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Material selection charts in Excel?

Material selection charts in Excel?

(OP)
I have a need to make some material selection/comparison charts similar to the one shown here:
http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/me480/Lecture/W03/SelChartsgifs/SelChart2.gif

I remember a piece of software from college that could do this, but I really don't think it is necessary to purchase a license in my case. I would like to figure out a way to make Excel charts such as this with the material data I have compiled, but I can't seem to figure out how to do it. Excel can create bubble charts, but that is basically just a circle around a data point. What I need is the ability to fill/highlight an area in which all my material spec data falls.

Anyone out there know how to make a chart like this?

RE: Material selection charts in Excel?

While I unfortunately do not know how to make those charts, I do remember the name of the software that created those plots: CES EduPack.

RE: Material selection charts in Excel?

(OP)
I figured out a quick and dirty way to do it...

1. Plot all of the points for all of the different materials on a chart.
2. Use the outer points to draw a smooth curve around the points.
3. Delete all of the points inside the curve.
4. Use the Curve Tool under Shapes to trace the outer points. Pick the same point for the start and end and it will automatically fill the area with a shape that matches your plotted curve.
5. Adjust the border, fill color, and transparency of the filled area created with the Curve Tool.
6. Turn off the markers for the plotted curve and adjust the color, style, and weight of the plotted curve.

I'm attaching an example I created using a few data points extracted from an existing chart. This is more than adequate for what I would like to present.

RE: Material selection charts in Excel?

I was going to suggest using a smoothed line in an XY chart for the shapes, but if you want them filled then using the Excel shape objects is the only way to do that (as far as I know). Using shapes will give better control of the text boxes as well.

You might find the blog post below useful:
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/2008/11/11/dr...

Using the linked spreadsheet you can set up a table defining a whole series of shapes with coordinates, and draw them automatically (including controlling line colour and width, text boxes etc.)

Doug Jenkins
Interactive Design Services
http://newtonexcelbach.wordpress.com/

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