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Author Topic: Exporting Excel 2010 charts  (Read 7469 times)
zyzzx
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« on: May 01, 2012, 6:04:10 AM »

This is driving me fvcking nuts, so I really hope that somebody has figured this out.

I make a lot of line graphs with a lot of data in Excel. With the older versions of Excel, I could then copy and paste those graphs into Illustrator and manipulate them and pretty them up into proper figures. Excel did use to export these graphs as tons of individual line segments, but I finally found a script that fixed this and all was well.

But now, with this stupid new version of Excel, everything in a graph is an outline with a fill, and not a line. So now, when I go over to Illustrator I am confronted with axes and tick marks that are filled in rectangles, and the lines on the graph are not lines, but a closed path that outlines a line. This is impossible to work with for graphs with a lot of data. If I go from Excel to PDF to Illustrator I get the same result.

Please please please someone tell me that there is a way to export graphs from Excel 2010 and end up with actual lines instead of these stupid outlines.

Whoever thought that this change to Excel was a good idea should be fired.   
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egilson
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 7:53:13 AM »

Might bypassing Excel completely and using OpenOffice or gnuplot be a solution? I'm also finding that you can use VBA to export charts as bitmap graphics, but all the sites I find describing it are commercial tech blogs. You might Google for those and see if that looks feasible. Good luck.
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zyzzx
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2012, 12:17:35 AM »

Might bypassing Excel completely and using OpenOffice or gnuplot be a solution? I'm also finding that you can use VBA to export charts as bitmap graphics, but all the sites I find describing it are commercial tech blogs. You might Google for those and see if that looks feasible. Good luck.

Thanks! I'm playing with OpenOffice now, and while copying and pasting charts from OpenOffice is actually worse, exporting the chart as a pdf seems to work. Opening the pdf in Illustrator gets you a graph where all of the lines are lines, but the text is all outlines. Having to retype text and go through the pdf step is kind of a pain, but better than having to get the data into some other program every time I want to export a graph.
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galactic_hedgehog
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« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2012, 12:39:26 AM »

Does it matter what type of file you export the graph as?
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zyzzx
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 1:10:16 AM »

Does it matter what type of file you export the graph as?

Well, in OpenOffice, pdf is the only option. And Excel doesn't have a specific "export" option.
But I've actually just gone back to Excel and tried saving as a pdf, and that also works - and without screwing up the text, so it's even better. I could have sworn that I tried that, but I must have only tried printing to pdf.

So apparently my problem wasn't so difficult after all, although I still think it was a very irritating change to have made to Excel.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions!
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tee_bee
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2012, 4:20:36 PM »

Does it matter what type of file you export the graph as?

Well, in OpenOffice, pdf is the only option. And Excel doesn't have a specific "export" option.
But I've actually just gone back to Excel and tried saving as a pdf, and that also works - and without screwing up the text, so it's even better. I could have sworn that I tried that, but I must have only tried printing to pdf.

So apparently my problem wasn't so difficult after all, although I still think it was a very irritating change to have made to Excel.

Anyway, thanks for the suggestions!


In extreme circumstances, I've been known to simply clip the image of the paper from the screen and paste it into a slide or report as a JPG. There's better ways to do this, but they don't come to mind.

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