Sunday, May 31, 2009

Customizing a Multilevel List

If you get frustrated with multilevel lists and customizing them, then you are on the right page. Fret not, let me take you step by step to doing this, and hopefully after this you would wonder, 'why was there any frustration in the first place again?' :)

As usual, I have a dummy document ready here which the headings have been formatted into desired styles, these screenshots will give you a run-through on the diffrent headings which have been set.

Let's have a better look via the Document Map.

In the Home tab, within the Paragraph group, you will find 'Multilevel List', and here there are already a few preformatted templates for you to choose from.

I want to have control on how my multilevel list is formatted, and need to do my own customization based on the format which has been fixed for me to follow (for instance).

First step, click on 'Define New Multilevel List' and when the window appears, click on the 'More' button at the bottom to have a look at more options.

Here's the setting for the first level, I have highlighted in yellow the areas which I have changed. I want the first level to be linked to Heading 1, and for this customized multilevel list to show up to 4 levels in the gallery.

For the second level, I want to inherit the number from Level 1 followed by ".1" and so on. To do this, clear the formatting for number text box first, then choose 'Level 1' from the dropdown of 'Include level number from'.

This is what you will see in the 'Formatting for number' text box.

When you have done that, then choose the formatting for after the '.' (point) symbol.

Here is a clearer screenshot to show the changes in the settings that I have made for Level 2 in the multilevel list.

Settings for Level 3, notice for all the changes that is specified, it is previewed on the top left corner so that changes especially in the level and text alignment can be done correctly.

Lastly, level number 4 settings are as follows:

Click on the Ok button and the customized multilvel list is applied to your document.

Here I have typed "(i)" for a point which I have inserted in the document, and when I press the , the formatting for Level 4 automatically kicks in.

When the multilevel list is working as you expected, just right-click and 'Save in List Library". Easy peasy :)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Bubbles in Excel chart

How you ever created a bubble chart in Excel? I reckon that most of us stick to the usual bar and pie chart and the occasional line chart. Right now, I'm going to show you how to create a 3D bubble chart to represent your data.

The information in my excel here is about the market share of numerous browsers for March 2009 which I obtained from Market Share site.

First of all, let me format the data block into a table to ease the process of adding columns, rows and formula.
I have just added another column for the existence duration of each browser respectively. Formula used is 2009 - (Start Year), simple right.

I have moved the columns around a bit so that I can get the exact visualization for my bubble chart. Ok, the most obvious difference of the bubble chart compared to the rest is that it needs 3 parameters - x, y, and z value which need to have numerical value. Right now, x-axis is the Start Year (Release Year) of the browser, y-axis is the percentage of Market Share (March 2009) for the browser and z value would be represented by the size of the bubble which in my chart reflects the duration or how long the browser has been in the market. So that's regarding understanding and positioning your data.

Let's start creating the chart, select the data for column 2 till column 4 (Start Year, Total Market Share, Duration), then click on the Insert tab, and in the Charts group, choose 'Other Charts', in the drop down, you will see 'Bubble with a 3-D effect', alternatively you could use the Office 2007 shortcut keys - simply type Alt (to see the shourtcut keys) - N (Insert tab) - O (Other Charts)

There you go, your very own Bubble chart.

My work's not done yet, for I'm not too satisfied with how it looks. I want each bubble to represent each browser and have it's own significant colour. When the chart is generated automatically (remember earlier I mentioned that x,y,and z has to have numerical value) very minimal 'personalization' so to speak was done to the values.

Let's make our chart look better, look at the ribbon, the contextual tab for Chart Tools has appeared and in the Design tab, click on Select Data.

In the dialog box, what we need to do is to edit the Series.
Choose the appropriate values for the Series Name, x, y and z value.

So for the first bubble, the values should look like this, I have highlighted the data row for the bubble.

Next, 'Add' the Series and do the same thing for all the browsers' information.

Finally, the 'Select Data' dialog box would have all the browser names enlisted in the Legend Entries area.

Do you like what you see... I know I do :)