Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
A Gradient Contour Chart
Figure 8-61: The chart on the right is positioned on top of the chart on the left.
Creating this type of chart is a manual process and will likely require a fair
amount of tweaking.
An example on the companion CD-ROM demonstrates a simpler approach
that uses a single chart, with the Maximum value for the value axis set
manually. An AutoShape is placed over the “outlier” column, along with a
text box that contains the value for this column.
A Gradient Contour Chart
Excel’s contour chart (a subtype of the surface chart) is essentially a surface chart
viewed from above. To control the number of gradients used, you must modify the
Major Unit value for the value axis (a smaller value results in more gradients).
Because each gradient uses an arbitrary color, discerning the actual gradients is not
always easy.
I created an add-in designed to overcome some of the limitations in the contour
chart. Figure 8-62 shows a standard contour chart along with a gradient contour
chart created with this add-in.
The Gradient Contour Chart add-in offers many options. For example, you can
specify the number of colors to use (from 2 to 56), and you can choose the
beginning and ending color for the gradient — including two rainbow options. The
Gradient Contour Chart dialog box is shown in Figure 8-63.
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