Chart Changes Chronicled
Microsoft answers the question: What happened to my favorite charting features?
The improvements to charts in Office Excel 2007 were dramatic. You can now use the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface ribbon to create professional-looking charts with special effects, such as realistic 3-D, transparency, and soft shadows.
However, some charting features you used in earlier versions of Excel are no longer available or are working differently in Excel 2007...
For example: Dragging data points on a chart.
- In Excel 97-2003: You can drag data points (data points: Individual values plotted in a chart and represented by bars, columns, lines, pie or doughnut slices, dots, and various other shapes called data markers. Data markers of the same color constitute a data series.) on a chart and change their source values on the worksheet.
- In Excel 2007: Dragging data points to change the source values on the worksheet is no longer supported.
That particular feature probably wasn't used much, but (as I found out from an email last week) at least one person used it a lot. And he wasn't too happy to see it taken away.
- Reader Comments -
Following are comments in response to this item.
The most recent comment is at the bottom.
- By Jon Peltier. Comment posted 24 March, 2009 4:50amI reviewed Microsoft's article in What happened to my favorite Excel 2003 Chart feature?
I take issue with the first paragraph you have quoted. There are actually very few improvements to Excel charting. One is the introduction of slightly more flexible logarithmic axis scales, another is the ability to use arrowheads at the ends of error bars and axis lines.
I don't know where the notion that 3D and transparency and soft shadows are all that's needed to produce professional graphics, but that's wrong. The new default formats are better, but only somewhat; they still need to be fixed in nearly every chart.
Professional graphics require the ability to produce clean, clear, comprehensible charts with a minimum of hassle. Unfortunately the new UI, the ribbon but especially the awful new dialogs, have greatly increased the hassle involved.
- By Jon Peltier. Comment posted 24 March, 2009 4:50amI didn't use the Goal Seek (Move a Point, Change the Data) feature much, but there has been a huge backlash in the online forums, of people wondering why they upgraded to the latest and greatest version of Excel, and this is among the features they were forced to relinquish. Another feature that has been greatly missed: the ability to size a chart sheet to its window. Zoom to fit is such an unsatisfactory workaround.
- By chip. Comment posted 27 March, 2009 12:32pmHear, hear, Jon. (Pointed toward comment #1 in particular)
- By Scobby. Comment posted 31 March, 2009 3:23pmRemoving the data point drag is a real drag. I use it a fair amount. What is the purpose of removing functionality anyway? They already have to code created -- why not leave every bell and whistle in and just add new ones?
- By Halford. Comment posted 12 April, 2009 12:34pmDragging data points in graphs was very convenient. Especially for fitting a line where more work was required to have a regression ignore erroneous data points. It also made for a good digitizing board where a picture of another chart or map was sucked in as a background.
I do understand omitting the feature even if I don't like it. I can picture many panic laced notes that moan about Excel corrupting the users data. I would be inclined to remove a feature also if I heard enough unreasoned complaints.
- By Filippo Forlani. Comment posted 15 April, 2009 9:54amI agree. Why omitting this feature!!! ...and I ask myself: why with this extraordinary new ribbon and new disposition I have to 'click' more times than before for doing the same thing!
- By Aidan Foley. Comment posted 14 May, 2009 6:59amHey Filippo - are you the same guy who writes the geochem programs? I tried to get in touch with you but your inbox was full - please contact me if you're the same guy!
- By Dov. Comment posted 27 June, 2009 1:59amI must call Microsoft Support attention that dragging a data point on a chart available in Excell 2003 and removed in Excell 2007 as well as in the Tech preview of Excell 2010 is a real damage to many users. I speak at least of a few hundreds users of tide analysis program which used the capability in order to do an in situ quality control and correction of spikes data in sea level time series. The new 2007 and 2010 versions enable now 10^6 rows of data which is very good but the removal of the drag and drop in the chart with value updating is a real drawback, calling to stay with 2003 version or try to move to Sun's spreadsheet. Perhaps now some intelligent person at Microsoft will do something to prepare at least an add-on with the dropped capability? If so, many thanks.
- By Filippo Forlani. Comment posted 14 July, 2009 12:17amAidan, yes it's me!
still waiting excel 2003 features in 2007!
- By TomN. Comment posted 14 September, 2010 11:39amI used this feature. Bad move to take it out.
- By WSY. Comment posted 02 August, 2012 10:17pmYeah me too. I use to drag points feature a lot. Even I have some vba code related to such feature. Without it, no matter how excel advance in coming soon office 365 is just useless. I'd prefer to stay at excel 2003. For god sake MICROSOFT OFFICE!!!!
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