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Office challenge: How would you improve a too-busy Excel chart?

This week's Microsoft Office Challenge is based on a practical problem: How do you present a large number of data points in an Excel chart without overwhelming your readers?

An Excel chart, based on a large number of values, is too busy to be effective! In addition, the legend is huge and unmanageable. Your boss wants a neater, sharper chart. What do you do?

Last week we asked…

How would you improve this Excel sheet? The example sheet has formulas and formatting, but it's not quite ready for prime time. We asked you what you do to get it ready for distribution. Agency shared a procedure to clear the input cells. Vijaym suggested more formatting and enabling protection. These are some great suggestions. Agency's macro works well, but selecting A6 clears the input cells. Users will complain, even if they're forewarned because the macro might clear the input cells before they're ready. The macro is good, but clearing the input cells should probably be part of the actual input process.

I'm going to leave this challenge open for another week—does anyone know how to move the clearing action to the input process?

Thanks Agency and Vijaym for the great suggestions!

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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