Product Review: Peltier Tech Charting Add-Ins for Excel

Jon Peltier of Peltier Technical Services offers a useful series of charting add-ins for Microsoft Excel. I acquired a copy of these add-ins and here is my review.

Normally I don't produce charts like these. Mostly because I don't have time to figure out how to do it. I'd have to follow one of Jon's tutorials, and I'd probably just give up and create an ugly bar chart. But these handy tools make it too easy to create really good looking pro level charts.

I created charts using each of the add-ins provided by Jon. He was also gracious enough to provide some sample worksheets with data to produce each chart. In each case I produced a simple chart by accepting the add-in defaults.

Marimekko charts

First up are the Marimekko charts. I used the following sample data:

Marimekko sample data

The Marimekko chart utility has a dialog from which you can choose various options. Here is what it looks like:

Marimekko dialog

And here is the resulting chart with the default options. Looks good no?

Marimekko chart

Read more about Marimekko Charts »

Waterfall Charts

These types of charts look more like a Slinky than a waterfall to me, but I can see the analogy.

Waterfall data

The Waterfall chart dialog box gives you several options. I just accept the defaults and click OK.

Waterfall dialog

Here is the finished product:

Waterfall chart

Read more about Waterfall Charts »

Box Plots

Box plots look a little like the safety lines that float in the swimming pool. Here is the sample data I used:

Box Plot data

The dialog box lets you orient the data both ways, and you can change the look of each data point. A new sheet with formatted data and the chart is added to the current workbook.

Box Plot dialog

And here is the resulting chart:

Box Plot Chart

Read more about Box Plots »

Cascade Charts

Cascade charts look a lot like Marimekko charts to me. I created a simple Cascade chart with all the defaults. I didn't even bother to change the X and Y axis labels.

Cascade Chart data

The dialog box has a few options, but I'll stick with the signature "Stacked Area" chart for that filled-in look that really makes the Cascade chart look good.

Cascade Chart dialog

I did change the chart title, however:

Cascade Chart

Read more about Cascade Charts »

Cluster Stack Charts

These charts look like stacked bar charts to me. Here is the data so you can get an idea of what type of data would be good for this chart.

Cluster Stack data

The dialog box provides a lot of options, but I accept the defaults and move on.

Cluster Stack dialog

Here is the resulting chart. It doesn't look like how I expected, so I'm pretty sure I should have done some tweaking before (and after) clicking "OK" on the dialog box.

Cluster Stack chart

Read more about Cluster Stack Charts »

Dot Plots

Dot Plots are strange looking charts. Honestly I'm having trouble understanding how they're more appropriate than bar or line charts. Read what Naomi Robbins has to say about them: Some Comments on Dot Plots

Here is the sample data I used:

Dot Plot data

The dialog box looks like this:

Dot Plot dialog

And here is the dot plot chart. Simple but effective.

Dot Plot Chart

Read more about Dot Plots »

Available for Excel 2000 through 2010

Works in Excel versions 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2010 (32-bit and 64-bit).

No matter which Excel version you have, the PTS Charting utilities will work for you. When you install them in Excel 2000 through 2003, a new menu item is added to the Worksheet Menu Bar. In Excel 2007+, it adds a new tab to the Ribbon. If you already have other PTS Charting Utilities installed, they are added to the existing menu item or tab.

Simple to use

No matter which utility you need, no programming or formula skills are required. The add-ins do all the work for you! If you do want to incorporate any of the add-in functions into existing VBA programs, each add-in allows you to call its main method.

Multiple Item Discounts

When you purchase multiple utilities from PTS in one order, the following discounts apply:

  • When two items are in the cart, you will receive a 5% discount
  • When three items are in the cart, you will receive a 10% discount
  • When four items are in the cart, you will receive a 15% discount
  • When five or more items are in the cart, you will receive a 20% discount
  • When ten or more items are in the cart, you will receive a 25% discount

In short, these charts are generally beyond my skill level. Trying to create one manually would probably just turn into a hair-pulling exercise. But the add-ins make it simple to produce them.

Note: These are affiliate links.

About JP

I'm just an average guy who writes VBA code for a living. This is my personal blog. Excel and Outlook are my thing, with a sprinkle of Access and Word here and there. Follow this space to learn more about VBA. Keep Reading »


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