate = False
PT.ManualUpdate = True
‘ Find a date field & group by year
PT.TableRange1.Offset(1, 1).Resize(1, 1).Group Start:=True, End:=True, _
Periods:=Array(False, False, False, False, False, False, True)
‘ Calc the pivot table
PT.ManualUpdate = False
PT.ManualUpdate = True
‘ CreateChart
Set ChartDataRange = _
PT.TableRange1.Offset(1, 0).Resize(PT.TableRange1.Rows.Count - 1)
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Chapter 13
Using Excel VBA to Create Charts
‘ Add the Chart
WSD.Shapes.AddChart.Select
Set Cht = ActiveChart
Cht.SetSourceData Source:=ChartDataRange
‘ Format the Chart
Cht.ChartType = xlColumnClustered
Cht.SetElement (msoElementChartTitleAboveChart)
Cht.ChartTitle.Caption = “All Customers”
Cht.SetElement msoElementPrimaryValueAxisThousands
‘ Loop through each customer
For Each PI In PT.PivotFields(“Customer”).PivotItems
PT.PivotFields(“Customer”).ClearAllFilters
PT.PivotFields(“Customer”).CurrentPage = PI.Name
‘ Calc the pivot table
PT.ManualUpdate = False
PT.ManualUpdate = True
Cht.ChartTitle.Caption = PI.Name
Cht.Export Filename:=”C:\” & PI.Name & “.jpg”, Filtername:=”JPG”
Next PI
End Sub
Figure 13.31 shows one of the three dozen charts created by this macro in less than a minute.
Figure 13.31
The macro creates
dozens of summary
charts in under a
minute.
13
Next Steps
421
Next Steps
While I hope this book has taught you how to create meaningful charts, the next chapter
shows many examples of bad charts. People might try to use bad charts to intentionally
mislead the reader or might just create a misleading chart because they think it looks cool.
By knowing how to spot bad charts, you can prevent people from misleading you the next
time you are sitting through a presentation.
13
This page intentionally left blank
Knowing When Someone Is
Lying to You with a Chart
Lying with Perspective
Excel’s 3-D charts all attempts to show a twodimensional object on a two-dimensional computer
screen and give the perception that the objects are
rendered in 3-D. Excel provides a lot of support for
the 3-D charts, but I do not cover them in great
detail in this book because they often misrepresent
your data. Hopefully, you will resist the urge to use
them.
I took a photography class once. During the lesson
on wide-angle lenses, the instructor pointed out
that a wide-angle lens makes everything in the foreground look proportionally larger than it is. If you
are shooting a portrait of someone who has a big
nose, you don’t want to use a wide-angle lens for
that portrait.
Similarly, with 3-D pie charts, any wedges at the
front of the pie look much larger than wedges at
the back of the pie. In Figure 14.1, for example,
both charts show a labor component of 30%. If you
want to impress the union during contract negotiations, you should use the chart where labor is in the
front because the labor wedge in that chart is 2.8
times the size of the one in the top chart.
14
IN THIS CHAPTER
Lying with Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .423
Lying with Shrinking Charts . . . . . . . . . . . . . .425
Lying with Scale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .426
Lying Because Excel Won’t Cooperate . . . . . .426
Lying by Obscuring the Data . . . . . . . . . . . . .427
Deliberately Using Charts to Lie . . . . . . . . . .428
Next Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .430
424
Chapter 14
Knowing When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart
Figure 14.1
NOTE
Wedges in the front
of a 3-D pie appear
much larger than
those in the back.
If want to lie with a 3-D pie chart, you can accomplish that by changing the rotation of the pie.You
right-click the pie, choose Format Series, and then change the rotation angle.
Perspective causes problems with 3-D column charts as well. Is the reader supposed to look
at the front or the back of the column?
Look in the top chart in Figure 14.2. Are any of the quarters over 3,000? Count the number of gridlines. The first line is 1,000, then 2,000, then 3,000. None of the bars ever touch
the 3,000 line. Yet, in the bottom chart, both the Q3 and Q4 columns are over 3,000.
14
Lying with Shrinking Charts
425
Figure 14.2
Are you supposed to look
at the back or front edge
of the 3-D columns? It
doesn’t really matter
because neither appears
to reach the 3,000
gridline.
Lying with Shrinking Charts
The pyramid and cone charts should be banned from Excel. You could do without these 14
different charts, which are completely misrepresentative.
Consider a standard stacked bar chart like the top one in Figure 14.3. In this chart, a charity’s administrative expenses are fairly high, at 35%. If the charity wants to minimize this in
a chart for its donors, it could change the chart to a cone or pyramid chart. Because the
chart naturally gets smaller at the top, the 35% in black looks like nothing!
Figure 14.3
To misrepresent the 35%
category in black at the
top, you can put it in a
cone chart.
14
426
Chapter 14
Knowing When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart
Lying with Scale
To try to prove that values are jumping all over, someone can change the minimum and
maximum values along the vertical axis and zoom in to a tight view of the chart series, as
shown in the top-left chart in Figure 14.4. If they want to make the sales look smooth, they
can change the maximum value on the axis to something several times larger than the usual
maximum. In this case, the line looks very smooth, as shown in the bottom of Figure 14.4.
Figure 14.4
Watch out for someone changing the
scale in order to
push a message.
3-D perspective can also be used to distort a message. In the top-right chart in Figure 14.4,
sales might even seem to be increasing.
Lying Because Excel Won’t Cooperate
I received the chart in Figure 14.5 in a meeting. The person who made the chart was trying to show how cash balances had been consistently increasing year over year. However,
because there was no data for the last half of 2007, a thick solid line made the cash balance
appear to plummet to 0 in the current month. (The original chart didn’t actually have a
title, but I penciled one in.)
Figure 14.5
14
The person making
this chart really
wanted to show
something positive.
However, I penciled
in my own title,
based on the disappearance of all the
money.
Lying by Obscuring the Data
427
This problem actually results from following rules. I always complain when people leave
cells blank instead of putting in zeros. I hammer this home in my Power Excel seminars,
and I mock Microsoft for all the blank cells in a pivot table. However, this accountant’s
desire to have zero in the future cells caused the chart line to plummet to zero.
The solution is to replace the future cells with empty cells, using Alt+E+A+A (or selecting
Edit, Clear All), or explicitly put =NA() in the future cells. If you use either of these methods,
Excel changes the 2007 line to end with a nice 140,000 cash balance, as shown in Figure 14.6.
Figure 14.6
Use a few empty cells
instead of zero for future
months, and the cash
drain disappears.
Lying by Obscuring the Data
The message of the chart at the top of Figure 14.7 is that marketing costs more than
tripled in three years. If the vice president of marketing wants to defend the marketing
spend, he might just mix it in with a bunch of other numbers and show the marketing budget as a middle series in a stacked area chart.
In the chart at the bottom of Figure 14.7, the marketing numbers look flat, possibly even
trending down.
In the top chart in Figure 14.8, sales appear to be trending up. The automatic Excel trendline even says so.
Beware of charts that figure a multiyear trend from only two data points. You need to add
more data to get the big picture. The bottom chart in Figure 14.8 shows that the last two
years might be the bottoming out of a six-year skid.
14
428
Chapter 14
Knowing When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart
Figure 14.7
Adding data
obscures the marketing excesses.
Figure 14.8
Inferring a trend
based on a twopoint line is dangerous.You need to add
more data points to
tell the real story.
14
Deliberately Using Charts to Lie
Some people are just good at lying. In Figure 14.9, for example, sales are increasing. Or are
they? The chart author reversed the categories along the x-axis. The most recent year is at
the left. I bet no one will notice.
Deliberately Using Charts to Lie
429
Figure 14.9
All is going well.
As another example, in Figure 14.10, a city is drastically losing population. Jobs are scarce,
education is bad, and people are moving out. The top chart paints a pretty bleak picture.
The mayor who has been around for 20 years wants to put a happy spin on the message.
His staff prepares the bottom chart, showing how population growth has slowed.
Figure 14.10
When the absolute numbers are bleak, you plot
the percentage rate of
change.
The next example is definitely a non-Excel lie. Even Excel is smart enough not to allow
picture markers to extend in both directions. Someone had to make the markers invisible
and use clip art to pull off the lie shown in Figure 14.11.
The image on the left is 100 pixels tall and 100 pixels wide. This seems like a reasonable
way to represent $100 million in exports. When the chart designer scaled the picture up to
300 pixels for the March data, he allowed both the height and the width to change. The
size of the final image contains nine times the area of the first image, even though the
exports increased by a factor of three.
14
430
Chapter 14
Knowing When Someone Is Lying to You with a Chart
Figure 14.11
The size of the
images increased in
both height and
width.This causes a
200% increase to
look like an 800%
increase.
