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Excel type graphics

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5:37 pm on Jun 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I am looking to create graphics that you would see Excel making. But I want them better looking then Excel Graphics. Is there a special program out there that does they types of data graphics.
8:47 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If youre talking about making nifty Excel graphs, then I would recommend my top secret program,Office Advantage (formerly owned by Metacreations). It has plugins for Excel and Powerpoint.

You have to see the graphs it makes in Excel! BOOTIFUL! And is very easy to use!

I have a question though. If I wanted to put a graph made in Excel in a layout program like Quark, how would i do that? You cant export the excel graphs as anything, so ive been screencapturing, and it doesnt look the greatest. Any suggestions?

9:12 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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> You cant export the excel graphs as anything, so ive been screencapturing, and it doesnt look the greatest. Any suggestions? <

Just one, "Print Scrn" from print preview rather than any other and try to size it right before you capture as it will be hard to resize without loosing some sharpness as a bmp gif or jpg.

Agree though even using this sometimes anti aliasing doesnt look how it should :-(

Could always try output to html .. word does it I bet excel makes an attempt :-/ or share with some other office program and try to get it out that way..

9:13 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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The most effective way I've found for getting images out of MS office programs is to get a "print-to-pdf" utility, where the MS program thinks you are sending the file to a printer, but the "printer" is actually software that creates a PDF file out of it... PDFWriter is the print-to-pdf utility that somes with Adobe Acrobat... pdfFactory, is another print-to-pdf utility mentioned recently in this thread [webmasterworld.com]...

...then, when you have the images in PDF format, you can convert them to whatever format with a graphics program (or if you have Adobe Acrobat, you can export them directly to TIFF format).

(I recently had to use a PowerPoint presentation as source material for a printed brochure... not a happy experience, but one that left me with a much deeper appreciation for Acrobat and PDF format in general.)

9:21 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Mivox presumably you set the pdf printer resolution high and image optimisation low ...

I just mention this because for web based pdfs I use no more than 150 dpi and medium or more image optimisation to get low filesize - the resulting images are too low res to use in web pages.

9:25 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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You can use either freehand or illustrator to make graphs. It is an xtra with freehand and I believe the chart function is built into illustrator. This is the best way to create high end charts (printable vector charts). I don't remember exactly how to do it. I haven't used those functions in a long time.

[edited by: korkus2000 at 9:27 pm (utc) on June 20, 2002]

9:27 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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150 dpi is more than twice the resolution I use for web images... how could that be too low-res for web use? It must be the compression that causes your problems?

Hang on... I'll check what the defaults are...

<added>
Acrobat will allow "save as..." in TIFF format anywhere between 72-600ppi. The default appears to be 144ppi. For line art (which is primarily what I was extracting) that was enough resolution for acceptable editing results in Photoshop.
</added>

9:45 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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> It must be the compression that causes your problems? <

Ooops mivox you are quite right, what was I thinking :-(

10:10 pm on June 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

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[advisor.com...]

Probably something like this will do it right.

10:35 pm on June 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Mivox you genius! PDFMaker, of course!

I had to reformat my hard drive though with all of the acrobat system files gone. Acrobat still works, but PDFmaker will no worky, as i dont have the install disk anymore...But i will try and look up that PDF maker utility you were talking about :)

P.S. I just came back from seeing Minority Report, AWESOME movie!

10:42 pm on June 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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If it's a "proper" copy of Acrobat, perhaps Adobe could help you out? I'd call them, if I were you... (psst - it's PDFWriter ;) )

Lisa... any word on the suggested remedies for your charts? Have you tried any of the ideas yet?

10:58 pm on June 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Well I was thinking I would see if there was a demo version of Office Advantage around but I have not found one. So I could do some quick prototypes of what I want to see. I have some neat data but no good way to display it in a graphic format.

But I really want an open source web utility because the data is dynamic, always changing, and online. I can use a program via windows and the desktop for a little bit but I need web-based program in the long run. Like the stuff awstats produces. So I was thinking I would sit down and code a PHP/GD solution.

I found this PHP and GD tutorial [phpbuilder.com]

I have used GD like three years ago. So maybe I will brush off the GD coding cob-webs and do some coding.

There seems to be lots of good info here about GD [google.com]

I might start out with some ($stretching factor = (int)($val*$maxsize / $maxval)) type of code to strecth images into HTML charts.

Anyone know of a good web-based GD interface library?

ADDED:
I just found this! It is a neat open source PHP GD library interface program called jpgraph [aditus.nu]. Looks promising. Now I don't have to start from scratch.

12:52 am on June 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Ok, I am using Office Advantage right now. I think I will stick with that until I get GD going dynamic on my site. I would recommend this program now that I have used it.

Here is a Registrar Chart [icannreport.com] I whipped up with it. Check out how cool it looks. Makes that default Excel stuff look like kid's crayon drawings. :)