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  1. #1
    kirks
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    Killing colors in charts

    Hi,

    I am new to this board, and am not an expert Excel user. My main use is to create graphs from data obtained using statistical packages such as Stata or SAS.

    The question:

    How can I make Excel stop using colors for my line charts? I know that I can use the print in black and white option in the page setup, but I want Excel to display solid / broken / semi broken lines in black and white from the start. I have searched and searched, but have found nothing that allows me to use what SHOULD have been default from the beginning...

    I am using Office97 on a Win2000 machine.

    Thanks for any help!

    Kirk Scott

  2. #2
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Killing colors in charts

    Kurt,

    I'd suggest that you have 2 options.

    One is to modify the default colour chart for the spreadsheet. In Tools, Options, Color, Modify, you can create your own palette of grey scales. I think (you'd have to check) that any colours already created from, for instance, the colour 3rd from the top, 2nd from the left, will change to the new colour you've created.

    The other option (not as good) is to individually select monochrome shades from the palette which already exists. Click on a bar- all bars will be selected. Click again on the single bar you want to modify. Then right click on it, and select "format data point". You'll be able to change that individual bar.

    I don't have a problem with colours myself, as most of my users (and myself) only view the charts online. Some who print have colour printers. But I do try to choose colours, textures, lines etc which not only look OK in colour online, but which can be differentiated when printed in B&W. A "Print Preview" will show you what it looks like. In a line graph, you can choose different thicknesses as well as different colours to distinguish. In pie charts, you can use textures. If a texture from the default selection is not enough to distinguish 2 colours, you can add your own gif to a pattern (for a solid colour pattern) to be able to distinguish.

    Geoff
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  3. #3
    kirks
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    Re: Killing colors in charts

    Geoff,

    Thanks for your quick reply. Is there any way to then save the new palette as default for all new workbooks?

    Again, thanks!

    Kirk

  4. #4
    4 Star Lounger
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    Re: Killing colors in charts

    It is possible to change the default chart type (including formating). Look up Change Default Chart in Help for details.

  5. #5
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    Re: Killing colors in charts

    A late post: but I assume that you already have explored the simple Format DataSeries options: there are half-dozen Styles and Weights of lines; and you also specify the colour.
    Ruth

  6. #6
    terner
    Guest

    Re: Killing colors in charts

    Sorry about another late posting, but an excellent way to save a lot of time if you are constantly creating charts with the same or very similar format is to create your own format rather than modify the default ones. It's quite simple, and very powerful:

    1. Create the chart you want, with all the formatting as you want it, ie axis scales, title positions, size, line types, legend position, etc.

    2. From the menu bar Choose ChartChart type..., select the Custom Types tab, click on User defined, and Add...
    Here you can give your chart type a name and describe it, I have various x-axis scales, so I usually put that info somewhere in the description. Click OK, and it is done.

    Next time you want to creat a chart with that format (or with only slight changes), after you select your cell ranges and the wizard asks you for a chart type, click the Custom Types tab, User defined, and select the one you created yourself.

    The main thing to watch out for is that it won't always rescale the chart to fit the new data, for example if you have bars representing 6 months and you select 12 months of data, you may have to edit the x-axis to display all of the data, or if one bar is alot higher than in the format chart you may have to rescale the Y axis (select the axis, right-click and edit the Scale tab). Also Chart titles do not change, so you have to edit the text manually - do this first so you don't get confused as to which chart you are actually looking at!

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