These are just a few of the many ways that people might try to lie to you with charts. Now
that you’ve read this book, you should be able to spot a deception and call it out. You
should also be able to use charts to accurately represent data.
Next Steps
Appendix A, “Charting References,” lists several additional resources for more information
on charting.
14
Charting References
Other Charting Resources
If you enjoyed this book, there are many more
resources for you to investigate. These are people,
books, and websites that have had an influence on
my charting life.
Websites come and go. I will maintain a list of links
to these references and any more that I find at
www.MrExcel.com/chartbookdata.html.
Gene Zelazny: The Guru of Business
Charting
During a 40-year career at McKinsey & Company,
Gene Zelazny has taught two generations of people
how to effectively communicate with charts. I
learned a lot about charting during a six-month
stint on a McKinsey project team. The McKinsey
consultants, such as Gino Picasso and Firoz Dosani,
who taught me about charting, learned the craft
from Gene Zelazny.
I enjoy Gene’s work because he focuses on positive
ways to effectively communicate by using charts
and visuals. While Tufte spends a lot of ink showing
why popular charts are bad, Gene cuts right to the
chase and shows examples of effective charts.
Pick up anything that you find written by Gene. He
first wrote Say It with Presentation. His best kit is
The Say It with Charts Complete Toolkit (see Figure
A.1). If you wonder where Microsoft got the idea
for SmartArt graphics, you will see that Gene began
advocating what Microsoft calls SmartArt long
before Microsoft coined the name. The kit includes
a book, images on CD-ROM, and more (see
www.zelazny.com/charts.html).
A
IN THIS APPENDIX
Other Charting Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431
Gene Zelazny: The Guru of Business
Charting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .431
PowerFrameworks.com . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .432
Books by Edward Tufte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .433
Websites with Charting Tutorials . . . . . . . . .434
Interactive Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .434
Live Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Blogs About Charting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Visual Design Stores . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .435
Professional Chart Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . .436
Charting Utilities and Products . . . . . . . . . . .436
432
Appendix A
Charting References
Figure A.1
A
Gene Zelazny’s
toolkit is a great reference to consult
before you even
think about using
Excel. It can help you
learn which charts
are the best to use in
many cases.
PowerFrameworks.com
If you are the go-to person for charts in your company, then you need to subscribe to
PowerFrameworks.com. The $249 annual subscription gives you access to hundreds of
charting and presentation templates. Kathy Villella and Lisa Baker are constantly adding
new, leading-edge elements to the site. For example, Kathy recently posted an umbrella
chart element that you can import into PowerPoint. In addition to the element, Kathy provides several professionally designed ideas about how you could use the chart.
PowerFrameworks hires professional artists to bring its ideas to life. It makes sure that in a
lock-and-key chart, the key actually fits in the lock. You can build brilliant-looking animated or still charts using these elements.
The company’s ideas alone are worth the price of a PowerFrameworks subscription.
Download the templates, label the charts, color with the Formatting ribbon, and you are
ready to go. Figure A.2 shows an umbrella chart that I created in a few minutes after downloading from the site.
Books by Edward Tufte
433
Figure A.2
An umbrella chart created
using a template from
PowerFrameworks.com.
The downloaded template
starts as the black-andwhite drawing, but it is
designed to be formatted
using the Format ribbon.
A subscription to PowerFrameworks can help supercharge your career.
Books by Edward Tufte
I own everything that Professor Edward Tufte writes. He self-publishes his books and
really spares no expense in creating fantastic, full-color, beautiful books.
His books are informative and filled with eye candy. I can spend an hour studying the beautiful Napoleon’s March chart that manages to communicate seven different series with a
single line. Tufte has found examples of good and bad charts throughout history. He coined
the term chartjunk.
My only complaint is that Tufte comes off as a bit of a curmudgeon. He shows bad charts
and explains why they are bad. I am sure that Tufte would skewer some of my charts in this
book. After reading Tufte, I am filled with doubt and knowledge about what not to do.
Zelazny counters this by only telling you what is effective.
Tufte has written the following books:
■
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, now in its second edition, contains 250
illustrations of the best and sometimes the worst ways of displaying information.
■
Envisioning Information covers maps, charts, tables, timetables, and more. This book is
aimed at those in the design profession.
A
434
A
Appendix A
Charting References
■
Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative is about the representation of verbs. This book talks about how to pack the most information into a small
space and how to use visual information for making decisions.
■
Beautiful Evidence is a book in which Tufte introduces the concept of sparklines.
Tufte also maintains a website and forum at www.EdwardTufte.com.
Websites with Charting Tutorials
Excel gurus maintain numerous websites. A very few offer a better-than-usual concentration on charting and the process of creating unique charts:
■
Jon Peltier—Jon, a Microsoft MVP, has several excellent charting examples on his
website. If I am Googling a particularly difficult chart problem, I end up at Jon’s site
more often than not. Visit his site at www.PeltierTech.com.
■
Mike Alexander—Mike runs a site with a funny name (DataPig Technologies)
but great content. Many of his charting ideas made it into Chapter 7, “Using
Advanced Chart Techniques.” The benefit of Mike’s site is that all the tutorials are
five-minute videos that allow you to actually watch the charts being built. Visit
www.DataPigTechnologies.com.
■
Andy Pope—Andy maintains a website with amazing chart examples. These examples
run circles around even the advanced charts shown in Chapter 7 of this book. Andy is
a Microsoft MVP. Visit his website, www.andypope.info/charts.htm.
■
Tushar Mehta—Tushar, a Microsoft MVP, has some nontraditional charting examples
on his website, at www.tushar-mehta.com/excel/charts/.
■
Tom Bunzel—If you need to present your data with PowerPoint, check out Tom
Bunzel’s site, www.professorppt.com. Tom writes books about PowerPoint and numerous articles for InformIT.
Interactive Training
As I was working on the manuscript for this book, I created an interactive training DVD
program for Total Training. This excellent company has been producing top-notch DVD
training packages since 1996. Find any designer who uses a Mac and Photoshop and they
will tell you that Total Training produces the best training for Adobe products. Total
Training is now producing products for Microsoft technologies, including a six-hour
Advanced Excel DVD based on my Excel Power Seminar.
The Advanced Excel training contains more than an hour of content on charting in Excel.
The DVD publishes in April 2007. I highly recommend any of the training programs Total
Training offers. Search www.TotalTraining.com or www.MrExcel.com/chartbookdata.html
for more information.
Visual Design Stores
435
Live Training
If you are an MBA student at a business school, you might be lucky enough to catch Gene
Zelazny as a guest speaker at your college. I highly recommend attending his seminar if he
visits your town.
Edward Tufte provides a one-day course on charting at various sites around the country.
Check out www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/courses for a schedule.
I also cover charting as part of a half-day Power Excel Seminar. For a list of upcoming
dates and locations, see www.mrexcel.com/pressappearances.shtml. For information about
booking a seminar for your company or organization, see www.mrexcel.com/speaking.html.
Blogs About Charting
A few people are gracing the blogosphere with posts that often touch on charting:
■
Juice Analytics—Zach and Chris Gemignani seem to be proponents of Edward Tufte.
They often critique charts at their Juice Analytics blog, www.juiceanalytics.com/weblog/.
■
Daily Dose of Excel—Many Excel MVPs contribute topics on various Excel topics to
Dick Kusleika’s Daily Dose of Excel blog. You can find an archive of the charting posts
at www.dailydoseofexcel.com/archives/category/charting/.
■
Visual Business Intelligence—Steven Few shows off new and innovative visual
designs at his blog, http://www.perceptualedge.com/blog/.
■
Instant Cognition—This wide-ranging blog has several excellent posts on visual
report design. See http://blog.instantcognition.com/category/visualization/charts/.
■
Politikal Arithmetik—Professor Charles Franklin’s blog always has the latest
political charts and analysis. Visit for inspiration on cool charting ideas:
http://politicalarithmetik.blogspot.com/.
In addition, I produce a daily two-minute video podcast about Excel that occasionally dips
into the charting realm. You can find a link to charting episodes at www.MrExcel.com/
chartbookdata.html.
Visual Design Stores
If you are a fan of visual information and graphic design, then a must-see store on your next
trip through Toronto is SWIPE. This store is dedicated to books on advertising and design.
David Michaelides has been running SWIPE for almost 20 years. If there is a book on
advertising or design, he either has it or knows where to get it. The store is located at 477
Richmond Street West, Toronto. You can find more information at www.swipe.com.
Plan on spending at least an hour browsing the store.
A
436
Appendix A
Charting References
Professional Chart Designers
A
Well, I realize that if you are creating charts and getting paid for it, then you, the reader,
are a professional chart designer. However, if you are in a pinch and need to find some
outside help, check out the services of these three designers:
■
Kyle Fletcher—Kyle Fletcher designs some innovative charts. Just don’t ask him to
deliver them as Sharpie charts drawn on his bare chest. Visit http://kylefletcher.com/
index.htm.
