Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Dynamic Data Based on Chart Changes.

Dynamic Data Based on Chart Changes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 4, 2014)

8

Ben knows how to create a chart based on data in a worksheet. If he later changes the data on which the chart is based, Excel will update the chart to reflect the change. He wonders, however, if there is a way, perhaps with an add-on, that he can drag points in his chart and have those changes reflect back into the data.

This is a feature that was built into earlier versions of Excel, before the ribbon interface was introduced. It used to be that you could create a chart, click on a single data point, and then hover the mouse over the data point. The mouse pointer would change to a double-headed arrow so that you could move the data point and, thereby, change the underlying data on which the data point was based.

Not so any more; that capability was removed from Excel. Now you need to (as already noted) make your changes in the underlying data and then refresh the chart based on that data.

There is an add-on that you can use to emulate the ability to move data points, and it is free. You can find it here:

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-excel/archive/2009/11/02/excel-add-in-for-manipulating-points-on-charts-mpoc.aspx

That's a long URL, I know—you'll want to make sure that you get it all on one line in your browser. As noted in the article at the site, the add-in was developed for use with Excel 2007 and Excel 2010. Specifically the article says that Microsoft wasn't able to "reacit in time to roll this feature back into Excel 2010." Thus the need for the add-in.

It should be noted that they apparently weren't able to put the capability back into Excel 2013 either; in poking around I could not get the capability to work as it did in earlier Excel versions. It is unclear whether the add-in will work with Excel 2013, but it should—there haven't been huge changes between Excel 2010 and Excel 2013 that would break the add-in.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9175) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Dynamic Data Based on Chart Changes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments for this tip:

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What is 7 + 8?

2016-11-08 10:50:47

Richard

Hi, I have tried to download this add-in but draw a blank due to a 'blog migration'. Any chance some kind person could share this so I can get a copy? Many thanks, Richard


2016-07-09 22:49:18

h s

You need to manually add it to your ribbon


2015-06-07 18:30:29

Larry

I was very excited to read that this feature is available as an AddIn, so I followed the directions downloaded the files, ran Excel and found the AddIn as promised. However, I have Excel 2013, and the Chart Tools > Layout tab is not present. Bottom line - I can't find the MPOC button to launch the feature. Can anybody help me with this?

Larry


2015-01-01 23:01:03

Ben

Allen, I downloaded this tool for use with Excel 2013. Everything installed ok but it will only allow me to manipulate the x-axis, not the y-axis. I need to manipulate both. Can you help? Email me. Thank you in Advance.


2014-07-31 19:04:14

Michael

Bryan and Alan, you fail to see the use case for the feature. It is primarily useful when modeling data, examining seasonality trends, and other Data Science types of activities. It isn't just a way to fudge numbers.


2014-06-30 05:33:51

Peter

We've just upgraded from 2003 to 2007, this change has broken a key functionality for me, really want this feature back!


2014-01-31 18:04:31

Alan

I agree - this was a dangerous default behavior. It should always have required acsetting change by the user.

Excel 220 and on is more sensible.

Alan.


2014-01-07 10:30:00

Bryan

I can't say that I'm terribly upset at this removal. Allowing you to use your graph to change your data just sounds dangerous! Unless you aren't actually graphing data (i.e., you are using the graphing capabilities to create a picture, or some such), it should be static!!


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