I admit that when I first went to Office 2007, I personally found “The Ribbon” quite daunting, but I ultimately found Microsoft’s logic – that there are features in Office that you wouldn’t even know you had with the old menu system, which are easily discovered with “The Ribbon” – to be true.
Even having arrived at the conclusion fairly quickly, it took a lot of ‘accustomization’ and tweaking of the Quick Access Toolbar to make Office 2007 or 2010 easy enough for the real advantages to become appreciable.
I made a fairly quick jump to Office 2010 because Office 2007 lacks some key advantages of 2010; particularly “Track Change” in Excel and PowerPoint.
Apparently, Microsoft Excel 2007 also lacks a key feature from Excel 2003: Pattern Fill for charts and graphs. This is a big deal if you print your charts or graphs in black and white, instead of color.
Today my wife, the “Anti-Ribbonist”, called me with a surprising question: How do you do Pattern Fill for a graph in Excel 2007? It seems that my wife’s lab people work on Excel 2007, and they couldn’t convert her Excel 2003 charts from color to monochromatic patterns.
I thought that this would be easy to figure out … until I searched the web and found that a lot of other people had the same questions, and answers were scarce and often confusing.
So as a public service, I decided to report my solution, and how I implemented it.
NOTE: When using these particular “Pattern Fill” add-ins, the “Undo” feature may not work with it. Or it may. On different machines, I’ve noticed it both ways. There’s probably a difference in settings of which I’m unaware.
In any case, on a site called “Dose of Excel”, I found this page. (http://www.dailydoseofexcel.com/archives/2007/11/17/chart-pattern-fills-in-excel-2007/
It directed me to this:“Microsoft’s Eric Patterson addressed this problem by creating an add-in. You can download it here: Chart Pattern Fills.” An alternative add-in his by Andy Pope, here. This procedure will work fine for either one, depending on which add-in’s functionality you prefer.
Using Eric Patterson’s add-in as an example, here’s the solution I found to the Chart Pattern Fill, and how I implemented it.
- Go to this page on the Excel Blog: Chart Pattern Fills
- Left-click on the download link: http://officeblogs.net/excel/PatternUI.zip
- Save the ZIP file to a location of your choice.
- Unzip the file. It will create its own subdirectory with a file called “PatternUI.xlam”.
- Open Excel.
- At the end of the “Quick Access Task Bar” is a small down-pointing arrow. It’s a drop-down menu for adding commands to the Task Bar.
- Left-click on “More Commands”.
- At the top of the new window, left-click on the “Choose Commands From” drop-down menu
- Choose “All Commands”
- Scroll down the command options until you find “Add-ins…” Left-click on it
- Between the two columns (Optional commands on the left, and chosen Task Bar commands on the right) are two buttons. Left-click “Add”.
- On the bottom right, click “OK”, and the window will close.
- Your “Add-ins” button will now be on your Quick Access Task Bar. Click it.
- You will be given optional add-ins to check off and add to your Ribbon. Instead, choose “Browse”.
- Browse to where you have saved your PatternUI.xlam file.
- You may have to select the “all files” option to see it.
- Click on the file and highlight it, then click “Save”.
- This should return you to the small “Add-ins” box, with PatternUI already checked off.
- Click “OK”.
- Now, when you click on your Excel 2007 chart, there should be a tab at the very top/right called “Chart Tools”. Below it, there is a “Format” tab. Click on that.
- You will see the ‘cross hatch’ icon for your Pattern Fill gray tones, along with color selections.
See? Wasn’t that easy?
This will probably work for other 3rd party add-ins if you want to integrate them into Office.
Note: This article was updated on 7/12/11 in order to insert Andy Pope’s add-in link, and to further encourage the reader to seek additional options for Pattern Fill or other optional functionalities.