Chartsmith has some cool and very powerful features that you might not know about. What follows are 10 tips that will make you a power user in a matter of minutes.

 Color Previewing
When you drag a color swatch to a chart in Chartsmith, you have the option of seeing what the color would look like before you actually drop the color. To do this, simply hold down the Alt/Option key while you drag the color across the chart. This is extremely helpful when you are dropping the color onto a thin line and you want to ensure that you are going to actually hit the line.


 Dragging out images
You can export images from Chartsmith using the Export Image menu item, but there is a much easier way. Hold down the Command or Alt/Option key, then click and drag from the chart in Chartsmith. Depending on which key you press before you drag, you will get a PDF or TIFF image, respectively, that you can drag to your favorite word processor or presentation application.

 Dragging in ASCII data files
If you have data that you have stored in an ASCII data file - say a CSV-formatted file that you saved in Microsoft Excel - you can drag that file and drop it onto the Data View in order to import its contents. Doing so will bring forward a panel in which you will need to inform Chartsmith of the file's contents, then you data will be promptly imported.


 Dragging in images
Image files can be dragged and dropped into a chart in Chartsmith to add the image to the chart. The image can be dropped on the following graphical elements: the chart background, a bar series, a pie slice, an area series, a histogram series, a bubble series, or a Box/Image annotation. To simply add an image annotation, you must first add a Box annotation to the chart, then drag-n-drop the image onto that annotation.


 Dragging in templates
Want to quickly format your chart using a template? Just drag-n-drop the template on the chart. If you want to format several charts all at once, select them in the Navigator, then drop the template onto the Navigator.


 Changing series drawing order
If a series is being drawn over by another series, you can change their drawing order. This is done by pressing the Control key while clicking and dragging the series column in the Data View. This can also be done by pressing the Control key while clicking and dragging a series entry in the Legend.


 Re-ordering charts in a document
If you want to change the order of the charts in your document, just press the Control key while clicking and dragging the chart's thumbnail image in Chartsmith's Navigator.

 Printing semi-transparent colors
By default, Chartsmith prints in PDF format. This is good because PDF renders crisp vector graphics; however, PDF does not support semi-transparent colors, so these are lost during printing. If you have charts that have semi-transparent colors that you don't want to lose during printing, do the following. In the Print panel, select the Chartsmith item in the Copies &
Pages popup. This will reveal the controls that you can use to opt for TIFF format instead of PDF format.


 Data Fill for dates and numeric sequences
Chartsmith provides a facility, called Data Fill, for generating data sequences in your chart's data set. For example, say you want the row labels in your data set to read "Jan 1, 2003" through "Jan 31, 2003" - that's a lot of typing you'd probably rather not do. To do this, first select the row labels in your Data View by selecting all rows, then click the Select Labels Only menu item in the Data View menu. Then bring up the Data Fill panel using the Data Fill Panel menu item in the Data View menu. Set the start string to "Jan 1, 2003", set the step to be 1, set the units to be Linear, then click the Fill button. Assuming that you have 31
rows of data, your row labels will be set for you. To learn more about what start strings are accepted, and how to use the Data Fill panel, see Chartsmith's online Help.


 Changing a series type
Let's say you create a Bar chart only to realize that you really wanted a Line chart. A simple way to correct this is to change the series type of your series in this chart to be a Line series. To do this simply drag the Line
series icon off the Series Palette in the Data View window, and drop it onto the header of the series column that represents the chart's Bar series. This will change the series type to Line and update the chart drawing.

 

Have a question? Email us at chartsmith@blacksmith.com.