or Excel Charting Hacks # 2
Roughly 35-40% of my working time in office is spent with powerpoint. As one of my mentors said, powerpoint gives neither the power nor the point. Apart from writing truck loads of bullet points and using auto shapes, I also work alot with numbers and charts. Obviously I resort to excel for drawing the same, but over the last few months I have observed that, everytime I create a chart, I follow these steps mechanically,
- Adjust the font to Verdana or something
- Remove the chart background
- Format gridlines to something really dull and dotted
- Remove the outline border for individual bars / pies etc.
- Enable data labels, format them
- Change colors of the bars / pies to something pleasent to the eye
It take roughly 2-3 mins for each chart to do this, often it takes more time when I am working with lots of numbers. Now, that is a lot of time to waste on daily basis. So I have developed few “user-defined charts”. Whenever I create a chart I apply one of these templates and then touch it up based on the presentation template or need of the hour. This is saving me a quite a lot of time and might as well do it for you.
User Defined Charts in Excel:
UDCs is a very useful hidden feature in excel that saves a lot of time, easy to know and use and still lacks significant awareness. I think, excel is full of such things.
How to define “User Defined Chart”:
Once you have a chart formated to your need, you can add it user-defined charts list so that you can use it next time with a different set of data. To do that;
- Select the chart which you want to add to “user defined” list
- Click on menu options Chart->chart-type
- Go to Custom tab, select “user-defined” radio. Click on the add button and specify a title and description. (see the screenshots aside. Focus on the Red circles)
Now, for your use I have included all the 13 chart templates I have created in an excel. Download excel charting hacks # 2 and say NO to default charts forever. Remember, you have to add my charts to your computer by manually clicking on the Add button for every chart. Thats one time process though.
[Read more excel charting hacks]