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Chart Tools

Chart Size & Position

Macabacus makes it easy to conform a collection of charts to the same size, turning what would normally be a tedious, manual resizing process into a trivial exercise.

Chart and Plot Size Dialog

Chart and Plot Size dialog

For precise control over chart sizing and positioning, use the Chart and Plot Size dialog. Here, you can apply Standard Sizes, manually adjust the dimensions of the chart and plot areas, fine-tune positioning of the plot area within the chart (which cannot be done with precision natively), and memorize/apply chart sizes. This tool is accessible from the Macabacus > Charts menu.


Click the Macabacus > Charts > Memorize Chart button to remember the selected chart's size, plot area size, and plot area position within the chart, and then apply these properties to other selected charts using buttons on the Macabacus > Charts > Apply Memorized menu. This is a fast way to conform the appearance of multiple charts simultaneously.

Resize To

Conform the selected chart to the dimensions of a Standard Size, the dimensions of a shape selected in PowerPoint or Word, or the selected range in Excel from the Macabacus > Charts > Resize To menu.

When you resize a chart to a selected range of cells, Macabacus prompts you for the range address, showing the address of cells that were selected prior to selecting the chart as the default option. You can optionally reposition the chart to the top left coordinates of the range, "fitting" the chart within the specified range.

Stack Charts

Stack selected charts relative to the first selected chart, and resize them to the dimensions of the first selected chart. This could come in handy when creating a dashboard, for example. Access this tool using the Macabacus > Charts > Stack Charts button.

Data Labels

Move Data Labels

Move Data Labels

Use the Move Data Labels dialog at Macabacus > Charts > Move Data Labels to adjust the position of data labels on a chart. You can adjust all data labels for a series, or individual data labels. This allows you to adjust data label positions with precision for pixel-perfect positioning. In contrast, Excel natively provides no means of adjusting data label position precisely or easily, requiring you to position data labels individually using imprecise mouse movements.

Replace Missing Labels

Replace missing chart data labels and/or axis labels at Macabacus > Charts > Replace Missing Labels. In X-Y (scatter) and bubble charts, specifically, Excel does not automatically attach labels to data points. Macabacus can add text labels to both of these chart types, provided that the source data is properly formatted.

Label Last Point

Add a data label to the last data point of each series in a line graph by clicking the Macabacus > Charts > Label Last Point button. You can add a label to the right of, above, or below the last data point, optionally bold and match the label's font color to the color of the data series, and show either the value or category name in the data label.

Label Last Point

X-Y Scatter Labels

When creating scatter (X-Y) charts or bubble charts, Excel does not automatically attach the correct labels to data points. This tool adds the correct data labels to both these chart types, provided that the chart data is properly structured. Access this tool at Macabacus > Charts > X-Y Scatter Labels.

Match the number format of data labels to the number formats of source data by clicking the Macabacus > Charts > Link Number Formats button.

Other Charting Tools

Recolor Series

You can recolor series in selected charts to your customized series colors by clicking the Macabacus > Charts > Recolor Series button. This is a quick way to apply your preferred color scheme, without having to deal with Office's more cumbersome chart templates. If you specify six chart series colors, and your chart has seven series, for example, the Series 1 color will be applied to Series 7.

Stacked Column Totals

Adding totals to the tops of stacked column charts using native Excel functionality is cumbersome. Macabacus expedites this process and adds totals with a click of the Macabacus > Charts > Stacked Column Totals button. This tool contemplates and addresses three possible scenarios:

  • Totals are already included in the chart data source range. In this scenario, Macabacus ensures that the totals in the chart are formatted properly and replaces missing labels as needed.
  • Totals are computed in cells adjacent to the chart data source range, but are not yet included in the chart data. In this case, Macabacus adds cells containing totals to the chart data source range.
  • Totals are not found in cells adjacent to the chart data source range. In this scenario, Macabacus can compute totals for you and add them to the chart.
Growth Arrow dialog

Growth Arrow

Many column-based charts include growth arrows above the columns showing a CAGR or other growth rate. Often, these arrows are hastily and imprecisely drawn on top of charts as Office shapes, require tedious formatting, and do not update when the underlying data changes.

Macabacus adds growth arrows to your column charts as a new data series. To add a growth arrow, select your stacked or clustered column chart and click the Macabacus > Charts > Growth Arrow button. The resulting dialog presents you with several options for customizing the growth arrow, and your preferences are saved for the next time you use this tool.

Accepted Chart Types

Growth Arrow works with stacked column and clustered column charts, only. If you add a growth arrow to a clustered column chart, only the first clustered column series will be used to compute the growth arrow.

The Growth Arrow dialog computes a CAGR automatically based on the chart data. You can override this computed CAGR by manually entering a growth rate, or by selecting a cell containing the growth rate you want to appear in the arrow's data label. You can adjust the formatting of the arrow and its data label in this dialog, as well as adjust the position of the arrow to avoid overlap with other chart elements, for example.

Macabacus lets you add the growth arrow as either a dynamic series linked to worksheet data, or a fixed (i.e., static) series that does not update when chart data changes. A dynamic series uses formulas to position the arrow on the chart, just like any normal data-driven chart series. To create a dynamic arrow, Macabacus adds a few rows to your worksheet (preferably adjacent to the existing chart data) containing formulas that compute the growth arrow position. A static arrow, on the other hand, is "hardcoded" into the chart, but can be updated by simply reopening and closing the Growth Arrow dialog. A static arrow may be appropriate for a "quick-and-dirty" CAGR arrow on a chart whose data you do not expect to change, or if you want to avoid worksheet changes required by a dynamic arrow.

Excel 2010 Limitations

Excel 2010 is missing some charting features present in newer versions, so some Growth Arrow features are unavailable in that version of Excel.

Excel Table Bug

If a chart whose data is structured as a table (not to be confused with a TABLE() formula array) contains a fixed growth arrow, the arrow may disappear if you export the chart as a picture to PowerPoint/Word using Macabacus, or even natively copy the worksheet on which the chart resides (the arrow will be missing in the chart on the new sheet, but remain on the original chart). This is due to an Excel bug for which there are two workarounds: (a) convert the chart data table to a range prior to performing these operations, or (b) use dynamic growth arrows.

Growth Arrow

Growth Arrow

Growth Arrow

Y-Axis Max Format

Apply number formatting to the maximum value on the selected chart's y-axis, only. Choose from dollars, euros, pounds, percentages, and multiples on the Macabacus > Charts > Y-Axis Max Format menu. This turns off y-axis autoscaling, which could result in undesirable chart formatting if the chart's underlying data later changes. If the chart data does change, you can click Macabacus > Charts > Y-Axis Max Format > Re-scale Axis to automatically re-scale the chart appropriately.

Save Chart as Picture

Save the selected charts as pictures—specifically, PNG images. If no chart is selected, all charts on the active worksheet will be saved as pictures. When you save multiple charts as pictures, the file name you specify is the "base" name to which Macabacus will append an index. For example, if you save two charts as pictures and specify the file name "Chart.png," Macabacus will name your images "Chart_001.png" and "Chart_002.png." Access this tool using the Macabacus > Charts > Save Chart as Picture button, or from the Save as Picture button on chart context menus.

Chart Color Cycle

See our discussion of this tool here.


This documentation refers to Macabacus version 8.9.5, and may differ from the PDF documentation
on your computer that installed with your version of Macabacus.