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COMMON QUESTION:
  “Hey, will this chart render unchanged in Excel Services, or will it look different?”

MY STOCK ANSWER:  “Hmm, I forget, let’s try it out”

I hate giving that answer.  So today, I ran a little test.  Simple workbook, 12 charts that are all flavors of fancy.  Not an exhaustive test, but a reasonable sample.  Here are the 12 charts in Excel client (desktop).  Click for a larger version.

Client2 
12 Charts in Desktop Excel

Green Circle = Renders 100% identical in Excel Services
Red X = Renders less than 100% identical (sometimes small differences, sometimes large)

Now, here are the same 12 charts rendered in Excel Services:

ECS
Same 12 Charts, As Displayed on SharePoint (Excel Services)

Again, note that being flagged with an X isn’t the kiss of death – I just didn’t want to bog down in “grading” the differences.  Sometimes the changes are big (top left chart) and sometimes the changes are astoundingly small (bottom middle chart).

Either way, having an illustrated reference is going to be helpful for us, so I thought I’d share it.  Feel free to submit questions/comments/other examples.  I may expand this reference over time.

Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Yep, typically people are just like what happened to my nice 3D chart that I created in PowerPivot desktop… I wish the support was there for this; same with getting the hover over to work in Excel Services. That would be great too!

  2. What a great set of examples. So, what happens next? If the end user likes the original format, is there work to be done in Excel Services to restore it, or is that end user just out of luck?

    1. Well, there are two ways of looking at that.

      1) There is no way to finesse Excel Services to show you, for instance, a 3d bar chart. So this is essentially a “live with it, and maybe the next release of Excel Services will support it.”

      2) Find another chart type that suits your purposes just as well, or maybe better. For instance, the Chart Police would likely be very happy with the Excel Services transformations, especially the lack of 3d 🙂

      2a) If you or someone else have ideas on how to respond to 2) given Excel Services’ limitations, and want to propose a guide, I’d be happy to post it here.

      -rob

  3. I miss my 3D – the absence of Surface charts is particularly frustrating, since they actually use that additional dimension!

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