Installing This Add-in Inside Excel
The AutoChart Excel add-in installs just like any normal Excel add-in (.xlam) file. If this is your first time installing an Excel add-in you can view step-by-step instructions on how to get the file setup in this instructional post:
Entering Your License Code
- Open the Add-in Info dropdown menu
- Select the License button within the menu
- Enter in the License Code provided to you via your download email
- Read the End User License Agreement and click the I Accept & Activate button
Does Your TSG Tab Keep Disappearing?
Due to a recent security update released by Microsoft in July 2016, add-in files you download from the internet are "blocked" by default. To unblock the file or create a "safe" folder location for your add-ins, please read my article to keep your add-ins showing in your Excel Ribbon (it's a pain, but is fast and easy to do!).
Replicate Chart Button
The Replicate Chart button allows you to create hundreds of charts from a single graph based on one set of data. This is done by offsetting each data series in the chart by one row (or column) for each chart you would like to create.
Setting Up Data
In order for the Replicate Chart button to properly work, your chart data will need to be structured in a way that each new chart's data is lined up right next to each other. In the below example data, each "Store" number would be contained within a chart across multiple months.
Replicating A Created Chart
To begin replicating a chart, simply select the chart and click the Replicate button within the AutoChart add-in.
Customizing The Replication Process
After clicking the Replicate button, you will be given a set of options from which you can specify exactly how you want to replicate the chart.
After you have clicked the Replicate button, AutoChart will do all the heavy lifting and create your charts in seconds! Here's an example of AutoChart creating three more iterations of the original Store 1 chart (in 2 columns):
Making Changes to All These Charts
1. If you have to change a format for all of your charts, delete all but your first one (use shortcut Ctrl+A to select all charts and delete), make your format change, and then recreate them with the AutoChart Replicate button
Extend Chart(s) Button
While viewing the interface, you will see there are a couple sections. The left section of the worksheet contains all your customization options. The right side of the spreadsheet will contain your Waterfall chart and the data table that feeds into it. There will be default values automatically populated within this interface to get you started.
The Clean button gives you the opportunity to store chart formatting presets to quickly clean (re-format) a chart just the way you want it.
You can start off by using the Simple Clean option which allows you to adjust a few chart attributes to clean up your chart's format. This includes:
- Removing Grid-lines
- Removing Chart Borders
- Adding A Transparent File
- Removing Line Markers
- How To Position The Chart Title
- How To Position The Chart Legend
You can adjust these format options within the AutoChart Settings Userform
Create Your Own 'Clean' Presets
OF COURSE you also have the ability to take your chart cleanup a step further and store up to 10 different formatting presets. Simply create a chart that fits your exact formatting needs (this could include colors, font sizes, various fill patterns, etc...) and store it to AutoChart!
To store a new preset, simply
- Select the Chart you want to store
- Click the Clean button's drop down menu and select Create/Edit/Delete
- Select an empty (ie [Placeholder]) Chart Format from the first drop down
- Give your new Clean Preset a name
- Click Save Preset
The Brand button allows you to recolor your selected chart data series to match your (or your company's) preferred colors. You can input the RGB color codes through the AutoChart Settings userform.
To apply the brand colors, simple select all the charts you want to change and click the Brand button within the AutoChart Excel add-in.
Settings To Make Life Even Easier
AutoChart comes with a plethora of settings to make the add-in even more powerful! To access the Settings userform you will need to first click the add-ins dialog launcher button (shown below)
The Settings userform is divided into three sections:
Brand Button Section - This is where you can input up to 12 different brand colors to be applied by clicking the Brand button in the AutoChart add-in. Each color requires a 0-255 numerical value representing the RGB color code of your desired color.
Simple Clean Options Section - This built-in preset allows you to automatically adjust a few key chart elements to quickly simplify your chart so it is not busy visually. Within the settings, you can determine which of these elements should be modified and which ones should be ignored.
Other Section - This section houses a few miscellaneous settings. You can choose the Default Preset when clicking the Clean button. You can adjust a couple of the default Replicate button settings. And finally, there is a button to Recover your previous add-in file settings in the event that there are future updates to the add-in.
Add-in Version Updates
You can determine which version of AutoChart you are currently running by selecting the Info button within the Add-in Info drop down menu.
In the event a new add-in file is sent to you to fix bugs or add new features, there are a couple steps you will want to take in order to easily transfer your custom settings from one file to the other.
[STEP 1] Retain Your Chart Format Presets
In order to not lose your custom chart presets during an update you will need to export them to a blank workbook. To do this simply click the Create/Edit button and click the Export button
After you click the Export button, all your chart presets will copied into a brand new workbook. You can then proceed to unload your old AutoChart add-in file and load the new file that was sent to you.
To Import your presets into your new add-in file:
- Select all of your Chart Presets that you exported (select one chart and use ctrl+a to select all charts)
- Click the Import button on the Create/Edit Userform.
If done properly, you should see your presets return to the Clean Chart drop down menu.
[STEP 2] Retrieve Your Settings
To retrieve your AutoChart Add-in Settings, do the following:
- Launch the Settings dialog box
- Click the Recover Settings button (afterwards your last saved settings should appear)
- Click Save & Close