Sunday, March 11, 2012

Microsoft Excel 2010

I'm impressed.  It used to be that I could select two columns of data in an Excel spreadsheet, click the chart wizard to quickly produce a line chart or bar chart, and if need be, fiddle a bit with the various elements of the chart.  With Excel 2010, it will not let me plot data of the form:

year   rate
1950  5.5
1951  5.6
1952  5.9

It produces a chart like this:

There is no way to tell it (that I can find) to use the year column as the X axis, and the rate column for the Y axis.  I just don't see why Microsoft has to take perfectly working functionality and change it to something that works less well.  This is one of the reasons that I resisted moving to Microsoft Office 2010 as long as I did--they can't leave well enough alone.


  1. Its frustrating that the good companies died to Microsoft's monopolistic tactics.

  2. You're right. I noticed that too. You had to choose just the second column, which plots it against the series (1, 2, 3 ...), then select data to insert the x-axis. Really annoying.

  3. Clayton, have you tried the Open Office suite? the word processor fills my minimal needs. I have never used the spreadsheet, but it is a free opensource setup.

  4. Bog-easy in my 2003 version of Appleworks.

    I pasted the data into a spreadsheet, then clicked "Make Chart", and picked "X-Y Line". It assumes the first line is the X value and the second is the Y value.

  5. Yes, I use Open Office 3.3, and it works very well. I am just frustrated that Microsoft keeps screwing up their product, making what used to be a pretty easy to use product into one that isn't so easy to use.

  6. Rich: It was that easy in older versions of Excel, too!

  7. Dear Mr. Cramer,

    Try putting an apostrophe before each of the years (1950 becomes '1950) and then run the wizard.

    Yours truly,


  8. How about just choosing an X/Y scatter graph in the "insert" field for the chart?