XY Chart Labeler Version 7.0

I’ve just posted version 7.0 of the XY Chart Labeler on my web site. This is the first significant upgrade to this utility in almost five years. Because the XY Chart Labeler was already a mature, stable utility prior to version 7, most new features in this version are background improvements that provide better performance for pre-existing features. However, several new minor features make their debut in version 7, including:

  • Smart Selection – If you select the chart series, data point or label you want to operate on, the XY Chart Labeler will recognize the selection and pre-select the appropriate entries in its dialogs.
  • Active Selection – As you select chart series and data points in the various chart labeler dialog dropdowns, the objects you select will also be selected in the chart below, so you can see exactly what you’ll be modifying.
  • Larger Dialogs – The width of all XY Chart Labeler dialogs has been increased in order to improve the display of wide entries.
  • Automation – In this version, the core chart series labeling logic has been exposed as a public function that can be called from other Excel VBA programs.
  • Help File – I’ve written a comprehensive help file and example files for this version.

I’m making no promises regarding Excel 2007 compatability other than the chart labeler will work in the simplest cases. I’ll evaluate this policy again once we see a service pack or two. There will be a German translation available shortly courtesy of Excel MVP Thomas Ramel. You can get the latest version of the XY Chart Labeler here:


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42 thoughts on “XY Chart Labeler Version 7.0

  1. Excel 97 spits this up…
    Compile Error – Automation type not supported in Visual Basic
    At this line of code…
    Public Function LabelChartSeries(ByRef srsSeriesToLabel As Excel.Series, _
    ByRef rngLabelText As Excel.Range, _
    ByVal uLabelPosition As Excel.XlDataLabelPosition) As Boolean

    I am wondering if this is part of a trend.
    Another well known developer’s, just released, add-in that I tried
    early this week will not compile in Excel 97.

    I read somewhere that about 40% of current users are still using Excel 97.
    Only Microsoft I thought was ignoring them ?

    Jim Cone
    San Francisco

  2. Hi Jim,

    It’s a fact, but one I neglected to mention with this utility or my updated code cleaner. I’m no longer making any attempt to support Excel 97 in new versions of my utilities. I stopped supporting Excel 97 in my consulting business about two years ago and nobody complained. I am more than happy to send an older, 97-compatible version of any of my utilities to any Excel 97 user who asks for them.

  3. 40% 97? Wow!

    Is there any reason beyond the monetary that there would be that high a number? We are poor but even we are updating to 2007 (Albeit, prematurely I think).

  4. Jim –

    You read that 40% of Excel users are still using Excel 97? When did you read that, 2002? I dropped Excel 97 support over two years ago when I finished a project for my only client using Excel 97. I’ve seen more recent statistics (probably on Jenson Harris’ blog) that put ’97 usage in the low single digits.

    If you said 40% were using Excel 2000 I might have believed it. Of my clients, a bit over half are using 2003, and the rest are in 2002 or 2000. Since many of my clients are small consultants, they probably upgrade Windows and Office when they get a new computer, not when the IT dinosaur rolls out a new installation; I’d expect these clients to have a more recent version than larger companies, and that’s what I observe.

    Only one client is dabbling in 2007, and that’s a pre-emptive move to support his customers who might upgrade and want an advanced version of the add-in I’m helping him to develop. He’s had no takers for the 2007 version yet.

    Doco –

    Wait for the SP.

  5. Jon,

    The 40% number comes from what I remember of a business article from
    last year analyzing Microsoft’s financial prospects. It was referring to
    worldwide usage numbers in anticipation of the release of Office 12.
    There is no way I could find the article again and I remember no quoted
    source for the percentage.

    I do know that I had a potential customer (USA) in January whose employer
    was still using Excel 5.

    I doubt if I will even try xl2007 until a $9.95 add-in becomes available
    that allows users to switch between a classic (xl2002/xl2003) menu and the ribbon.

    Jim Cone
    San Francisco

  6. I tried Googling for the source of my numbers (any numbers really), and couldn’t find anything. Maybe we’re both right. 40% seems pretty high to me, though, even given companies’ reluctance for financial or logistic reasons to upgrade. Most (non-corporate) new computers have come with a trial version of Office pre-installed for at least a handful of years, and I suspect this would drive upgrades to some degree.

    I’ve seen a product which purports to replace Excel 2007’s ribbon with menu-like controls that mimic the familiar old interface (and Word’s and PowerPoint’s too). Then I read a review that claimed it didn’t implement 2007 UI features well, and it was wrong about a lot of things it was trying to incorporate from 2003. I’d say it’s a waste to try to use 2007 in some kind of Rube Goldberg “classic” mode. Either bite the bullet and upgrade all the way, or stay with what is comfortable and familiar, and what you know will work.

  7. Rob –

    This isn’t exactly the breakdown I remember, but it’s not far off. If I had to estimate my users’ Office versions, I’d say 60% 2003, 15% 2002, 25% 2000. If I assume a new client uses 2003, I’m usually correct.

  8. Hi Michael,

    This is one of many variations on what is by far the most common feature request I get for the chart labeler. Unfortunately, the inability of custom data labels to follow changes in the structure of a chart series is a limitation (bug) in the Excel charting feature. The only workaround would require dynamically generating and embedding some reasonably complex event handling code in the workbook containing the chart, so it’s unfortunately not something the chart labeler is ever likely to support.

  9. Hi Rob –

    A least it’s been considered. Thanks.

    Also nice to now that my wishes are “mainstream” ;-)

    Thanks also for a very useful tool.