■
Bob D’Amico—Bob D’Amico is an illustrator and a designer. Although he drew the
humorous charts in Chapters 4 and 6, he has a complete portfolio of serious charting
designs he has completed for clients. Whether you need something serious or
irreverent, contact Bob via e-mail at [email protected]
■
Andy Attiliis—Andy Attiliis operates a professional charting design service at
www.ideasiteforbusiness.com/andy/dc.htm.
Charting Utilities and Products
Some charts just aren’t easy to create in Excel. The following are some of my favorite utilities for creating different charts:
■
Speedometer Chart Creator—Mala Singh provides an add-in that can generate
speedometer charts in seconds instead of the hour it can take to draw a speedometer
with AutoShapes. His charts show a current value plus yesterday’s value, so you can get
an idea of whether the value is trending up or down (see Figure A.3). Mala also offers
the MacroEconomic Supply Curve Chart add-in, in which the width of the column
indicates units sold and the height of the column indicates price. You can see these
charts and more at www.mrexcel.com/graphics.shtml.
Figure A.3
Mala Singh’s
Speedometer Chart
Creator can create a
dashboard full of
speedometer charts.
Charting Utilities and Products
■
437
SparkMaker—The SparkMaker add-in comes in a free version that creates only
sparklines and a professional version that creates a plethora of tiny charts, including
SparkLines, SparkBars, and SparkPies charts (see Figure A.4). You can create the charts
either using a special font or as an image (which is easier for distribution). Check out
www.bissantz.de/en/.
Figure A.4
Fans of Tufte can create
their own sparklines and
more using this utility
from Bissantz.
Dashboard Reporting with Excel—This is Charley Kyd’s excellent kit about how to
create dashboards in Excel. It features an e-book plus a dozen sample Excel files to get
you started. Charley is the king of getting small charts readable in Excel; my favorite
examples puts 112 readable postage stamp–size charts on a single letter-size sheet of
paper. Visit www.ExcelUser.com.
■
Crystal Xcelsius—This product can use your Excel data to make interactive charts
and output them to the web or PowerPoint. Check it out at www.xcelsius.com.
NOTE
■
If you have resources that should be listed here, send them to the email address listed at
www.MrExcel.com/chartbookdata.html.
A
This page intentionally left blank
INDEX
Symbols
%AppData% shortcut, 35
’ (apostrophe), VBA
comments, 364-365
_ (underscore), VBA line
continuation, 364
3-D 100% stacked column
charts, 12
3-D charts
elements of, 40
lying with perspective,
423-425
rotation, formatting,
66-68
types of, 11-12
walls/floor, formatting,
65-66
3-D clustered column
charts, 11
3-D column charts, 12
3-D Format settings,
changing with VBA,
390-397
3-D rotation settings
changing with VBA,
386-390
of surface charts, 185
3-D stacked column
charts, 11
80/20 rule in pie charts,
137-138
ApplyLayout method,
365, 373
100% stacked bar charts,
when to use, 83
area charts
drop lines, inserting, 71
when to use, 82
100% stacked column
charts, 12, 134-135
when to use, 82, 127
1900
dates prior to, 93-97
as leap year problem, 88
A
array formulas, 302-303
array functions, 172
arrows, converting
columns to, 109-110
assistants in organization
charts, adding, 330
Attiliis, Andy, 436
accuracy of date-based
axes, 84
AutoComplete, 359
AddChart method,
365-367
analysis elements, list of,
40-41
axes
built-in options
depth axis, 53
horizontal axis, 52-53
vertical axis, 53-54
date-based versus
text-based, 55-56
logarithmic axis, 54-55
scale, changing, 56-59
secondary axis,
inserting, 74
time-based, creating, 56
types of, 51-52
apostrophe ('), VBA
comments, 364-365
Axis fields, filtering pivot
tables, 276-278
adding. See inserting
Adjusted Close column
(stock charts) for stock
splits, 191-193
Alexander, Mike, 434
aligning icon sets with
numbers, 292
Alt+F1 shortcut, 17
AutoShapes. See shapes
440
Index
axis titles
axis titles
changing with VBA, 380
formatting, 44
Bernardo, Brett, 264
axis types, selecting, 85
BevelBottomType
property, 391
axis values, hiding, 196
AxisGroup property, 401
B
back wall (3-D charts), 40
backward compatibility of
VBA, 357
Baker, Lisa, 432
Balance layout
(SmartArt), 334
bar charts. See also data
bars; paired bar charts
column charts versus, 122
comparisons with,
122-123
component emphasis
with, 125
sorting items, 122-123
time comparison series,
123-124
gap width, changing,
398-400
when to use, 82, 121
bar of pie charts, 143
changing settings in VBA,
403-408
when to use, 127
Basic Cycle layout
(SmartArt), 335
Beautiful Evidence (Tufte),
434
benchmark charts,
creating, 260-261
bevel settings, changing
with VBA, 390-393
BevelTopDepth
property, 391
BevelTopInset
property, 391
BevelTopType
property, 391
bins for frequency
distribution, creating,
173-174
Birthcer, Dan, 167
black-and-white. See
monochromatic
blank cells
filling with zeros, 268
zeroed cells versus,
426-427
blank top-left cell, 23-24
blogs about charting, 435
Break mode (VBA), 411
bubble charts, 170-172
changing settings in VBA,
408-409
when to use, 147, 157
BubbleScale property, 409
built-in layouts, applying
with VBA, 373
built-in styles, applying
with VBA, 373-375
bullet points in
SmartArt, 319
Bunzel, Tom, 434
business customers,
mapping, 315-316
business diagrams. See
SmartArt
business presentations,
SmartArt for, 334
Balance layout, 334
Basic Cycle layout, 335
customizing layouts,
338-339
Diverging Radial layout,
335-336
hierarchy charts, 337-338
Table List layout, 336
Upward Arrow layout,
334-335
Venn diagrams, 336-337
C
calculations with dates,
87-88
candlestick charts, 189
color in, 210
competition and volume
in, 213-216
creating, 209
volume in, 210-211
creating manually,
211-213
Caption property, 380
categories
in secondary plots,
determining, 405-406
switching with series,
20-21
cell contents, linking text
in shapes to, 339-341
cell subsets, data bars for,
286-287
charts
cells
blank cells, 268
filling with zeros, 268
zeroed cells versus,
426-427
conditional formatting,
creating charts via,
293-296
formatting, 86-87
chart area
defined, 38
formatting, 65
chart floor (3-D charts)
defined, 40
formatting, 65-66
Chart Layouts gallery, 13,
25-26, 373
Chart object, 365
chart sheets, 24
Chart Styles gallery, 26-27.
See also styles
chart titles
changing with VBA, 380
defined, 38
formatting
Format dialog, 44
Format ribbon, 43-44
Home ribbon, 43
mini toolbar, 43
inserting, 42
moving, 42
resizing, 43
chart types
combining, 223-224
of pivot charts, changing,
271-272
selecting, 9-10, 81-83
series settings, 398
specifying in VBA,
369-370, 372
templates, specifying in
VBA, 372
thumbnail icons, 10-13
chart walls (3-D charts)
defined, 40
formatting, 65-66
ChartFormat object, 365
Format method, 380-381
3-D rotation settings,
386-390
bevel settings, 390-393
fill options, 381-383
glow settings, 384
lighting settings,
395-397
line settings, 383-384
material settings,
393-395
reflection settings, 385
shadow settings, 384
soft edge settings,
385-386
charting tutorials, 434
ChartObject object, 365
charts. See also dynamic
charts; pivot charts
3-D charts
elements of, 40
lying with perspective,
423-425
rotation, formatting,
66-68
types of, 11-12
walls/floor, formatting,
65-66
analysis elements, 40-41
converting to XPS or
PDF, 356
copying to
PowerPoint/Word,
347-349
as linked object,
352-353
as live chart linked to
copy of workbook,
350-351
as live chart linked to
original workbook,
349-350
as picture, 351-352
creating, 14
via conditional
formatting, 293-296
contiguous data,
selecting, 14
via data visualizations.
