Editing Excel charts with Illustrator/Inkscape

I only discovered this little gem a couple of days ago, but it’s such a useful little hint that I thought I’d share it with you guys.

Excel charts allow you to customise to a pretty decent degree, but you don’t get full control of how everything looks, which can make it a little restrictive.  If you have Illustator or Inkscape however, you can get some control back and edit everything down to the most minute detail.

If you select your chart object in Excel and CTRL+C to copy it, you can then paste the chart into the graphic design studio of your choice.  I use Inkscape as it’s free and open source, but I expect other software such as Illustrator will do the same.

Once the image is pasted in, you can un-group the individual chart elements and from that point forward you can edit every part of your chart so that it looks exactly as you want it to.

That doesn’t mean however that you should then use your new tip to make your charts look horrible.  Just saying.

3 Comments

  • February 4, 2012 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

    I’d better not catch you changing the heights of any of those bars!

  • Matt
    February 4, 2012 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Would I?? :)

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