    …best, Michael

  10. Sorry to be an incredibly boring late comer with stupid questions, …. but …. is there a short how-to anywhere? ;)

  11. I’ve “rediscovered” XY Chart Labeler for use with Excel. As I am now trying to implement some charting functions in VBA (true novice user), I’ve grasped the Help manual discussion of how to access the Chart Labeler via ‘Application.Run “XYChartLabeler.xla!LabelChartSeries….”‘.

    However, now I’m trying to see if I can also use VBA to access the “Move Chart Labels” feature. Can’t seem to figure out (1) IF it is possible, (2) How to do it if possible.


  12. Tom –

    I haven’t tried this yet, but set a reference to the Chart Labeler in the project you’re writing code that calls it. You should be able to find the Labeler in the Object Browser and find the routines that are available to you, as well as the arguments you need.

  13. Hi,

    Just downloaded the XY chart laabeler. Great work. But I need to make it work with a filtered list. Any solution?

  14. Andy,
    I followed the solution suggested and it works – although I’m still not sure how!

    Why do I see #REF! on some rows of the indexed text column upon filtering? I believe the solution uses this column for assigning the labels. The labels look fine though!

    Another question: Say you have Bovey’s add-in installed on a home computer and generate a file/plots using the add-in.

    Would the file/plots look okay at work where you don’t have the add-in installed?

  15. Sri,

    The #REF is caused by referencing a row outside of the array area defined by the INDEX formula.
    The array area is D2:D10 and we are trying to read the contents of row 998, which of course does not exist.

    The user does not need the addin in order to view your chart.
    Rob’s addin automates the linking of data labels to cells.

  16. When I use the chart labeler the font doesn’t look clear. Does anyone know how I can fix? I am using Excel 2002.

  17. Rob,

    I have just upgraded to XL 2007 and am using a current version of your excellent Chart Labeler 7.0.11 in building a 4 panel chart.

    I have discovered that when I Copy-Paste the chart into PPT (typically as an enhanced metafile) the labels are not pasted in. Is this expected – or is there any way to get to labels to go with? Pretty important in this case.



  18. Of all the tools I’ve found thus far Tushar’s comes closest to working with Excel 2003 for what I need (show data only on hover). When the chart comes up all the labels are displayed. If I hover onto a label it changes font and when I hover away the font goes down to something really small. If I hover back it displays as I want it to. The only way I can get a “clean” graph (aside from the very small font which is visibile although not readable) is to hover onto and then away from each of the points.

    With a couple hunderd new points on the graph each day, this isn’t too practical.

    Has anyone else seen this behavior and is it curable?

  19. I have MS2007, but after I installed XY Chart labeler 7.0.12, I still cannot find it in Ad-in tab. How do I fix this issue?

  20. For the 2007 version, there is a problem when the label selection is not continuous (you select several labels using CTRL). After you select it, when you hit ok there is an error. You can repair it by replacing “;” with “,” in the selection.

  21. I have been using the XY Chart Labeler for a few years. Absolutely perfect !

    I use Windows XP Professional with SP3 plus fixes and MS-Office Professional 2003.

    This past month the XY Chart Labels stopped working. I have workbooks with graphs already using labels and, all of a sudden, the labels disapeared.

    When I try to reload the Chart application ( FILE / OPEN / XYChartLabeler.xla ), I sometimes get an error message, sometimes NOT.

    But the final outcome is that there is NO additional option on the TOOLS menu, so I cannot label again my graph.

    I *suspect* that this could be caused by one of the (many) recent Windows updates there I automaticaly get, but cannot be sure.

    Does anyone care to comment or indicate a possible solution ?

    Thanks !

  22. I am suffering the same problem as Carlos, except mine started a month later. I tried to reload the tool, but receive a code error then not enough memory. I too have executive reports that have shined with the labeler and will suffer without it!

    Any suggestions?

  23. Hi, Donna

    I was able to work around the problem.

    After getting the XY Graf, I click once on the point that has NO info and go to Excel formula line and I enter the cell address of the desired LABEL. ( =PLAN1!D14 – as an example )

    This needs to be done ONCE. After that, Excel will update normaly the label, even if changes due to normal updates on data.

    In my case, the problem was on NEW points plotted, expanding an existing Graf.
    Did not try on a brand new graf.

    Hope this helps.

  24. I contacted Apps Pro, the application programer, via a link on their site. By sending them the error message, the quickly diagnosed the problem. In my case, Office was reloaded but the service pack(s) was not. Once the service pack was updated, I was back in business. I see that you have a nice work around for your existing charts, but perhaps this will assist with creating new ones. Plus, before the service pack I was getting debugger errors from the labeler everytime I opened and closed a file. I would have had to remove the app to continue to work smoothly.

    I LOVE this tool and would hate to have lost my XY Chart Labeler, so grateful to Apps Pro for making me look so good.

  25. Thanks for the update.

    I willl be moving to Windows 7 and Office 2007 in the near future and would like to know if it will work under these.

    Could you please provide the LINK where you were able to talk to them ?

    I was not able to find it on their website.

    Thank you.

  26. I am trying to use the XY labeler with Excel 2007. After installation the addin appears on the menu. However, when I try to execute any of the options, I ger an ‘unspecified error’ error, then an out of memory error. I have plent of memory. Any suggestions?

  27. xy chart labeler can not for win 7,can u for me a file for win 7?thinks!mail:dxlbjcara@gmail.com

  28. Thank you so much for making this free!! I just tried this on Excel 2003, and it worked beautifully. You just saved me a ton of work. =)

  29. Mr. Bovey,

    Anyway you can get the XY Chart Labeler to accept named ranges? I tried and it would not accept named ranges. I am using the offset function to carry out some actions and would be most helpful if your XY Labeler would accept named ranges. By the way, it is a great free tool and I am certainly using it. Thanks and look forward to a response.

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