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Does any one have any good resources - websites or books, when it comes to creating (mastering) simple to complicated graphs or charts?

I've reached the point where I need to do more than tables. But although graphs look easy...I'm still looking.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Jon Peltier's site without question. Great, detailed, intermediate to advanced techniques (which seem easy once you know how). Subscribe to the feed on his blog for regular inspiration.

Andy Pope has some good stuff too, as well as a bunch of things about VBA and other related topics.

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Although I posted below saying I had found the answer myself (pointy haired Dilbert), I'll give your answer the prize instead. Reason - Jon Peltier's website is highly praised in the one I found, and because it's only fair to give the points to someone who put the effort in to reply (not like the google slap someone else gave me right at the start of this question). –  RocketGoal Jan 27 '10 at 13:58
I have to raise again, that the PHD site I link to is really a great resource, that I highly recommend for beginners and intermediate Excel users. The best thing is that the forum is very active and the Chandoo (the writers name) answers the forums questions directly & quickly. –  RocketGoal Mar 12 '10 at 10:03

This is not a very practical answer (and not Excel-specific), but in terms of graphical excellence and accuracy Edward Tufte's books - in particular The Visual Display of Quantitative Information - are very useful.

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I'd vote up the link to Peltiertech.com if this site would let me. The other main site I find myself at all the time is:


Ozgrid has lots of forum posts covering pretty much anything you might need to do in Excel and quite a few tutorials/FAQs and so on.

I also recommend the book Excel Hacks from O'Reilly. It has about 100 great Excel tips and that includes a nice chapter on Charts.

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Note that Excel Hacks is a bunch of things from the ozgrid site rewritten into a book format. The book is great and has some real nuggets but does get bogged down in some pretty obscure examples at times. I find the ozgrid site in general is not as good as it once was, there seems to be less enthusiasm for lengthy explanatory answers, too many one line "use this formula..." posts which get the job done but don't teach by showing how to build that up (and learning was the emphasis of the original question, not just finding answers. Book review of Excel Hacks: tinyurl.com/ybd63q5 –  AdamV Jan 27 '10 at 20:01

I've found the following site that I think people should be aware of (well written and varied).

Pointy Haired Dilbert - Learn Excel and charting online

It's is a fantastic find: it has the lot (for me anyway).

  • Lots of examples and 'how to's...'
  • Links to other top Excel sites
  • Active comments board

Hopefully you'll find it interesting to, but for me it'll be the first port of call for Excel inspiration. I'll still be posting here for specific questions though.

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Ignore the visual display of information by Tufte; vastly overrated Instead, get the book by the quiet woman all these egomaniac men ignore, the book by Naomi Robbins Also, S Few's books are more about "look" and Tukey and Cleveland are seriously out of date (more appropriate to the sliderule era)

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