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Create Charts in Excel 2007 the Easy Way with Chart Advisor

Creating charts in Excel spreadsheets is a great way to represent data in a visually appealing way, but can be too time consuming finding the appropriate one. Today we take a look at Chart Advisor from Microsoft Office Labs which makes the process more efficient.

Note: Remember this is a prototype and under development and may not work perfectly with your system. 

Install Chart Advisor 

Because this is an Office Labs prototype you will need to participate in Usage Metrics and Auto Update. Continue through the installation wizard to complete the process.

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After the installation is complete open Excel and you will see it under the Insert tab in the ribbon.

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Using Chart Advisor

Here we will take a look at using Chart Advisor. Open up an Excel spreadsheet and select the data you want to to create a chart on. In this example we’re using monthly sales figures for tools and supplies. After you have highlighted the cells click on Chart Advisor under the Insert tab.

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Give it an moment while Chart Advisor analyzes the data and recommends appropriate charts.

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Hover over the different suggestions at the top to get a more detailed view of how it will look.

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The amount of charts you have to choose from will be determined by the data cells you select. Also notice they are sorted by relevance.

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Just hover the pointer over the percentage box on each suggestion to get a detailed formula of why it got its score.

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You can filter data to further modify the charts.

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You can further tweak the chart under Modify Chart and change data positions, exclude data, etc.

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When done configuring the chart just click the Insert Chart button to place it into the spreadsheet.

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If you are looking for a way to speed up how you create charts and graphs in your Excel presentations then you might want to check out this add-on.

Download Chart Advisor from Office Labs

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/22/09

Comments (4)

  1. calebstein

    This looks great but will it work with Excel 2010?

  2. manpreet singh

    i am very happy to see your new model of computer

  3. calebstein

    It does not install under Excel 2010

  4. Andreas

    Microsoft Chart Advisor chart selecting process is based on an automated approach. A rule engine scans your data and calculates a score based on the rules and a so called popularity index. I have my doubts that such a full automated approach will help users selecting the appropriate chart type. Charts that are popular but not effective, like the pie chart, will get a high score.
    You should have a look on another Excel Chart tool, Chart Tamer:
    http://www.bonavistasystems.com/Products_ChartTamer_Overview.html

    Chart Tamer is flowing a different philosophy, respecting Alan Coopers rule “Imagine users as very intelligent but very busy.” Chart Tamer asks you some questions about the relationship you want to display and how you want to emphasize your data. Finally Chart Tamer offers you a selection of charts that makes sense in this context.
    Chart Tamer improves the charts that we produce with Excel in the following ways:
    • It limits the list of available charts to the few that are most useful, thereby reducing the complexity of choosing an appropriate chart
    • It provides a simple new interface for selecting an appropriate chart, which guides us to the right selection when help is needed without bogging us down when it’s not
    • It adds three useful charts that aren’t currently available in Excel: dot plots, strip plots, and box plots
    • It revises the formatting defaults of Excel’s charts so that no extra work is necessary to create charts that work effectively
    • It provides colors for use in charts and elsewhere that were designed to work especially for data presentation
    • It allows us to quickly and easily improve old charts that were created prior to Chart Tamer
    Andreas

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