Oct 29, 2011

How to animate line charts? - A twist

On a very old post of mine came a comment few days back. Though the reader did not give his/her name, the question was interesting.

The post was about animating line charts, so the lines come one after the other. For example, see the chart below.

If you want to show Series 1 first and hide Series 2 and 3, you can do so by animating the chart.  In brief, the process is as follows: Click on the chart to select it -> Choose animation (wipe from left) -> Go to animation pane (on your right) -> Under Chart Animation -> Group Chart 'By Series'. Done!

For more detailed directions click here.

The comment which came on this post was: "How does one change the order of animation?" In the method described above first Series 1 comes, then 2 and then 3. How does one get Series 3 before 2?

The answer: MS PowerPoint does not allow us to reorder the series. There is however a hack to this. I will present 3 solutions. To repeat the question again... We have series 1, 2 and 3 and we need the animation to be in the order of 1, 3 and 2. When we click series 1 comes, then 3 and then 2.

Solution 1
The answer which was posted by the reader himself/herself is as under:

Cut the table (CTRL+X)
Paste Special as 'Picture (Enhanced Metafile)'
Right click -> Group -> Un-group
Un-group again

Now all the elements of the graphs have been un-grouped.
Choose Series 1, 2 and 3 and animate them.
We can now reorder these separate animation under the animation pane.

The source of this method as shared by the reader is this.

Quick Tip: How to do Paste Special?
Copy an object -> Under Home Tab (on your extreme left) -> Paste -> Paste Special. Shortcut: Alt + E + S + V (in 2007)

Solution 2

The chart has a base excel file. If you right click on the chart and choose 'edit data' you will arrive at the excel file from which the chart has been made.

Go to the excel file and rearrange the columns. Put Series 1 in column 1, Series 3 in column 2 and Series 2 in column 3.

Having rearranged the columns, you now have to use the same old animation technique. Click on the chart and choose animation. By default now, the animation order will become Series 1, 3 and 2.

This is the base file in which we will change the order of the series. Insert a column after Series 1. Copy data from Series 3. Delete Series 3 (Column E). Then rename Column C as Series 3. That's it. We are done!

Thanks 'Anonymous' for asking the question and providing the answer too. Solution 2 looks easier if we know in which order we want to present our charts.