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The most important changes for Excel 2010 Charts

Let’s have a look to the most important (in our opinion) changes for Excel 2010 Charts. First, from out view, the best news first: a double-click on on the diagram or elements in the diagram, such as axes, columns or titles calls the appropriate dialogue with the settings! This feature was disabled in Excel 2007 and is now available again. Well done!

The settings dialog is also, like in Excel 2007, not modal, so you can select other chart elements and the dialog adapts respectively. According to Microsoft, the speed of calculation and presentation of charts in Excel 2010 and have been improved. In addition, more data points should be displayed. That was something I was curious about, so I initially created a chart with 9999 data points in Excel 2010.

Excel 2010 Charts

Please note, that the chart shown in the figure above really contains columns which are very close together. I selected a 3D view for this chart and in spite of a warning, that the update can take some time, I run it. I measured the time it took to perform the transition from the 2D Chart to the 3D Chart in Excel 2007 (37 seconds) and Excel 2010 (over a minute). Ok, this test is certainly not representative and it’s actually a Technical Preview of Excel 2010, so we can not really expect that everything works.

Then I created a bar chart in Excel 2007 with 32,000 data points, the maximum possible number. In a copy of the file I created in Excel 2010 a chart with exactly 1,048,576 data points, which is the maximum of rows. No problem for Excel 2010, as you can the in the figure below:

Excel 2010 Charts

Then I changed the chart type to a stacked columns and added another 3 series to chart. Here is the result:

Excel 2010 Charts

We have now 4,194,304 data points in the chart! Ok, my processor is working very hard, but Excel 2010 seems well prepared for the analysis of huge volumes of data.

In the upper right corner of the tab “Design” you’ll find an option for activating the “Draft” mode. This seems mainly to have an impact on the presentations of 3D charts. See the picture below (you can click on it to load a larger view). Some options for the draft mode can also be found in the excel options.

Excel 2010 Charts

If you directly compare the dialogs of Excel 2010 for formatting the charts or elements of charts with those from Excel 2007, you’ll find that some options have been added. For example, new options for changing the size, adding an alternative text, changing print settings or protecting the chart are now available.

Excel 2010 Charts

You will also find new options for formatting series like “Glow and Soft Edges”, where you can choose from presets or manually setup them. I played a little bit with these options:

Excel 2010 Charts

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