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# In excel graphics is there a way to softcode the location of the data (and the legend) so one graph format can be used for several data sets

Posted on 2014-09-03
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I have time series data to graph.   There are say 20 rows of data, one for each item, and a row containing a date series, which is common to all the data.   I want to be able to specify which row to plot and have the plot show that row.  I do not want a different graph for each row or one graph for all the rows.   Is there a way to do this?
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Question by:dma70
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Accepted Solution

Glenn Ray earned 2000 total points
ID: 40302051
Sure.  You would do two things:
1) Set up an input cell using data validation to let you choose the category/row to plot.
2) Create a dynamic named range that will return the correct row of data for the selected value in step 1.

In this example, there are two sheets:  Data & Plot.  "Data" has a table of values, 20 groups with one value per day of a month (dates in row 1, columns B:AE).  "Plot" has a data-validated cell in A2 allowing the the user to pick the group to plot.  It also has the resultant chart.

A named range - PlotRow - exists with the following reference:
=OFFSET(Data!\$A\$1,MATCH(Plot!\$A\$2,Data!\$A\$2:\$A\$21,0),1,1,30)
It will return the range of values for whatever is chosen in cell A2 on the "Plot" sheet.

The chart was created as a regular bar chart pointing to one sample row.  However, the range of series values was changed to this:
='EE-DynamicDataPlot.xlsx'!PlotRow
* One must specify the workbook name along with the dynamic range name in order for this to work. *

Once completed, the user can select any group name from the pick list and the chart will automatically plot the related data.

Example file attached.

Regards,
-Glenn
EE-DynamicDataPlot.xlsx
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Author Closing Comment

ID: 40302075
Very elegant.   I had come up with a method where I specified a row to contain the data that was plotted and my pulldown copied the target data to the "plotting row", each time I wanted to plot a different data set.   Yours does the same but I will learn more from it.    Thanks for all the time it took to perfect this.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

ID: 40302081
You're welcome.  I had actually considered your method (using a set of VLOOKUPS) but realized I could use a dynamic range name to achieve the same without needing an extra, dedicated "plotting row."

-Glenn
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