# Charts and Charting
# Creating a Chart with Ranges and a Fixed Name
Charts can be created by working directly with the
Series object that defines the chart data. In order to get to the
Series without an exisitng chart, you create a
ChartObject on a given
Worksheet and then get the
Chart object from it. The upside of working with the
Series object is that you can set the
XValues by referring to
Range objects. These data properties will properly define the
Series with references to those ranges. The downside to this approach is that the same conversion is not handled when setting the
Name; it is a fixed value. It will not adjust with the underlying data in the original
Range. Checking the
SERIES formula and it is obvious that the name is fixed. This must be handled by creating the
SERIES formula directly.
Code used to create chart
Note that this code contains extra variable declarations for the
Worksheet. These can be omitted if they're not used. They can be useful however if you are modifying the style or any other chart properties.
Sub CreateChartWithRangesAndFixedName() Dim xData As Range Dim yData As Range Dim serName As Range 'set the ranges to get the data and y value label Set xData = Range("B3:B12") Set yData = Range("C3:C12") Set serName = Range("C2") 'get reference to ActiveSheet Dim sht As Worksheet Set sht = ActiveSheet 'create a new ChartObject at position (48, 195) with width 400 and height 300 Dim chtObj As ChartObject Set chtObj = sht.ChartObjects.Add(48, 195, 400, 300) 'get reference to chart object Dim cht As Chart Set cht = chtObj.Chart 'create the new series Dim ser As Series Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection.NewSeries ser.Values = yData ser.XValues = xData ser.Name = serName ser.ChartType = xlXYScatterLines End Sub
Original data/ranges and resulting
Chart after code runs
Note that the
SERIES formula includes a
"B" for the series name instead of a reference to the
Range that created it.
# Creating an empty Chart
The starting point for the vast majority of charting code is to create an empty
Chart. Note that this
Chart is subject to the default chart template that is active and may not actually be empty (if the template has been modified).
The key to the
ChartObject is determining its location. The syntax for the call is
ChartObjects.Add(Left, Top, Width, Height). Once the
ChartObject is created, you can use its
Chart object to actually modify the chart. The
ChartObject behaves more like a
Shape to position the chart on the sheet.
Code to create an empty chart
Sub CreateEmptyChart() 'get reference to ActiveSheet Dim sht As Worksheet Set sht = ActiveSheet 'create a new ChartObject at position (0, 0) with width 400 and height 300 Dim chtObj As ChartObject Set chtObj = sht.ChartObjects.Add(0, 0, 400, 300) 'get refernce to chart object Dim cht As Chart Set cht = chtObj.Chart 'additional code to modify the empty chart '... End Sub
# Create a Chart by Modifying the SERIES formula
For complete control over a new
Series object (especially for a dynamic
Series name), you must resort to modifying the
SERIES formula directly. The process to set up the
Range objects is straightforward and the main hurdle is simply the string building for the
SERIES formula takes the following syntax:
These contents can be supplied as references or as array values for the data items.
Order represents the series position within the chart. Note that the references to the data will not work unless they are fully qualified with the sheet name. For an example of a working formula, click any existing series and check the formula bar.
Code to create a chart and set up data using the
Note that the string building to create the
SERIES formula uses
.Address(,,,True). This ensures that the external Range reference is used so that a fully qualified address with the sheet name is included. You will get an error if the sheet name is excluded.
Sub CreateChartUsingSeriesFormula() Dim xData As Range Dim yData As Range Dim serName As Range 'set the ranges to get the data and y value label Set xData = Range("B3:B12") Set yData = Range("C3:C12") Set serName = Range("C2") 'get reference to ActiveSheet Dim sht As Worksheet Set sht = ActiveSheet 'create a new ChartObject at position (48, 195) with width 400 and height 300 Dim chtObj As ChartObject Set chtObj = sht.ChartObjects.Add(48, 195, 400, 300) 'get refernce to chart object Dim cht As Chart Set cht = chtObj.Chart 'create the new series Dim ser As Series Set ser = cht.SeriesCollection.NewSeries 'set the SERIES formula '=SERIES(name, xData, yData, plotOrder) Dim formulaValue As String formulaValue = "=SERIES(" & _ serName.Address(, , , True) & "," & _ xData.Address(, , , True) & "," & _ yData.Address(, , , True) & ",1)" ser.Formula = formulaValue ser.ChartType = xlXYScatterLines End Sub
Original data and resulting chart
Note that for this chart, the series name is properly set with a range to the desired cell. This means that updates will propagate to the
# Arranging Charts into a Grid
A common chore with charts in Excel is standardizing the size and layout of multiple charts on a single sheet. If done manually, you can hold down ALT while resizing or moving the chart to "stick" to cell boundaries. This works for a couple charts, but a VBA approach is much simpler.
Code to create a grid
This code will create a grid of charts starting at a given (Top, Left) position, with a defined number of columns, and a defined common chart size. The charts will be placed in the order they were created and wrap around the edge to form a new row.
Sub CreateGridOfCharts() Dim int_cols As Integer int_cols = 3 Dim cht_width As Double cht_width = 250 Dim cht_height As Double cht_height = 200 Dim offset_vertical As Double offset_vertical = 195 Dim offset_horz As Double offset_horz = 40 Dim sht As Worksheet Set sht = ActiveSheet Dim count As Integer count = 0 'iterate through ChartObjects on current sheet Dim cht_obj As ChartObject For Each cht_obj In sht.ChartObjects 'use integer division and Mod to get position in grid cht_obj.Top = (count \ int_cols) * cht_height + offset_vertical cht_obj.Left = (count Mod int_cols) * cht_width + offset_horz cht_obj.Width = cht_width cht_obj.Height = cht_height count = count + 1 Next cht_obj End Sub
Result with several charts
These pictures show the original random layout of charts and the resulting grid from running the code above.