See data visualizations
with Insert ribbon,
15-16
noncontiguous data,
selecting, 15
in PowerPoint,
353-354
via REPT function,
296-297
via scrollbar controls,
297-300
steps for, 3
in VBA, 366-367
customizing, 25
Chart Layouts gallery,
25-26
Chart Styles gallery,
26-27
themes, changing,
27-28
themes, creating, 28-35
default chart, changing, 17
elements of, 38-39
How can we make this index more useful? Email us at [email protected]
441
442
Index
charts
exporting
as images, 355-356, 414
to webpages, 355
lying with
deliberate lies, 428-430
Excel rules, 426-427
obscuring data,
427-428
perspective, 423-425
scale, 426
shrinking charts, 425
on maps, 312-314
moving, 16-18
to separate sheets,
24-25
to top of dataset, 19
in VBA, 367
between worksheets,
224-225
new features, 7-8
referencing in VBA,
365-369
resizing, 16
for dashboards,
219-221
saving as templates, 79
selecting type of, 2-3
top-left cell, leaving blank,
23-24
Charts.Add command, 366
ChartStyle property, 374
ChartType property,
369-370, 372, 401
Choose a SmartArt
Graphic dialog, 321
choosing
axis types, 85
chart layouts, 25-26
chart types, 2-3, 9-10,
81-83
color schemes, 26-27
colors for custom themes,
32-33
contiguous data for
charts, 14
effects for custom themes,
29-30
fonts for custom themes,
33-34
forecast methods for
trendlines, 70-71
layouts for SmartArt, 333
map types, 312
noncontiguous data for
charts, 15
circles on maps, coloring,
312-314
ClearToMatchStyle
method, 375
clip art, as data markers,
77-78
closing stock prices on line
charts, creating, 193-194
clustered column
charts, 11
Code window, 359
code. See VBA
color scales, 281, 288
converting to
monochromatic, 288-289
data bars versus, 285
troubleshooting, 290
color schemes
changing with themes,
27-28
selecting, 26-27
coloring map circles,
312-314
colors
in candlestick charts, 210
complementary colors,
finding for custom
themes, 31-32
extrusion color, 393
for fill options, applying
with VBA, 382
gradients for plot area,
62-63
highlighting
columns, 108-109
pie chart slices, 134
RGB values, 30
converting from
hexadecimal, 30-31
selecting for custom
themes, 32-33
in SmartArt,
changing, 322
Colors dialog, 32
column charts
bar charts versus, 122
gap width, changing,
398-400
volume (of stocks traded)
in, adding to line charts,
194-197
when to use, 81
column depth
(3-D charts), 40
column sequences for
stock charts, 191
columns
converting to arrows,
109-110
final column, jumping
to, 362
floating, 227-230
formatting, 86-87
copied Excel data
gap between, resizing, 175
highlighting, 108-109
switching with rows,
20-21
comments (VBA), 364-365
communication with
charts, 104
columns
converting to arrows,
109-110
highlighting, 108-109
line types, changing,
111-113
long titles, creating,
104-108
sections of charts,
highlighting, 110-111
comparing variables. See
relationships with charts
comparisons with charts
100% stacked column
charts, 134-135
bar charts, 122-123
component emphasis
with, 125
sorting items, 122-123
time comparison series,
123-124
bar of pie charts, 143
component comparison
charts, 126, 128
doughnut charts, 135-136
pie charts
80/20 rule, 137-138
creating, 128-129
exploding, 132-133
highlighting slices, 134
labeling, 129-130
moving labels, 131-132
rotating, 131
summary slices, 138
pie of pie charts, 138-139
creating, 142-143
gap settings, 139-141
splitting series, 141-142
stacked column charts,
117-118
waterfall charts, 144
creating, 144-146
competition in candlestick
charts, 213-216
complementary colors,
finding for custom
themes, 31-32
component comparison
charts, 126, 128
100% stacked column
charts, 134-135
bar of pie charts, 143
doughnut charts, 135-136
pie charts
80/20 rule, 137-138
creating, 128-129
exploding, 132-133
highlighting slices, 134
labeling, 129-130
moving labels, 131-132
rotating, 131
summary slices, 138
pie of pie charts, 138-139
creating, 142-143
gap settings, 139-141
splitting series, 141-142
component emphasis with
bar charts, 125
conditional formatting,
creating charts via,
293-296
cone charts, lying with, 425
constants
for lighting types in VBA,
396-397
for material types in
VBA, 394
for SetElement method,
376-379
contiguous data, selecting
for charts, 14
continuing lines in
VBA, 364
ContourWidth
property, 393
converting. See also
exporting
charts
to GIF files, 355
to XPS or PDF, 356
color scales to
monochromatic, 288-289
columns to arrows,
109-110
dates to text, 100-103
hexadecimal color values
to RGB color values,
30-31
SmartArt to shapes,
343-345
text
to dates, 86-92
to WordArt, 74
two-color scales to/from
three-color scales, 290
copied Excel data, creating
PowerPoint charts from,
353-354
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443
444
Index
copying charts to PowerPoint/Word
copying charts to
PowerPoint/Word,
347-349. See also moving;
sharing
as linked object, 352-353
as live chart linked to copy
of workbook, 350-351
as live chart linked to
original workbook,
349-350
as picture, 351-352
correlation. See
relationships with charts
cost of MapPoint, 308
COUNTA( ) formula, 259
counting rows, 362
Create New Theme Colors
dialog, 32
Create New Theme Fonts
dialog, 33
Create PivotTable with
PivotChart dialog, 269
Crystal Xcelsius, 437
CurrentRegion
property, 361
custom chart types,
specifying in VBA, 372
custom format codes
hiding axis values, 196
months displayed as single
letters, 196
custom themes,
creating, 28
colors, selecting, 32-33
complementary colors,
finding, 31-32
effects, selecting, 29-30
fonts, selecting, 33-34
saving, 34
sharing, 35
usage of, 35
customers, mapping,
315-316
customizing. See also
formatting
charts, 25
Chart Layouts gallery,
25-26
Chart Styles gallery,
26-27
themes, changing,
27-28
themes, creating, 28-35
data bars, 282-284
high-low-close charts,
199-201
SmartArt layouts, 338-339
Cycle category
(SmartArt), 320
cycle layouts
(SmartArt), 335
D
custom number formats,
negative numbers, 161
Daily Dose of Excel
blog, 435
custom shapes, creating,
341-342
Dashboard Reporting with
Excel, 437
dashboards, resizing charts
for, 219-221
data bars, 281-282. See also
bar charts
benefits/limitations,
284-285
customizing, 282-284
size of smallest/largest bar,
284-285
for subset of cells,
286-287
data labels
defined, 39
formatting, 49-50
inserting, 48-49
on scatter charts,
150-152
moving
from gridlines, 49
on pie charts, 131-132
rogue XY series as,
230-236
data markers
clip art as, 77-78
shapes as, 78-79
data points
formatting, 74
on scatter charts, joining,
152-153
data series
adding to highlight
sections of charts,
110-111
chart types and, 398
combining chart types,
223-224
Format Series dialog,
397-398
bar of pie and pie
of pie chart settings,
403-408
bubble size settings,
408-409
Design ribbon
gap width settings,
398-400
radar and surface chart
settings, 409-410
rotating and exploding
charts, 401-403
secondary axis settings,
400-401
formatting, 73-74
inserting on scatter charts,
153-155
multiple series, creating in
pivot charts, 272
multiple XY series,
creating trellis charts,
241-245
order of, changing, 21-23
rogue XY series
combining multiple
charts into single
chart, 236-241
as vertical axis
gridlines/labels,
230-236
switching with categories,
20-21
data sources for stock
charts, 189-190
data tables
defined, 39
formatting, 51
inserting, 50-51
data visualizations
color scales, 288
converting to
monochromatic,
288-289
troubleshooting, 290
data bars, 282
benefits/limitations,
284-285
customizing, 282-284
size of smallest/largest
bar, 284-285
for subset of cells,
286-287
icon sets, 290-291
aligning with
numbers, 292
reversing order of, 293
setup, 291
types of, 281
date data in pivot tables,
grouping, 273-274
date filters for pivot tables,
277-278
DATE function, 91
date-based axes
accuracy of, 84
converting
dates to text, 100-103
text to dates, 86-92
creating time-based
axes, 56
dates prior to 1900, 93-97
displaying as time-based
axes, 98-100
numeric years as dates,
92-93
text-based axes versus,
55-56, 84-86
dates
calculations with, 87-88
converting
text to, 86-92
to text, 100-103
numeric years as, 92-93
prior to 1900, 93-97
storage format of, 87-88
DATEVALUE function,
88-89
Debug mode (VBA), 360
debugging tools
(VBA), 360
declaring variables, 363
decorative elements in
charts, 101-103
default chart, changing, 17
deleting
gap between columns, 175
titles, 106-108
deliberate lies with charts,
428-430
delta charts, creating,
261-263
departments, illustrating
with Table List layout
(SmartArt), 336
depth (3-D charts), 68
depth axis, 52
built-in options, 53
on surface charts, 185
Depth property, 393
Design ribbon, 8, 369
customizing charts, 25
Chart Layouts gallery,
25-26
Chart Styles gallery,
26-27
number of charts
availabile, 74
Select Data icon, 21-23
SmartArt, 324
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445
446
Index
Developer ribbon
Developer ribbon,
enabling, 358
Diagrams. See SmartArt
Dim statement, 363
direct reports in
organization charts,
adding, 330-331
discount/sales correlation
example (paired bar
charts), 162-164
displaying gridlines, 59-60
Diverging Radial layout
(SmartArt), 335-336
dotted-line reports in
organization charts,
adding, 331-332
doughnut charts, 135-136
hole size, changing, 403
when to use, 127
DoughnutHoleSize
property, 403
drawing with scatter
charts, 155-156
drop lines
defined, 41
inserting, 71
drop-downs, creating
dynamic charts with
validation drop-downs,
250-253
dynamic charts
creating
with validation
drop-downs, 250-253
with VBA, 414-416
defined, 245
dynamic ranges in,
253-256
range of data, specifying,
246-247
scrolling charts, creating,
256-259
table values, finding,
247-250
Excel rules, lying with,
426-427
expand icon, selecting
chart types, 10
exploding pie charts,
132-133, 401-403
dynamic ranges in charts,
253-256
Explosion property, 402
dynamic SmartArt
diagrams, creating,
343-345
ExportChart method, 414
E
Edit Formatting Rule
dialog, 283
effects
changing with themes,
27-28
selecting for custom
themes, 29-30
shape effects, 75-77
exponential trendlines, 71
exporting charts
as images, 355-356, 414
to webpages, 355
external entities
relationships, illustrating
with Diverging Radial
layout (SmartArt),
335-336
extrusion color, 393
F
embedded charts, 16
F11 shortcut, 17
enabling
Developer ribbon, 358
VBA, 358
Few, Steven, 435
End With statement, 364
filtering pivot tables, 274
for Axis and Legend fields,
276-278
with Report Filter field,
275-276
End+Down Arrow key
versus End+Up Arrow
key, 362
Envisioning Information
(Tufte), 433
equations for trendlines,
adding to charts, 70
fill options, changing with
VBA, 381-383
final column, jumping
to, 362
final row, jumping to, 362
error bars, 41, 72-73
FIND function, 91
error checking in VBA, 360
error handling in VBA, 372
finding table values,
247-250
Excel 2003, pivot table
compatibility, 268
FirstSliceAngle
property, 401
four-icon sets
five-icon sets, 291
Fletcher, Kyle,
101-103, 436
floating
columns, 227-230
legend in plot area, 46
floor (3-D charts)
defined, 40
formatting, 65-66
font size in SmartArt,
changing, 325
fonts, selecting for
custom themes, 33-34.
