June 11th, 2008 | Published in Google Docs
We all know that charts are an essential way to present relative information. We also know that they help you appear smart, organized and professional. Too bad, then, that charts don't always make you look cool.
Or, at least until recently.
With the Bars of Stuff gadget for spreadsheets, you get your choice of a number of zany images to represent the body of your bar graph. Below, I chose the train image to show how many (grueling) hours my friends and I exercise daily. Apt, no?
Not into trains? Don't worry, you've got a number of other choices (including worms, truffles and rope).
If you're ready to get started making your charts cool, follow these simple steps (and maybe discover some other great gadgets, while you're at it):
- In a spreadsheet, enter the data you'd like charted, each item corresponding in a single row across two columns.
- Highlight the range occupied by the data you entered.
- From the upper-right, above the editing toolbar, select "Insert Plugin..."
- Scroll through the list until you find the Bars of Stuff plugin. Click, "Select Plugin."
- Add a title, a header, and, very importantly, choose the type of chart you'd like from the drop-down menu (do you want chocolates? a train? It's up to you).
- Click "Apply and close."
Note also that, as proved above, you can publish and embed your chart in your blog, webpage, or any other HTML page.