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Today Eric Patterson continues his discussion on Compatibility.
Last week I described the features that we have deprecated for Excel 2007. Today I want to expand on that list to include the features related to Charting in Office 2007. There has been a lot of work in Office 2007 to move charting to use a shared Office drawing layer. David has devoted a number of past blog posts on charting that describe all of this work.
Reasons for change?
As with other features in Excel, we never deprecate Chart features without good reason. Many of the changes we made were to facilitate the move to the use of the shared Office drawing layer as a platform for many improvements in this release and the future. Some of the changes were made because of limited use.
Resizing Multiple Charts
The ability to change the Chart Type of multiple charts at one time is no longer available. In previous versions of Excel, with 2 or more charts selected it was possible to use the Chart toolbar to change the Chart Type of the selected charts. In Excel 2007, they must be changed individually.
Using F11 with a Chart selected
Using F11 while on a populated Chart Sheet no longer creates a Chart Sheet with the same data. In previous versions pressing F11 while in a Chart Sheet would result in the creation of a new Chart Sheet with the same data. With Excel 2007 pressing F11 while in a Chart Sheet will result in a blank chart sheet.
Copy Picture Size Options
The Size options for 'As shown on screen' and 'As shown when printed' have been removed from the Copy Picture dialog. Previous versions provided options for both Size and Appearance. With the use of the new shared drawing layer, Screen & Print outputs are now the same making this functionality no longer required.
Direct Rotation of 3D Charts
In previous versions of Excel, the mouse could be used to directly manipulate the 3d view of the chart. In Excel 2007 this must be accomplished using the 3DView dialog.
Pattern fills for shape objects has been deprecated in favor of Picture and Texture fills. Existing files will appear the same when loaded. The ability to create new shapes with the previous pattern fills has been deprecated as part of the new drawing capabilities. We are hoping to provide pictures of the patterns that we had previously such that you can get similar results using texture fills.
Size with Window
Previous versions of Excel had a “Size with Window” command that would automatically resize charts located on Chart Sheets when the window size was changed. This feature has been deprecated. The Zoom to Selection command can be used to achieve similar results.
Automatic Textbox Creation when Typing
A textbox will no longer be automatically created when typing on a selected chart. In Excel 2003 and earlier, text is automatically inserted into a selected chart by typing. Excel 12 will no longer support the automatic text entry into charts. Textboxes can still be inserted using the insert textbox command.
View Chart Window
The chart window feature will no longer be available in Excel 2007. In previous versions of Excel, a chart window could be displayed using the "Chart Window" on the View menu. The Chart Window feature will no longer be available in Excel 12.
Default Paste Behavior in Word and PowerPoint
The default choice for copying and pasting a chart from Excel to either Word or PowerPoint has changed to linked. In Office 2003, the default choice for pasting an Excel chart into Word was picture. In PowerPoint, the default choice was to paste the entire Excel Workbook as an OLE object. For Office 2007, the default choice for copying and pasting a chart from Excel to either Word or PowerPoint has changed to linked. This setting can be changed to picture or entire workbook through the Paste Options menu which is displayed immediately after the chart is pasted.
Word Table as a Data Source
A table in Word 2007 can no longer be directly used as the initial data for a new chart. A table created in Word 2003 and earlier can be used to create a chart in Word by selecting the table and clicking on Insert -> Picture -> Chart. In Word 2007, sample data is used instead of the selected table. To replace the sample data, data from the table can be copied and pasted into the new chart data sheet.
Printed Chart Size
The Printed Chart Size options have been removed from the Chart tab in the Page Setup dialog. In Excel 2007, the behavior matches the "Custom" setting from Excel 2003.
Drag and drop series addition
In Excel 2003 and earlier you could add data to a chart by selecting the data and dragging it onto the chart. This feature is no longer available in Excel 2007. Excel 2007 still supports all the other more common methods of adding data to a chart.
Direct Manipulation of Data Points on Charts
In Previous versions of Excel, data points on a chart could be dragged, resulting in their source values being changed on the worksheet. This seldom used feature has been deprecated for Excel 2007.
I like the "Automatic Textbox Creation when Typing" feature. What is wrong with keeping it? It certainly would be more friendly for Excel neophytes.
"Drag and drop series addition" and "Direct Manipulation of Data Points on Charts" sound pretty darn cool, I didn't know that could be done! But, obviously, I won't miss them now.
Not sure I agree with the "Size to Window" depreciation but I'm sure an Excel MVP will create an Add-In to re-establish this feature ;-)
The fact that screen and print outputs are the same is nice. Finally!
The one change I don't like is this default Paste-as-Link for Word and Powerpoint. I have never had much success with that option; almost
always, the links eventually get messed up when files are moved around on the desktop, copied to the local file servers, and emailed among co-workers.
I don't mind Microsoft setting a default operation -- one has to pick SOMETHING -- I just wish you would give US users the capability to change the default operation for ourselves. With all the zillions of customizations Microsoft has generously given its users over the years, why you can't just let us click a checkbox to "keep pasting
like I just did" option is beyond me. Almost always now I have to use "Paste Special" and manually-generated macros in order to paste
just copied text or graphics.
Hi, here are regressions manifesting themselves in the beta 2.
I have created a chart in Excel 97, then opened it in Excel 2007 beta 2.