See also WordArt
forecast methods for
trendlines, selecting,
70-71
forecasts. See trendlines
Format Axis dialog, 51, 53,
58, 61
Format Cells dialog, 86-87
Format Data Labels dialog,
49-50
Format Data Series
dialog, 73
Format Data Table
dialog, 51
Format dialogs, 37, 44, 244
Format Error Bars
dialog, 73
Format Gridlines dialog,
60-61
Format Legend dialog, 47
Format method, 380-381
3-D rotation settings,
386-390
bevel settings, 390-393
fill options, 381-383
glow settings, 384
lighting settings, 395-397
line settings, 383-384
material settings, 393-395
reflection settings, 385
shadow settings, 384
soft edge settings, 385-386
Format Shape dialog, 341
formatting. See also
customizing; Format
ribbon
axis titles, 44
cells, 86-87
chart area, 65
chart titles
Format dialog, 44
Format ribbon, 43-44
Home ribbon, 43
mini toolbar, 43
columns, 86-87
conditional formatting,
creating charts via,
293-296
data labels, 49-50
data points, 74
data tables, 51
gridlines, 60-61
legend, 45
floating in plot area, 46
with Format Legend
dialog, 47
individual entries in, 47
negative numbers, 161
plot area, 61-62
with gradients, 62-63
with pictures, 64-65
with textures, 64-65
with transparency, 65
rotation (3-D charts),
66-68
series, 73-74
trendlines, 69-70
with VBA. See Format
method
walls/floor (3-D charts),
65-66
Format Trendline
dialog, 70
formulas for stem-and-leaf
plots, 301-305
Format Plot Area
dialog, 65
Format ribbon, 8, 37, 74.
See also customizing;
formatting
formatting chart titles,
43-44
macro recorder and, 380
shape effects, 75-77
Shape Styles gallery, 74-75
SmartArt, 324
text, converting to
WordArt, 74
Format Series dialog,
changing with VBA,
397-398
bar of pie and pie of pie
chart settings, 403-408
bubble size settings,
408-409
gap width settings,
398-400
radar and surface chart
settings, 409-410
rotating and exploding
charts, 401-403
secondary axis settings,
400-401
four-icon sets, 291
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447
448
Index
Franklin, Charles
Franklin, Charles, 119, 435
Freeform shape, creating
custom shapes, 341-342
frequency distribution,
172-176
FREQUENCY function,
157, 172-174
G
gallery controls, 13
gap between columns,
resizing, 175
gap settings, pie of pie
charts, 139-141
gap width
changing, 398-400
of secondary plots,
determining, 406-407
gridlines
formatting, 60-61
moving data labels
from, 49
placement of, 61
rogue XY series as,
230-236
viewing, 59-60
grouping
date data in pivot tables,
273-274
invoice amounts on pivot
charts, 279-280
Grouping dialog, 273
growth, illustrating with
Upward Arrow layout
(SmartArt), 334-335
H
GapWidth property,
398, 407
Has3DShading
property, 409
Gemignani, Chris, 435
Gemignani, Zach, 435
HasRadarAxisLabels
property, 409
geographic information.
See maps
HasSeriesLines
property, 406
GIF files, converting charts
to, 355
heat maps. See color scales
glow settings, changing
with VBA, 384
help features (VBA), 360
gradients
for fill options, applying
with VBA, 383
for plot area, 62-63
graphics. See images;
shapes; SmartArt;
WordArt
height (3-D charts), 68
hexadecimal color values,
converting to RGB color
values, 30-31
hiding axis values, 196
Hierarchy category
(SmartArt), 320
hierarchy charts
(SmartArt), 337-338
Hierarchy style (SmartArt),
329-330
high-low-close charts
adding volume to,
203-208
creating, 197-199
customizing, 199-201
high/low lines,
inserting, 72
highlighting
columns, 108-109
pie chart slices, 134
sections of charts, 110-111
hole size (doughnut
charts), changing, 403
Home ribbon, 9
formatting chart titles, 43
horizontal axis, 52
axis types, selecting, 85
built-in options, 52-53
date-based axes
accuracy of, 84
converting text to
dates, 86-92
converting to text,
100-103
dates prior to 1900,
93-97
displaying as
time-based axes,
98-100
numeric years as dates,
92-93
text-based axes versus,
55-56, 84-86
defined, 39
time-based, creating, 56
horizontal axis titles, 39
horizontal gridlines, 39
Horizontal Labeled
Hierarchy layout
(SmartArt), 337-338
LEFT function
I
icon sets, 281, 290-291
aligning with
numbers, 292
data bars versus, 285
reversing order of, 293
setup, 291
icons, thumbnail icons for
chart types, 10-13
images. See also clip art;
pictures
exporting charts as,
355-356, 414
in SmartArt, inserting,
328-329
in-cell data bars, 4
drop lines, 71
high/low lines, 72
images in SmartArt,
328-329
labels on scatter charts,
150-152
R-squared values in scatter
charts, 157-159
second series on scatter
charts, 153-155
secondary axis, 74
shapes, 225-227, 339-341
SmartArt, 321-322
trendline equations, 70
trendlines, 113-114
on scatter charts,
149-150
up/down bars, 72
IncrementRotationHorizontal method, 390
Instant Cognition
blog, 435
IncrementRotationVertical
method, 390
interactive training
resources, 434
IncrementRotationX
method, 390
invoice amounts on pivot
charts, grouping, 279-280
IncrementRotationY
method, 390
iterative process,
illustrating with
Basic Cycle layout
(SmartArt), 335
IncrementRotationZ
method, 390
INDEX function,
combining with MATCH
function, 249-250
Insert Picture dialog, 329
Insert ribbon, 8
chart types, selecting, 9-10
charts, creating, 15-16
Insert Shapes dialog, 341
inserting
chart titles, 42
data labels, 48-49
data tables, 50-51
J–K
joining data points on
scatter charts, 152-153
Juice Analytics blog, 435
Kapor, Mitch, 88
keyboard shortcuts
creating charts, 17
SmartArt text pane, 327
L
Labeled Hierarchy layout
(SmartArt), 337-338
labeling pie charts,
129-130
labels
defined, 39
formatting, 49-50
inserting, 48-49
on scatter charts,
150-152
moving
from gridlines, 49
on pie charts, 131-132
rogue XY series as,
230-236
Layout ribbon, 8, 37, 369
changes with VBA
SetElement method,
375-379
number of charts
available, 74
layouts. See also Chart
Layouts gallery
built-in layouts, applying
with VBA, 373
for SmartArt
customizing, 338-339
selecting, 333
leader lines in secondary
plots, 406
leap year problem, 88
leaves (stem-and-leaf plots)
digits as, 303-305
x’s as, 301-303
LEFT function, 91
Kusleika, Dick, 435
Kyd, Charley, 236, 437
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Index
legend
legend
defined, 39
formatting, 45
floating in plot area, 46
with Format Legend
dialog, 47
individual entries, 47
resizing, 47
Legend fields, filtering
pivot tables, 276-278
LightAngle property, 393
lighting settings, changing
with VBA, 395-397
limited SmartArt
styles, 332
line charts
drop lines, inserting, 71
high/low lines,
inserting, 72
as stock charts, 187-188
adding volume to,
194-197
creating, 193-194
up/down bars,
inserting, 72
when to use, 81
line continuation in
VBA, 364
line settings, changing with
VBA, 383-384
line types, changing,
111-113
LineFormat object,
383-384
lines joining data points,
inserting on scatter
charts, 152-153
Link Data Wizard
dialog, 309
linked objects, copying
charts to PowerPoint/
Word as, 352-353
linking
cell contents to text in
shapes, 339-341
live charts to
PowerPoint/Word,
349-351
List category
(SmartArt), 320
live charts, copying to
PowerPoint/Word as,
349-351
live data, copying
charts, 348
live stock charts, creating
with web connections,
216-218
live training sessions, 435
location of charts,
specifying, 366-367
logarithmic axis, 54-55
logarithmic trendlines, 71
long titles, creating,
104-108
lookup arrays. See MATCH
function; VLOOKUP
function
Lotus 1-2-3, 88
lying with charts
deliberate lies, 428-430
Excel rules, 426-427
obscuring data, 427-428
perspective, 423-425
scale, 426
shrinking charts, 425
M
macro recorder
Design and Layout
ribbons, 369
Format ribbon and, 380
VBA and, 360
MAD Magazine, 167-170
major gridlines
formatting, 60-61
placement of, 61
viewing, 59-60
