The issue of when to use hardcoded values versus style references for overriding
appearance features is complex and basically boils down to what you are trying to
achieve with GTL. Here are some recommendations that are based on common use
• You are creating a graph for a specific purpose and probably will not use the code
Recommendation: Develop your template with one style in mind and use hardcoded
overrides to make desired changes. One possibility is to use the JOURNAL style as a
starting point. It has a gray-scale color scheme. If you want to introduce colors for
certain parts the graph, there will not be much conflict with blacks and grays coming
from the style. You really do not care what the graph looks like with another style.
• You are creating a reusable graph template (without hardcoded variable names) that
can be used with different sets of data in different circumstances.
Recommendation: If style overrides are needed, use style-reference overrides, not
hardcoded overrides. This allows your graph's appearance to change appropriately
when you (or someone else) uses a different style.
• You want all of your templates to produce output with the same look-and-feel,
possibly a corporate theme.
Recommendation: Spend time developing a new style that produces the desired
"look-and-feel" rather than making a lot of similar appearance changes every time
you create a new graph template to enforce consistency. Be sure to coordinate the
colors and fonts for the graphical style elements with tabular style elements. See
“Using ODS Styles to Control Graph Appearance” on page 436 for more
494 Chapter 23 • Managing Your Graph’s Appearance