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: Creating Charts in VBA.

Creating Charts in VBA

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 20, 2016)

Excel is very handy at creating charts from data in a worksheet. What if you want to create a chart directly from VBA, without using any data in a worksheet? You can do this by "fooling" Excel into thinking it is working with information from a worksheet, and then providing your own. The following macro illustrates this concept:

Sub MakeChart()
    'Add a new chart
    Charts.Add

    'Set the dummy data range for the chart
    ActiveChart.SetSourceData Sheets("Sheet1").Range("a1:d4"), _
      PlotBy:=xlColumns

    'Manually set the values for the data series
    ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Formula = _
      "=SERIES(""First Data"",{""a"",""b"",""c"",""d""},{2,3,4,5},1)"
    ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(2).Formula = _
      "=SERIES(""Second Data"",{""a"",""b"",""c"",""d""},{6,7,8,9},2)"
    ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(3).Formula = _
      "=SERIES(""Third Data"",{""a"",""b"",""c"",""d""},{10,11,12,13},3)"
End Sub

The comments in this example explain what is going on for each step. When setting the dummy data range, the SetSourceData method assumes the range is on a worksheet named Sheet1. If you don't have such a sheet in your workbook, you need to alter the command accordingly.

Later, when manually setting the values for the data series, the SERIES command is used to specify the label for the series (First Data, Second Data, and Third Data), the array of category labels (a, b, c, and d in all series), the array of values for the series, and a number specifying which series number this represents.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2622) 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: Creating Charts in VBA.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using the Spike to Edit

Most Word users are proficient in cutting and pasting text using the Clipboard. One of the lesser-known editing tools, ...

Discover More

Using Custom Number Formats

Most formatting needs are met by using the predefined formatting options in Excel. The program also allows you to move beyond ...

Discover More

Problems Saving as PDF

When sharing documents with others, it's hard to beat the versatility and consistency of a PDF file. Word 2010 allows you to ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Using Seek In a Macro

When reading information from a text file, your macro may need to start reading at a place other than the beginning of the ...

Discover More

Using BIN2DEC In a Macro

Need a way, in a macro, to convert binary numbers into their decimal equivalents? There are two ways you can get the desired ...

Discover More

Selecting the First Cell In a Row

When creating macros, you'll often have a need to select different cells in the worksheet. Here's how to select the first ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.