MapPoint, 307-308. See
also maps
cost of, 308
maps, creating, 308-312
maps. See also MapPoint
business customers,
mapping, 315-316
creating, 308-312
numeric data on, 312-314
pushpins, adding, 310-311
shaded area map style,
314-315
types of, selecting, 312
zooming in/out, 311-312
margin of error, error bars,
72-73
MATCH function, 247-249
combining with INDEX
function, 249-250
material settings, changing
with VBA, 393-395
Matrix category
(SmartArt), 320
maximum value on vertical
axis, changing, 56-59
Mehta, Tushar, 434
MID function, 91
Page Layout ribbon
mini toolbar, formatting
chart titles, 43
minimum value on vertical
axis, changing, 56-59
minor gridlines
formatting, 60-61
placement of, 61
viewing, 59-60
monochromatic,
converting color scales
to, 288-289
monthly sales, charting
with YTD sales, 115-116
months, displaying as
single letters, 196
Move Chart dialog, 24, 225
moving. See also copying
chart titles, 42
charts, 16-18
between worksheets,
224-225
to separate sheets,
24-25
to top of dataset, 19
in VBA, 367
data labels from
gridlines, 49
pie chart labels, 131-132
series, to secondary axis,
400-401
titles, 106
moving average
trendlines, 71
multiple charts
combining into single
chart, 236-241
printing with VBA,
418-420
multiple series in pivot
charts, creating, 272. See
also series
multiple trendlines,
118-119
multiple XY series,
creating trellis charts,
241-245
N
negative numbers (custom
number formats), 161
new features
charts, 7-8
Excel 2007 VBA, 365
pivot tables, 267-268
obscuring data, lying with,
427-428
OFFSET function,
246-247
OHLC (open-highlow-close) charts,
188-189, 197
creating, 202-203
high-low-close charts
adding volume to,
203-208
creating, 197-199
customizing, 199-201
OneColorGradient
method, 383
OneNote, 356
noncontiguous data,
selecting for charts, 15
open-high-low-close
(OHLC) charts. See
OHLC charts
numbers, aligning with
icon sets, 292
order of series, changing,
21-23
numeric data on maps,
312-314
organization charts,
329-330
assistants, adding, 330
direct reports, adding,
330-331
dotted-line reports,
adding, 331-332
numeric years as dates,
92-93
O
object settings, finding in
Watch window, 410-414
object variables, 363
object-oriented code in
VBA, 361
objects, referencing with
With and End With
statements, 364
Overlap property, 399
P
Page Layout ribbon, 8
effects, selecting, 29
number of charts
available, 74
themes, changing, 27
ObjectThemeColor
property, 382
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Index
paired bar charts
paired bar charts, 159-162
discount/sales correlation
example, 162-164
Kathy Villella example,
165-167
when to use, 157
paired matching charts,
MAD Magazine example,
167-170
pairs of data points,
plotting. See relationships
with charts
Paste Special dialog, 352
pasting. See copying
PDF, converting charts
to, 356
Peltier, Jon, 236, 434
performance reviews, creating with radar charts,
176-178
perspective (3-D charts)
defined, 67-68
lying with, 423-425
pictures. See also clip art;
images
copying charts to
PowerPoint/Word as,
351-352
for fill options, applying
with VBA, 383
in plot area, 64-65
in SmartArt, 319
pie charts
80/20 rule, 137-138
axes in, 51
comparing with doughnut
charts, 135-136
creating, 128-129
exploding, 132-133,
401-403
highlighting slices, 134
labeling, 129-130
moving labels, 131-132
rotating, 131, 401-403
summary slices, 138
types of, 128
when to use, 82, 121, 127
pie of pie charts, 138-139
changing settings in VBA,
403-408
creating, 142-143
gap settings, 139-141
splitting series, 141-142
when to use, 127
pivot charts. See also
pivot tables
adding to pivot tables, 268
chart type, changing,
271-272
creating, 269-271
for all Report Filter
values, 278-279
with VBA, 416-420
defined, 267
with multiple series,
creating, 272
simulating scatter charts
with, 279-280
pivot tables. See also pivot
charts
adding pivot charts to, 268
blank cells, filling with
zeros, 268
date data, grouping,
273-274
defined, 267
filtering, 274
for Axis and Legend
fields, 276-278
with Report Filter
field, 275-276
new features, 267-268
preparing data for,
268-269
plot area
defined, 38
floating legend in, 46
formatting, 61-62
with gradients, 62-63
with pictures, 64-65
with textures, 64-65
with transparency, 65
Politikal Arithmetik
blog, 435
polynomial trendlines, 71
Portable Document
Format (PDF), converting
charts to, 356
power trendlines, 71
PowerFrameworks.com,
432-433
PowerPoint
copying charts to, 347-349
as linked object,
352-353
as live chart linked to
copy of workbook,
350-351
as live chart linked to
original workbook,
349-350
as picture, 351-352
creating charts with
copied Excel data,
353-354
preset shape effects, 76-77
PresetGradient
method, 383
PresetLighting
property, 393
resources
PresetMaterial
property, 393
ranges of dates, converting
from text to dates, 91-92
PresetTextured
method, 382
referencing
charts in VBA, 365-369
objects with With
and End With
statements, 364
printing multiple charts
with VBA, 418-420
privacy, copying charts, 348
pro/con decisions, Balance
layout (SmartArt) for, 334
Process category
(SmartArt), 320
professional chart
designers, 436
Project Explorer, 359
Properties window, 359
pushpins on maps, adding,
310-311
Pyramid category
(SmartArt), 320
Q–R
R-squared values
(trendlines), 70
inserting in scatter charts,
157-159
radar charts, 176-178
axes in, 51
changing settings in VBA,
409-410
Manoj Sharma example,
178-180
when to use, 147, 157
ranges of data
dynamic ranges in charts,
253-256
specifying
in dynamic charts,
246-247
in VBA, 361-362
second series, inserting,
153-155
trendlines, inserting,
149-150
surface charts, 183-184
3-D rotation, 185
depth axis, 185
reflection settings,
changing with VBA, 385
repeating text, creating
charts via, 296-297
Relationship category
(SmartArt), 320
replacing data markers
with clip art, 77-78
with shapes, 78-79
relationships with charts
bubble charts, 170-172
chart types, list of,
147-148, 156-157
frequency distribution,
172-176
Gene Zelazny example,
180-183
paired bar charts, 159-162
discount/sales
correlation example,
162-164
Kathy Villella example,
165-167
paired matching charts,
MAD Magazine example,
167-170
radar charts, 176-178
Manoj Sharma
example, 178-180
scatter charts, 148
drawing with, 155-156
labels, inserting,
150-152
lines joining data
points, inserting,
152-153
R-squared values,
inserting, 157-159
Report Filter values
creating pivot charts for,
278-279
filtering pivot tables,
275-276
REPT function, creating
charts via, 296-297
ResetRotation method, 390
resizing. See also size
chart titles, 43
charts, 16
for dashboards,
219-221
gap between columns, 175
legend, 47
secondary plots, 407
smallest/largest data bars,
284-285
titles, 106
resources
blogs, 435
charting tutorials, 434
interactive training, 434
live training sessions, 435
PowerFrameworks.com,
432-433
professional chart
designers, 436
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Index
resources
Tufte, Edward, 433-434
utilities, 436-437
visual design stores, 435
Zelazny, Gene, 431-432
reversing icon set
order, 293
RGB color values, 30
converting from
hexadecimal, 30-31
RIGHT function, 91
rogue XY series
combining multiple
charts into single chart,
236-241
as vertical axis gridlines/
labels, 230-236
rotating
pie charts, 131, 401-403
surface charts, 185
rotation settings
(3-D charts)
changing with VBA,
386-390
finding in Watch window,
413-414
formatting, 66-68
RotationX property, 390
RotationY property, 390
RotationZ property, 390
rows
counting, 362
final row, jumping to, 362
switching with columns,
20-21
S
sales/discount correlation
example (paired bar
charts), 162-164
saving
charts as templates, 79