Here are the corresponding pictures,
And here is the Excel file,
Let me get through the regressions :
- vertical axis all set to automatic scale/min/max. Also impacts the number of horizontal gridlines.
- chart title font not the same weight
- chart title incorrectly positioned vertically.
- legend border incorrect.
- legend entries incorrectly positioned.
In fact, in all of the above there are non-worrying bugs (automatic axis scale), and more worrying bugs (relative positioning of objects).
Ronnie's comment about links being troublemakers is right-on. That said, when links do work correctly, they are wonderful: a compact, locally and remotely editable live connection to the source data.
Office's reliance on absolute paths is the problem. When an object referred to by an absolute path is moved, all links to that object break.
Using absolute AND relative paths to refer to linked objects would greatly reduce the occurrence of broken links. I have submitted comments along these lines to the ECMA OpenXML committee and Brian Jones (at blog.msdn.com/brian_jones). Unfortunately, it seems unlikely that dual, redundant links will make it into the OpenXML format. Broken links will continue to be a fact of life in Office 2007.
Links between documents can be very useful, but making them stable requires thoughtful planning.
Therefore, using paste-as-link by default, i.e. in the unplanned situation, is just wrong. Period.
I realize you do not want to embed masses of data by default if the user is ultimately going to elect to link. But please remember that the efficiency of something that lacks effectiveness is zero.
On the theme of deprecation, can you confirm if it will still be possible to add additional chart objects to a chart sheet? I'm using Beta 2, and can create a chart sheet, but cannot subsequently add another chart object to this sheet - I could in Excel 2003.
Also, opening Excel 2003 documents that contain multiple charts on a chart sheet within Beta 2 only shows the original chart.
Has this functionality been deprecated too in Excel 2007?
Fantastic blog by the way!
This is going to kill some of my programs, in which the user's mouse actions drive rescaling of the chart. I can go back to embedding the charts on worksheets, and will get back much of the functionality that I had, but it will not look the same, and it will not work as smoothly.
I like this feature and use it all the time, but I understand that many people ended up with unintentional textboxes when they just started typing anything.
Can the Excel worksheet be linked to the Word table (or vice versa)? That would be nice.
This one sounds nice, but I never got the new data added the way I wanted. I always use paste special.
At first I was disappointed to hear that this was lost, but then I realized that I don't use it much anymore.
My two cents.
Oops, a couple didn't get copied:
Bummer. I would use this to get close to where I wanted, because it was dynamic, then I'd fine tune degree-by-degree with the dialog.
Sounds good to me. Those old patterns don't show up with a decent printer installed (like 300+ dpi).
"Seldom used feature" doesn't necessarily mean not useful. In most cases, it more accurately means unkown feature.
Some of the features that you outlined sound like they would have been useful only if I had known about them.
Now I'll go play with these features and find out what exactly I'll be missing in 2007.
The following question was posted to the blog "Sander Viegers Rides Again"; however, this blog is no longer taking posts.
Thursday, August 24, 2006 11:52 PM by Lisa.
Has anyone found how to change "series order" for a complex chart?
I can dig into this issue further if you can provide me with a file which exhibits the problem. Please send it to email@example.com.
The reason this is changed to paste as link is that embedding the entire workbook (as PowerPoint 2003 does) is a privacy risk. Users would send out PowerPoint presentations, without realizing their entire spreadsheet had gone with the presentation. Pasting as a link prevents this from happening.
Most of the link management issues in these posts are less of a problem, since the chart can be reformatted in the presentation or document without needing to be able to access the link or changing the original spreadsheet. The link is needed only if the data needs to be changed. This is very different than the old behavior of paste link.
It's also a very common user request to be able to set these default paste behaviors, unfortunately we were not able to add this feature for 2007 Office System.
Dan - I thought one of the key advancements for 2007 was using the same charting engine across the entire Office suite. So why would you need to embed the entire workbook? Why not copy properties of the chart and copy values from its data range to a table?
Perhaps you have never had the pleasure of tracing and patching 100,000's of broken links when some ever-helpful IT guy reorganized a network. But unless you only work with people who are consistently sophisticated or blissfully simplistic, surely you have been the recipient of documents that were unusable due to dangling links.
Copy/Paste and Reference/Link are completely different actions that IMO should not have been overloaded on a single verb in the first place. Given that this fundamental error is probably irreversible, the default when there is no explicit disambiguation should be the one that does NOT entail a commitment to maintain an ongoing relationship between documents.
We would have liked to offer copying all the values as an option, but that turns out to be quite difficult. Charts can be connected to pivot tables, external data, tables, ranges of cells, overlapping ranges. Charts can contain data labels, titles, and error bars that point to additional cells. We were not able to cover all those cases for 2007 Office System.
Dan - We agree then, in that I too would have liked for you to have done so. However, I find it hard to credit that that it is too difficult to, er, so to speak, copy the information when I click the copy button. Has the chart not already located and actually, er, so to speak, displayed the information in question? In contrast, the problem of unstable links is quite intractable, at least for lame brained users like me.
Automatic Textbox Creation when Typing:
These textboxes had a critical (and so far as I know, unique) property: they could contain cell references to the underlying sheet. Traditional textboxes can not.
Is this functionality maintained elsewhere, or is it gone with the removal of the auto-textbox feature?