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Specifying the Size of Chart Objects

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Specifying the Size of Chart Objects.

When you create a Excel chart, as an object to be placed in a worksheet, the chart object is automatically sized to fit one-quarter of the screen size. You may not want the chart object to be this particular size. For instance, you may want your chart objects to always be a standard size, so they always appear the same relative to your worksheets.

There is no way to specify a chart object size as you are creating the chart. You can, however, resize the chart object after it is created, just as you can resize other graphic elements of your worksheet. You could write a macro to create the object at a particular size, but doing so would remove much of the flexibility that is inherent in the Chart wizard. For instance, when you specify the size of the chart object being created, you also have to specify other characteristics, such as chart type. It is easier to pick and choose such characteristics through the Chart wizard than it is to do so in a macro.

You can, however, easily create a macro that will resize an existing chart object. The key commands of such a macro would be changing the Width and Height properties for the chart object. In VBA, these properties are specified in points. Thus, if you wanted to resize the chart object so it was 4 inches high, you would set the Height property to 288, which is the number of points in 4 inches (4 * 72).

The following macro gives an example of one way to step through all the chart objects on a worksheet and make them the same size.

Sub ResizeCharts()
    For j = 1 To ActiveSheet.Shapes.Count
        If ActiveSheet.Shapes(j).Type = msoChart Then
            ActiveSheet.Shapes(j).Width = 4 * 72
            ActiveSheet.Shapes(j).Height = 3 * 72
        End If
    Next j
End Sub

This particular macro sets the width of each chart object to 4 inches, and the height to 3 inches.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2208) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Specifying the Size of Chart Objects.

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