Wednesday, June 13, 2012
The Any-Version Anti-Chart
But what if you are using, (or your audience is using), earlier versions of Excel such as 2003 or 2007? Is there a Cool Way to provide a Visual Display of the data without using a conventional chart?
Yes, There Is! Using the little-know and seldom used REPT function, you can produce an Anti-Chart that can provide you with a display that is immediately understood, dynamic, and easy to create. The REPT function repeats a text string the number of times you specify. For instance, the following formulas returns Nine Asterisks: =REPT(“*”, 9)
The cool thing about this innovative, yet simple technique is that it works in Any Excel Version. You can therefore create one of these visually interesting displays and send it to other users without concern as to their version of Excel.
Let’s say that you have a table with Months in Column A, Sales in Column B, and we want our Bar Chart (we’ll call it an Anti-Chart, since we are not using Excel’s typical charting capabilities) in Column C. We can then insert the following function in our Chart Column C: =REPT(“*”, B2/1,000):