Recipe4.12.Saving Custom Chart Types


Recipe 4.12. Saving Custom Chart Types

Problem

You find yourself repeatedly creating the same type of chart, with the same custom formats, titles, colors, and so on, and you'd like to be able to save your customizations so you don't have to redo them each time you create a new chart.

Solution

Add your customized chart to the Custom Types list to make it available in the Custom Type dialog box and Chart Wizard. After creating your customized chart, right-click on it and select Chart Type from the pop-up menu. In the Chart Type dialog box, select the Custom Types tab. Select the "User-defined" radio button toward the bottom of the tab. Press the Add...button to bring up the Add Custom Chart Type dialog box. Type a unique name in the Name field and type a short description in the Description field. Press OK when you're done; you should then see your custom chart's name added to the Custom Types chart list. Now you can select this type when creating new charts, instead of having to recustomize one of Excel's built-in charts each time.


Recipe 4.13. Copying Charts to Word

Problem

You've created a chart in Excel and would like to include it in a report written in Word.

Solution

Simply copy and paste the chart from Excel to Word. Select your chart and press Ctrl-C, or select Edit Copy from the main menu bar. Open your Word document and select the line where youd like to paste the chart and press Ctrl-V or select Edit images/U2192.jpg border=0> Paste from the main menu bar.

Discussion

This seems simple enough, and it is. But you do have some options to consider when pasting an Excel chart into a Word document. By default, a picture of the chart gets pasted into Word. This picture is static: you can't edit the chart and it isn't linked to the original spreadsheet.

When you paste a chart into Word, you'll notice a little clipboard icon near the lower-right corner of the pasted chart. If you select that icon, you'll see three paste options: Picture of Chart; Excel Chart; Link to Excel Chart. The first option is just a picture of the chart, as explained a moment ago.

The second option is really quite powerful. The entire spreadsheet gets embedded into your Word document. This means that you can transmit the entire spreadsheet along with the Word document to other readers of your document. Within Word you can right-click on the chart and select Chart Object Edit from the pop-up menu to edit the chart right there, as though you were in Excel. You can even edit the spreadsheet data used to create the chart. This may prove handy in some cases. Be careful, however, not to transmit underlying data and formulas to people who shouldnt see that data.

The third option embeds just the chart (not the entire spreadsheet), but not as a static picture. Instead it's a link to the original Excel spreadsheet. When the spreadsheet gets updated, the embedded chart will be updated too. You can access the linked spreadsheet by right-clicking on the chart in Word and selecting Linked Worksheet Object Open Link from the pop-up menu. This will open the linked spreadsheet in Excel, where you can make changes if youd like. Any changes will be reflected in the Word document containing the linked chart.

When you open a Word document containing a linked chart, Word will ask you if you want to update the linked chart so that recent changes to the Excel chart are reflected in the Word document. If for some reason the link between the Word document and Excel file gets broken (for example, if you move or rename the Excel file), then Word will inform you that it could not update the linked chart.