Axis labels with exponential notation

2012-06-02
2012-12-09
  • Nobody/Anonymous

    Hi Daniel,

    I installed the XL Toolbox yesterday, and i really love it! After spending hours looking for a way to generate high resolution images from Excel charts, this seems to be the ultimate solution. Years ago, a used a Corel program called "Photo House 3", which somehow managed to produce really good results from charts copied to the clipboard. I have no idea how it worked, but when you used the paste function, it asked for the desired resolution, and you could simply enter 600 dpi and be happy. However, it was published in 1999, and while it worked fine with Windows XP, I wasn't able to get it working with newer Windows versions. You should be awarded a medal for the "Export for publication" tool!

    One problem that hasn't been solved yet as far as I know is the exponential notation. I often use logarithmic scales in my charts, and the scientific notation offered by Excel (1.00E+03) is definitely not what I want. (By the way, where does this notation come from? I can't remember having seen this on a blackboard in maths lessons, so is it a computer scientific rather than a mathematical notation?) Instead, I need a true exponential notation with 10 as the base and a superscripted exponent. The only way I found to achieve this is to replace the axis labels using Photoshop, which is annoying and time-consuming. Do you know a better solution, and could you implement such a function in a future version of your toolbox?

    Best regards and greetings from Bremen,
    Markus

     
  • Anonymous - 2012-06-08

    Hi Markus,

    thank you very much, I appreciate it. Vielen Dank!

    My long-term goal is to implement an export-to-SVG function, but it will probably take a few more years before it is ready…

    As for the chart labeling, it seems there is no automatic solution for it. Excel does not allow different font styles in an axis tick label - neither by GUI nor by API.

    One mediocre workaround is as follows: Assuming you have logarithmic values. Open the Windows character table (on my English XP system, that's in All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map). Select "Arial Unicode MS" as font, then "Group by" "Unicode subrange". This will open a little helper window. Select "Super/Subscript". Now you will have a table with super- and subscript numbers. Double-click on "1" and "0" in the third row, then "Copy". Now go to the chart's axis properties in Excel and define a custom number format consisting of the Unicode "10" subscripts followed by a regular "0".

    The problem with this workaround is that the base (10) will be in small font, while the exponent will be in large font.

    But there is really no other way that I can think of to automate the logarithmic labeling…

    Viele Grüße

    Daniel

     
  • Nobody/Anonymous

    Markus,

    I just stumbled upon an article by Excel MVP Jon Peltier. He shows how to add "proper" exponential notation to Excel charts: http://peltiertech.com/Excel/Charts/ScientificNotation.html

    It's a bit of a hack, but who cares if it works and produces nices charts!

    Daniel

     
  • Nobody/Anonymous

    ^^ The last sentence was meant to be "who cares, as long as it works…"

     


Anonymous

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