March 4, 2014

Animations in Excel

Animations in Excel Using Charts and ActiveX Control
Recently I received an email from a student who wanted to know whether we can do animations using MS-Excel. At first I was a little surprised but then I saw the attachment. I found this a great way to learn many topics in Excel.
You can truly combine your knowledge of the charts, scroll-bar and if-function in Microsoft Excel to create fun animations. In fact, the process of making such movies can help the user to learn this spreadsheet application quickly and easily.
How to implement the complete process:

  • Enter data in the worksheet cells A3 to A6 as shown
  • Now select the cells and click on insert chart. Select bar charts, then stack chart.
  • Convert the view of the charts from ‘column’ to ‘row’ series.
  • Replace each of the rectangles with images of your choice
  • Delete all the lines and matter surrounding the pictures
  • Replace all the 1’s with 0’s and you’ll notice that all pictures disappear
  • Insert a scroll-bar and assign it the maximum value of 4 because we have 4 pictures and change is equal to 1. All these changes are done in the property-window of the scroll bar. Now also link the scroll bar to a cell, say, cell B3.
  • Now using the if function replace the 0’s with a function like ‘=IF($B$3=4,1,0)’. 1=TRUE, 0=FALSE. Here we use the absolute reference because we always wish to select the cell B3. Do this for each of the data as shown in the video.
  • Now when you click on the scroll-bar, the value in the cell B3 changes and so does the value in the corresponding cells of the data series and the relevant picture is displayed.
  • To make the picture look normal right-click on the picture and reduce the gap-width to 0%.
  • Next make the changes as shown in the movie to give the whole animation a natural look.

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