Excel Chart Utility Giveaway

chart utility giveaway

On Thursday, June 12th, Jon Peltier is releasing the Advanced version of his Excel Chart Utility. If you make charts in Excel, keep reading, to see what the chart utility does, and how you can win a copy of your own.

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Quick Charts and Free Upgrades

set default chart type

After you put data onto a worksheet, you might need to add a chart, for a visual summary of the data. In the screen shot below, there is sales data for 4 regions, and a column chart from that data.

You can quickly see that things are going better in the East region, than in the North. Probably all the snow up there kept people away from the stores!

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Make a Better Pizza Pie Chart

pizza pie chart

While flipping through a magazine on the weekend, I saw this pizza pie chart. Yes, the pizza looks delicious, but the toppings are split down the middle. That makes the vote appear to be 50-50, not 58-42. Fun idea, but bad chart!

The picture was making me hungry. I didn’t want to ruin my dinner, by going out for a pizza snack, so I decided to make a better pizza pie chart in Excel.

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How to Make a Pie Chart in Excel

Sometimes, you need to make a pie chart in Excel. No, it’s not the best way to present data, but sometimes you have to go with the chart type that someone else chooses.

Maybe your boss is demanding that you make one for the annual report. Perhaps your professor is basing 50% of your final grade on building the perfect pie chart. Your sister needs help with a report for her dessert of the month club, and a pie chart seems okay for that!

So, if you’ve never built a pie chart in Excel, or it’s been so long that

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Create an Excel Line Chart with Target Range

With an Excel line chart, you can show the sales results from a date range, to see how things have gone. For example, in the chart shown below, you can see the sales quantities for the first six months of the year.

Add a Target Range

To give a better picture, you might also want to show what the sales targets were for each month of the year.

In the next chart, a blue band with the target range has been added, and you can quickly see which months were over or under the target amount.

Set up

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Change the Default Chart Type in Excel

On July 25th I announced a giveaway for Jon Peltier’s amazing Chart Utility, and thanks for all the entries! The deadline was yesterday, August 5th, at 12 noon Eastern time, and the winner of the random draw is:

Krystal, who posted comment #11.

Congratulations, and Jon will send you an email to arrange the delivery of your Chart Utility. You’ll have 24 hours to reply to his email.

Chart Utility Discount

If you didn’t win the giveaway, Jon has provided a coupon code that you can use to buy the Chart Utility at a 15% discount.

Click this link

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Excel Charting Utility Giveaway

Last week, you had a chance to win John Walkenbach’s new book – 101 Excel 2013 Tips, Tricks & Timesavers, thanks to Katie Mohr at Wiley. Thanks for all your comments – those were great tips! And the winning entry, chosen in a random draw, in Excel, of course, is:

Neil, with comment 22.

Congratulations Neil! After Katie sends an email to Neil, he has 24 hours to claim the prize. If not claimed, we’ll go to the next name in the randomly sorted list.

This Week’s Giveaway – Excel Chart Utility

This week, you’ll have a chance to win

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Create a Simple Box Plot in Excel

A box plot (box and whisker chart) lets you show how numbers are distributed in a set of data. Excel doesn’t have a built-in chart type for a box plot, but you can build one yourself, using a stacked column chart, and error bars.

Do the Calculations

To build a box plot, you’ll need to do a few calculations for each set of data: Min, Quartile 1, Median, Quartile 3, and Max.

From those calculations, you can figure out the height of each box, and the length of the whiskers. The diagram below shows where each measure appears

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Click to Show or Hide Excel Chart Data

If you’re building Excel reports for other people to use, you can add a few interactive chart features, to let people customize the reports.

In this example, there is a check box beside each region name, in the sales summary table.

If you add a check mark, that region’s data is shown in the chart. If you clear the check mark, the region’s data disappears from the chart.

This is based on a technique that I learned from Jon Peltier, who creates amazing Excel charting utilities.

No Programming Required

There’s no programming required for this technique – the chart

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Show Excel Sparklines for Hidden Data

Do you use the sparklines that were introduced in Excel 2010? Last week, I was building a dashboard, and wanted to show sparklines for expenses and revenue.

It didn't go smoothly at first, but I finally got things working, and then I ran into another hurdle!

Here's what went wrong, and how I fixed things.

Create a Sparkline Group

In this example, I had expenses and revenue in alternating columns, and I wanted expense sparklines in cells C4:C14. So, I selected those cells, and on the Ribbon's Insert tab, click the Line command in Sparklines.

In the Create Sparklines

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