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Going, going, gone! Yes, it’s true that the Chart Wizard was removed from the product when we shipped Excel 2007, and we didn’t bring it back in Excel 2010. For those of you upgrading from Excel 97-2003, this may come as a big shock. The Chart Wizard provided a useful four-step process that you could simply follow to create a chart with a finishing touch. Unfortunately, it didn’t make sense to update the Chart Wizard to incorporate the many changes that were made when the chart engine was rebuilt for Excel 2007. Instead, the ribbon became the new place to go for all your charting needs.
At first glance, it may seem that you are left with just a bunch of chart type buttons on the Insert tab of the ribbon. Not true. These buttons are just the starting point.
It’s a bit of a shift, but once you get used to the ribbon, it’s really quite simple. You may actually appreciate the fact that you’ll have many more options available at your fingertips.When you click anywhere in your chart, you’ll notice that the Chart Tools are added to the ribbon. You’ll get three additional tabs that provide an assortment of chart design, layout and formatting options.
You may want to take a few moments to explore the available options. In the Data group on the Design tab, for example, you’ll see that you can still switch data series over the axis the same way you could on step 2 of the Chart Wizard.
This table shows you where you’ll find all of the options you used in the Chart Wizard:
I especially like the predefined chart layouts and chart styles on the Design tab that provide instant professional results. On the Layout tab, I can add all sorts of chart elements or change the way they are displayed in the chart. It’s all there (and then some), trust me! Living up to its name, the Format tab provides many ways to format a chart using special effects that have never been available in earlier versions of Excel, such as the bevel effects shown in the chart below. It takes a bit of practice, and you may think it’s not really that useful, but once you get the hang of it, I know that you’ll be proud to show off your professional-looking results.
I also want to point out that you can right-click on any chart element for quick access to specific features that can be applied to that element (for example, you can get to the Format Axis dialog box when you right-click any chart axis). I’m a habitual right-clicker, because it’s a little faster than finding the options I need on the ribbon. And whenever I point this method out to my peers, this is their typical response: ”That’s just too easy!”
For more information on creating charts in Excel 2010, check out the article "Create a chart from start to finish." And check out the blog post on our eight best tutorials on Excel charts.
--Frederique Klitgaard, writer for Office.com
More info on Excel charts:
Combining Chart Types, Adding a Second Axis Create a chart from start to finishFree training: Take the next steps in growing your Excel skills (Lesson 2) Go beyond the basic chart type Use sparklines to show data trendsLine or scatter chart?Format column sparkline charts using the date axis and cell merging
I was thinking that, I'm an Excel pro (that was with Excel 2003), but since you introduced the 2007 & 2010 virgin, I got lost!!!
I like the new ribbon for 2011, etc. I have "lost" a feature when I upgraded to 2011 from 2004. How do I print an embedded chart (only the chart) in 2011/
I cannot emphasize enough just how much I HATE and LOATHE everyting about Windows 7 and the new Office. I had. No. Choice. It was a corporate decision to upgrade and now I have to waste my freaking short work time to discover there is no damn chart wizard any more, indeed I need a damn tutorial to make a chart now. Can I say damn on this site? Well for my home computing I SHALL switch to a damn MAC. ASAP.
Need help w/ charts. My work generates data that I place on a chart daily. I come up w/ a chart that covers a whole year. I cannot seem to post new data to my chart that was so easy w/ the earlier version of Excel. Can someone help.
I've been using Excel 2010 for about 8 months now. At first I thought the ribbon bar seemed cumbersome and confusing - especially for charting. Now I am sure that it is.
For example, I used to be able to right click and on my charts and easily update a data range. Now the data range in the same simple chart is "too complex to be displayed". That is true even in a very simple chart that uses just four columns by 52 rows. It wasn't too complex for Excel 2003 and older versions.
Another example is that the old wizard made it very quick and easy to build a simple two-axis chart. I find it much more time consuming to build a similar chart with the ribbon bar. At first I thought it was just me but, after seeing the comments and talking to others, I'm beginning to think that, in some respects, the new interface is inferior to the old.
I have found that, in many sections of the ribbon bar, there is a button in the lower right corner that opens something similar to the old interface. This would be a nice addition to the Chart Tools part of the ribbon.
"It’s a bit of a shift, but once you get used to the ribbon, it’s really quite simple."
MS has imposed the damned Ribbon on us for what, four years, now? And still, we have "once you get used to it..." it doesn't completely suck. Let's face it - the Ribbon is a *significant* step backwards in User Interface and user experience.
I am a *very* serious Excel user, and on my personal laptop I have XL 2007 installed (no choice - when I bought, that was the only option) and at my client site I still use XL03. Despite ~four years of steady use of XL07, the interface is slow, confusing, non-intuitive, and worst of all - for practical purposes, non-customizable (don't kid yourselves or your users about the QAT - it is a pathetic joke - but compared to the Ribbon it is a Godsend). When you "the chart engine was re-built" did yoiu *deliberately* try for blurry, fuzzy output?
It is a little rich that while I like XL07 for processing speed, I re-installed XL2K so that I have a graphics engine that works, "re-built" or not, and without the damned Ribbon, which I use when I need presentation-quality charting output to paste into a document.
The removal of the wizard is a huge step backwards for Microsoft! Using the wizard I could complete a complex and customised charts with a minimum of fuss. Now, because of your blasted ribbon I need to do at least double the number of clicks or key strokes. Having read all the other blogs here, it is clear that Microsoft is simply not listening to what the market wants! For goodness sake, sort it out before Open Office and other providers begin to be the norm. I am an advanced user of Microsoft Office and, until the introduction of the ribbon and abolition of the "Old", perfectly logical Menus, felt Microsoft had done pretty well in evolving their products in line with logical thinking - frankly, you've lost it!
re no chart wizard being "an-improvement" - you Microsoft people have to stop believing your own B.S. The product goal should be to achieve a high level of usability across a broad spectrum of users, not just an incenstuous coven of Excel wonks the product team obviously got all its design direction from. "Broad spectrum" includes people like me who used Excel 2003 wizard periodically to iteratively "feel" my way thru creation of a relatively sophisticated worsheet integration and charting during the course of a project - WITHOUT knowing a whole lot about Excel. Dubious "congratulations" also on removing context sensitive help. Rather than removing wizards and context sensitive help, Microsoft should improve them. Office '07 and '10 are steps backwards from Office '03. How 'bout the MS product "geniuses" create some real marketing buzz by coming up with "revolutionary new concepts" of Wizards and context sensitive help in Office '13?
re "Unfortunately, it didn’t make sense to update the Chart Wizard to incorporate the many changes that were made when the chart engine was rebuilt for Excel 2007" - just tell the truth: "...the Excel '07 & '10 project team was too far behind a marketing-driven schedule and had to sling some new slop out there so we dumped the wizards without regard for the customers..." Microsoft revenue stream wins, Microsoft customers lose.