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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 4, 2014)
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:
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.
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