custom themes, 34
scrolling charts, creating,
256-259
Say It with Charts
Complete Toolkit
(Zelazny), 104, 431
secondary axis
inserting, 74
moving series to, 400-401
scale
lying with, 426
of vertical axis, 53
changing, 56-59
secondary plots
categories in, determining,
405-406
gap width, determining,
406-407
leader lines in, 406
resizing, 407
slices in, determining,
404-405
scatter charts, 148
axes in, 51
drawing with, 155-156
labels, inserting, 150-152
lines joining data points,
inserting, 152-153
multiple XY series,
creating trellis charts,
241-245
R-squared values,
inserting, 157-159
rogue XY series
combining multiple
charts into single
chart, 236-241
as vertical axis
gridlines/labels,
230-236
second series, inserting,
153-155
simulating with pivot
charts, 279-280
trendlines, 119-120
inserting, 149-150
when to use, 147, 156
screen captures, exporting
charts as, 356
scrollbar controls, creating
charts via, 297-300
second series. See series
secondary vertical axis, 52
SecondaryPlot
property, 405
SecondPlotSize
property, 407
sections of charts,
highlighting, 110-111
Select Data icon (Design
ribbon), 21-23
Select Data Source dialog,
21-23
selecting
axis types, 85
chart layouts, 25-26
chart types, 2-3, 9-10,
81-83
color schemes, 26-27
colors for custom themes,
32-33
contiguous data for
charts, 14
effects for custom themes,
29-30
SmartArt
fonts for custom themes,
33-34
forecast methods for
trendlines, 70-71
layouts for SmartArt, 333
map types, 312
noncontiguous data for
charts, 15
sequence of columns for
stock charts, 191
series
adding to highlight
sections of charts,
110-111
chart types and, 398
combining chart types,
223-224
Format Series dialog,
397-398
bar of pie and pie
of pie chart settings,
403-408
bubble size settings,
408-409
gap width settings,
398-400
radar and surface chart
settings, 409-410
rotating and exploding
charts, 401-403
secondary axis settings,
400-401
formatting, 73-74
inserting on scatter charts,
153-155
multiple series, creating in
pivot charts, 272
multiple XY series,
creating trellis charts,
241-245
order of, changing, 21-23
rogue XY series
combining multiple
charts into single
chart, 236-241
as vertical axis
gridlines/labels,
230-236
switching with categories,
20-21
SERIES function, 232
Sharma, Manoj, 178-180
sheets, moving charts
to, 24-25. See also
chart sheets
shortcuts. See keyboard
shortcuts
Show Report Filter Pages
dialog, 278
shrinking charts, lying
with, 425
SetElement method, 365,
375-379
side wall (3-D charts), 40
SetPresetCamera method,
386-389
size. See also resizing
of bubbles, changing
settings in VBA, 408-409
of charts, specifying,
366-367
of text in SmartArt,
changing, 325
shaded area map style,
314-315
shadow settings, changing
with VBA, 384
Shape Styles gallery, 74-75
shapes, 318. See also
SmartArt
changing, 341
converting SmartArt to,
343-345
custom shapes, creating,
341-342
as data markers, 78-79
effects, 75-77
inserting, 225-227,
339-341
Shape Styles gallery, 74-75
in SmartArt, changing,
325-326
in text pane, 326-328
text, linking to cell
contents, 339-341
sharing custom themes, 35.
See also copying
Singh, Mala, 263, 436
slices
of pie charts
exploding, 132-133
highlighting, 134
summary slices, 138
in secondary plots,
determining, 404-405
SmartArt, 317-319.
See also shapes
bullet points in, 319
for business
presentations, 334
Balance layout, 334
Basic Cycle layout, 335
customizing layouts,
338-339
Diverging Radial
layout, 335-336
hierarchy charts,
337-338
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Index
SmartArt
Table List layout, 336
Upward Arrow layout,
334-335
Venn diagrams,
336-337
categories of, 320
colors, changing, 322
common elements in, 319
converting to shapes,
343-345
Design ribbon, 324
Format ribbon, 324
Hierarchy style, 329-330
images, inserting, 328-329
inserting, 321-322
layouts, selecting, 333
limited styles in, 332
organization charts,
329-330
assistants, adding, 330
direct reports, adding,
330-331
dotted-line reports,
adding, 331-332
pictures in, 319
shapes, changing, 325-326
in text pane, 326-328
styles, 319
applying, 323
changing, 323-324
text size, changing, 325
Snag-It, 356
soft edge settings,
changing with VBA,
385-386
sorting bar chart items,
122-123
sources. See data sources
SparkMaker, 437
specialty charts, examples
of, 263-265
Speedometer Chart
Creator, 436
spinning. See rotating
splits (stocks) in stock
charts, 191-193
splitting series in pie of pie
charts, 141-142
SplitType property, 404
SplitValue property, 404
stacked bar charts
component emphasis
with, 125
when to use, 83
stacked column charts, 11
as comparison charts,
117-118
limitations of, 116-117
stacking multiple charts
into single chart, 236-241
stem-and-leaf plots, 301
creating
with digits as leaves,
303-305
with x’s as leaves,
301-303
stock charts
Adjusted Close column for
stock splits, 191-193
candlestick charts, 189
colors in, 210
competition and
volume in, 213-216
creating, 209
volume in, 210-213
column sequences, 191
data sources for, 189-190
line charts, 187-188
adding volume to,
194-197
creating, 193-194
live charts, creating with
web connections,
216-218
OHLC charts,
188-189, 197
creating, 202-203
high-low-close charts,
adding volume to,
203-208
high-low-close charts,
creating, 197-199
high-low-close charts,
customizing, 199-201
types of, 187
when to use, 82
Stop command, 411
storage format
of dates, 87-88
of times, 88
stratifying. See grouping
styles. See also Chart Styles
gallery
built-in styles, applying
with VBA, 373-375
in SmartArt, 319
applying, 323
changing, 323-324
limited styles, 332
Styles gallery, 373-375
subordinates in
organization charts,
adding, 330-331
subsets of cells, data bars
for, 286-287
SUMIFS function, 14
summarizing. See grouping
summary data, creating for
charts, 14
summary slices in pie
charts, 138
titles
super-variables, 363
support
blogs, 435
charting tutorials, 434
interactive training, 434
live training sessions, 435
PowerFrameworks.com,
432-433
professional chart
designers, 436
Tufte, Edward, 433-434
utilities, 436-437
visual design stores, 435
Zelazny, Gene, 431-432
surface charts, 183-184
3-D rotation, 185
axes in, 51
changing settings in VBA,
409-410
depth axis, 185
limitations of, 147
SWIPE (visual design
store), 435
switching series and
categories, 20-21
Swoosh Arrow shape
(SmartArt), 334-335
T
Table List layout
(SmartArt), 336
table values, finding,
247-250
Takasaki, Earl, 263
Taylor, Ivana, 120
technical support
blogs, 435
charting tutorials, 434
interactive training, 434
live training sessions, 435
PowerFrameworks.com,
432-433
professional chart
designers, 436
Tufte, Edward, 433-434
utilities, 436-437
visual design stores, 435
Zelazny, Gene, 431-432
effects, selecting, 29-30
fonts, selecting, 33-34
saving custom
themes, 34
sharing custom
themes, 35
using custom
themes, 35
templates
creating, 79
specifying in VBA, 372
thermometer charts,
creating, 259-260
text. See also WordArt
converting
dates to, 100-103
to dates, 86-92
to WordArt, 74
repeating text, creating
charts via, 296-297
in shapes, linking to cell
contents, 339-341
three-color scales,
converting to/from
two-color scales, 290
text boxes, as titles,
106-108
time progression. See
trends in charts
text filters for pivot tables,
276-277
time-based axes, 52. See
also date-based axes
creating, 56
displaying date-based axes
as, 98-100
text pane (SmartArt),
326-328
text size in SmartArt,
changing, 325
text-based axes, 52
date-based axes versus,
55-56, 84-86
textures
for fill options, applying
with VBA, 382
in plot area, 64-65
themes
changing, 27-28
creating, 28
colors, selecting, 32-33
complementary colors,
finding, 31-32
