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Exporting an Excel 2007 chart as an image in Windows 7


You may also have come across this problem: you've made a nice chart in Excel, and now you want to use it elsewhere.

So you right click and look for 'Save as Image'. It's not there!

If you want to use it in Word, or PowerPoint, your only choice is to copy and paste which is OK - but it has its problems. If you've inserted a text box, it doesn't resize with the chart. And you can't do things that you can do with an image, such as resizing it using the Size function, rotate it, etc.

And what if you want to upload it to your website??

The only other native option then is to do a print screen and fiddle around in Paint, or use the Snipping Tool (Vista or Windows 7) which is similar, but easier.

However, there is another solution: an Export Chart add-on to Excel written by Jon Peltier - what this does is add an extra function to Excel that exports your charts as .png images (though you can change that if you write a different extension, such as .jpg).

The link is down at the bottom of the post, and he also links to a page to explain how to install it.

Very useful and recommended.


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New Acer Notebook and Windows Vista

Since I left my old job, I had to buy a new notebook. I have used Compaq and HP for the last four years, but frankly kept having niggling problems that prompted me to look elsewhere. Cost is also an issue, and looking around I found that the best price/quality option for the moment is an Acer Aspire 5580 (specifically, 5584). When I buy a computer my basic principle is to get the best specs possible: I want it to last 3-5 years, so it has to be 'future-proof'. So, the Acer 5584 has what I was looking for: Intel Core 2 Duo, DVD writer, Bluetooth and Vista Premium; it also has a large hard drive (120GB), a webcam and 1GB of RAM. The recommended retail was RM3888, and I got it down to RM3488 on cash terms. It comes with two 512GB sticks of RAM, but I wanted 2 GB, so I had to trade in them to get two 1GB sticks for RM200. Total: RM3688 (USD 1088).

So far so good, though it doesn't seem massively faster than before: a restart is quiker though... I am used to a 15" screen, so this one (14.1") is significantly smaller. No one seems to do 15" anymore, and 15.4" wouldn't fit in my backpack (which may not be a great reason I agree...).

I wouldn't have gone for Vista yet if I could have avoided it, as there are sure to be some compatibility issues and the like, but so far it's fine (touch wood!).

Here are some comments:

Games: Microsoft has finally gone beyond the same old games it's been using for years. There's chess, mahjong (of the clear-the-pairs-of-tiles kind), 'Ink Ball' (an interesting one, where you draw lines to bounce coloured balls into the right holes, though it is kind of fiddly with a laptop touchpad), and "Purble [not 'Purple'] Place" which has three simple games designed for young children with cartoony graphics and characters to guide you.

The much-vaunted 'Aero' system looks nice but doesn't really add much functionality. Basically you can cycle through the windows open on your desktop - like the Alt+Tab system, but with actual pictures of the content of the windows.

Happily, my Microsoft Natural keyboard, and trusty old A4 Tech wireless optical mouse, connected via an old USB hub (iBox MiniDock), installed and worked seamlessly. I was kind of expecting to have to get new drivers/hardware :-) Continue reading "New Acer Notebook and Windows Vista"