I can’t believe how long it takes to do the simplest things in Excel! I mean, I’m not trying to create anything fancy in the charts and graphs department, but it takes forever to wade through the menus and toolbars to get at Excel’s built-in capabilities. For example, I’d like to have a simple interface that lets me switch the axis on which values are plotted.
Once again, OzGrid comes to the rescue. Its Chart Assistant add-in (one screen appears in Figure 5-24) lets you manage your charts much more easily. The Chart Assistant costs $29.95; you can buy it at http://www.ozgrid.com/Services/excel-chart-help.htm. John Walkenbach also has two handy utilities in his Power Utility Pak, which you can find at http://j-walk.com/ss/pup/pup5/features.htm. The Power Utility Pak costs $39.95 ($59.95 if you want the VBA code behind it).
Figure 5-27. The Chart Assistant simplifies a lot of chart drudgery.
I work with high-end customer relationship management and data mining companies, and Excel’s charts, especially the 3D charts, just don’t look good enough for the ballpark I’m playing in. I need professional software that turns out great-looking charts I won’t have to massage before I put them on a slide. Are there programs that create nicer charts?
Plenty of companies ...