.thmx file extension, 35
three-icon sets, 290
thumbnail icons for chart
types, 10-13
time comparisons in bar
charts, 123-124
times, storage format
of, 88
titles
axis titles
changing with
VBA, 380
formatting, 44
chart titles
changing with
VBA, 380
defined, 38
formatting, 43-44
inserting, 42
moving, 42
resizing, 43
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Index
titles
deleting, 106-108
long titles, creating,
104-108
moving, 106
resizing, 106
text boxes as, 106-108
tolerance, error bars, 72-73
ToolTips, creating
charts, 15
top of dataset, moving
charts to, 19
top-left cell, leaving blank,
23-24
Total Training, 434
training resources
blogs, 435
charting tutorials, 434
interactive training, 434
live training sessions, 435
PowerFrameworks.com,
432-433
professional chart
designers, 436
Tufte, Edward, 433-434
utilities, 436-437
visual design stores, 435
Zelazny, Gene, 431-432
transparency of plot area,
62, 65
trellis charts, creating,
241-245
trend charts (stock charts)
Adjusted Close column for
stock splits, 191-193
candlestick charts, 189
colors in, 210
competition and
volume in, 213-216
creating, 209
volume in, 210-213
column sequences, 191
data sources for, 189-190
line charts, 187-188
adding volume to,
194-197
creating, 193-194
live charts, creating
with web connections,
216-218
OHLC charts,
188-189, 197
creating, 202-203
high-low-close charts,
adding volume to,
203-208
high-low-close charts,
creating, 197-199
high-low-close charts,
customizing, 199-201
types of, 187
when to use, 82
trendlines, 68-69
defined, 41
equations for, adding to
charts, 70
forecast methods,
selecting, 70-71
formatting, 69-70
inserting, 113-114
on scatter charts,
149-150
lying with, 427-428
multiple trendlines,
118-119
R-squared values,
inserting in scatter
charts, 157-159
in scatter plots, 119-120
trends in charts
axis types, selecting, 85
chart types, selecting,
81-83
date-based axes
accuracy of, 84
converting text to
dates, 86-92
converting to text,
100-103
dates prior to 1900,
93-97
displaying as
time-based axes,
98-100
numeric years as dates,
92-93
text-based axes versus,
84-86
monthly and YTD sales,
115-116
stacked column charts
as comparison charts,
117-118
limitations of, 116-117
trendlines
inserting, 113-114
multiple trendlines,
118-119
in scatter plots,
119-120
troubleshooting color
scales, 290
Tufte, Edward, 78, 433-435
two-color scales,
converting to/from
three-color scales, 290
TwoColorGradient
method, 383
vertical axis
U
underscore (_), VBA line
continuation, 364
up/down bars
defined, 41
inserting, 72
Upward Arrow layout
(SmartArt), 334-335
UserForms, creating
dynamic charts with VBA,
414-416
UserPicture method, 383
utilities, list of, 436-437
V
validation drop-downs,
creating dynamic charts
with, 250-253
value filters for pivot
tables, 277
variables
variables, comparing. See
relationships with charts
declaring, 363
object variables, 363
VaryByCategories
property, 399
VBA (Visual Basic for
Applications), 357
axis titles, changing, 380
backward compatibility,
357
built-in layouts,
applying, 373
built-in styles, applying,
373-375
chart titles, changing, 380
chart types, specifying,
369-370, 372
charts
creating, 366-367
moving, 367
referencing, 365-369
comments, 364-365
Developer ribbon,
enabling, 358
dynamic charts, creating,
414-416
enabling, 358
exporting charts as
graphics, 414
Format method, 380-381
3-D rotation settings,
386-390
bevel settings, 390-393
fill options, 381-383
glow settings, 384
lighting settings,
395-397
line settings, 383-384
material settings,
393-395
reflection settings, 385
shadow settings, 384
soft edge settings,
385-386
Format Series dialog,
changes in, 397-398
bar of pie and pie
of pie chart settings,
403-408
bubble size settings,
408-409
gap width settings,
398-400
radar and surface chart
settings, 409-410
rotating and exploding
charts, 401-403
secondary axis settings,
400-401
Layout ribbon changes
with SetElement
method, 375-379
line continuation, 364
macro recorder and, 360
multiple charts, printing,
418-420
new features, 365
object variables, 363
object-oriented code, 361
objects, referencing with
With and End With
statements, 364
pivot charts, creating,
416-420
ranges of data, specifying,
361-362
template chart types,
specifying, 372
tips for, 359-360
variables, declaring, 363
Visual Basic Editor,
358-359
Watch window
object settings, finding,
410-414
rotation settings,
finding, 413-414
Venn diagrams (SmartArt),
336-337
vertical axis, 52
built-in options, 53-54
defined, 39
gridlines/labels, rogue XY
series as, 230-236
scale, changing, 56-59
secondary axis,
inserting, 74
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460
Index
vertical axis title
vertical axis title, 39
vertical gridlines, 39
viewing gridlines, 59-60
Villella, Kathy,
165-167, 432
Visual Basic Editor,
358-359
Visual Business
Intelligence blog, 435
visual design stores, 435
The Visual Display of
Quantitative Information
(Tufte), 433
Visual Explanations: Images
and Quantities, Evidence
and Narrative (Tufte), 434
visualizations
color scales, 288
converting to
monochromatic,
288-289
troubleshooting, 290
data bars, 282
benefits/limitations,
284-285
customizing, 282-284
size of smallest/largest
bar, 284-285
for subset of cells,
286-287
icon sets, 290-291
aligning with
numbers, 292
reversing order of, 293
setup, 291
types of, 281
VLOOKUP function,
247-249
volume (of stocks traded)
in candlestick charts,
210-211, 213-216
creating manually,
211-213
in high-low-close charts,
203-208
in line charts, 194-197
W
walls (3-D charts)
defined, 40
formatting, 65-66
Watch window
object settings, finding,
410-414
rotation settings, finding,
413-414
waterfall charts, 144
creating, 144-146
web connections, creating
live stock charts with,
216-218
webpages, exporting charts
to, 355
websites, charting
tutorials, 434
With statement, 364
Woodbridge, George, 167
Word, copying charts to,
347-349
as linked object, 352-353
as live chart linked to copy
of workbook, 350-351
as live chart linked to
original workbook,
349-350
as picture, 351-352
WordArt, 318, 342-343
converting text to, 74
worksheets, moving charts
between, 224-225
X
X rotation (3-D charts), 66
x-axis (horizontal axis), 52
axis types, selecting, 85
built-in options, 52-53
date-based axes
accuracy of, 84
converting text to
dates, 86-92
converting to text,
100-103
dates prior to 1900,
93-97
displaying as
time-based axes,
98-100
numeric years as dates,
92-93
text-based axes versus,
55-56, 84-86
defined, 39
time-based, creating, 56
xlSizeIsArea setting, 408
xlSizeIsWidth setting, 408
XPS (XML Paper
Specification), converting
charts to, 356
XY Chart Labeler, 151
XY (scatter) charts, 148
axes in, 51
drawing with, 155-156
labels, inserting, 150-152
lines joining data points,
inserting, 152-153
zooming in/out maps
multiple XY series,
creating trellis charts,
241-245
R-squared values,
inserting, 157-159
rogue XY series
combining multiple
charts into single
chart, 236-241
as vertical axis
gridlines/labels,
230-236
second series, inserting,
153-155
simulating with pivot
charts, 279-280
trendlines, 119-120
inserting, 149-150
when to use, 147, 156
Z
Zelazny, Gene, 104,
180-183, 431-432, 435
zero-based vertical axis,
changing to non-zerobased vertical axis, 56-59
zeroed cells, blank cells
versus, 426-427
zooming in/out maps,
311-312
Y
Y rotation (3-D charts),
66-67
y-axis (vertical axis), 52
built-in options, 53-54
defined, 39
gridlines/labels, rogue XY
series as, 230-236
scale, changing, 56-59
secondary axis,
inserting, 74
years, numeric years as
dates, 92-93
YTD sales, charting with
monthly sales, 115-116
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