Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Chart Toppers

On page 11 of the Library Computers training handout, we cover creating charts using Excel.

Another option besides Excel is a tool created by the National Center for Education Statistics. It is called. . . Create a Graph.

One major drawback is the difficulty in transferring your chart to another document. With Excel, you simply copy and paste the chart into Word. However, Create a Graph requires that you save the chart to a disk (choose EMF file type). You then have to use the Insert>Picture>From File function in Word to insert the chart (click on Insert on the Menu bar, point to Picture, click on From File, find your chart file).

Or, probably an easier option is to e-mail the chart to yourself. Much like the web-based mybrochuremaker website, in order to "save" your work, you have to provide an e-mail address. A link to your chart's website will be sent to your e-mail address. However, a picture of your chart will also be sent. Since we cannot right-click, you will have to click and drag over the picture so that you can highlight and copy the chart. Then, paste it into Word. (It worked fine for me. Doris states in the comments to this post that it only pasted the frame and not the graph. . .)

Compared with Excel, Create a Graph is a bit easier to customize (changing colors, font styles, etc.) and the graphic based interface may be a bit more appealing to the younger audience. Also, while all library locations have Excel, many people from home may not have Excel. This would then be a great web-based tool that people could use to create a chart.

While I will still recommend Excel, I want to give you your options. If you are interested in learning more about creating charts with Excel, Staff Development offers a one hour class titled. . .How Do I Create a Chart?

If you want to look at something right now, check-out this website. Or take a look at Microsoft's instructions.


Doris Dixon said...

Good Link!

Another option for customers: I used the e-mail option for document delivery of my graph. I was able to cut and paste from the e-mail.

Doris Dixon said...

Scratch last comment.

I was able to paste "the frame" not the graph!