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How can we improve Excel for Mac?

Improve Graph Drawing Performance

When scrolling (e.g. with mousewheel) and a graph that was previously outside the view area moves into the view area there is a significant delay before the graph is drawn (1+ sec). If there are several graphs there is an even worse delay.

The workbook is not complex and the same spreadsheet in Excel (for Mac) 2008 did not suffer such delays i.e. nothing to do with the volume of data or the spreadsheet - something to do with Excel 2016.

I've not tried different styles or types of graph, mine are just simple line plots based in data in the same sheet as the graph (the workbook has only the one sheet anyway.

It may be related to the abysmal mousewheel scrolling. Unfortunately it is difficult to test due to bugs in the scrollbar slider positioning (try and move the slider and the position jumps way off from the displayed area - so the vertical positioning of the slider is bad and it takes ages to scroll back to the graphs. However, when mousewheel scrolling you do see a grey box where the graph should be whereas with the scrollbars, by the time you get back to the graph/data areas there is is instant graph draw - but the software has had ages to sort things out as you scroll back to the desired position (please please fix some of these bugs)

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StuartM shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

7 comments

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  • KM commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Any update?? This is terrible... :/ Not only is it painfully slow at re-rendering the charts, now when I go to print-preview several of the graphs don't show up. Sometimes they print when i send to the printer, but sending them to PDF replicates the missing portions. This is really bad, my report users are not happy.

  • Jim commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hello - I had the exact same problem in Excel 2016, never had the problem in Excel 2013. The video in one of the comments does a good job showing the issue of the gray bars. This was the only place I could find that talked about the issue!! I have an application that has a lot of charts driven by VBA. The "gray bar" problem in Excel 2016 is really unacceptable. Here's what I found that seems to work as a workaround - hope it can help others - I have not done extensive testing, but it seems to work.

    In VBA, during program initialization, I display my "splash screen" and do the following:

    Dim cht As ChartObject
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    With Worksheets("DASHBOARD")
    .Unprotect

    For Each cht In .ChartObjects
    cht.Visible = True ' some charts are hidden until an action causes them to be visible. I hide the appropriate charts later.
    cht.Activate
    Next

    Application.ScreenUpdating = True

    Now when I display the dashboard, I don't get the gray bars in the charts anymore. :) The key seems to be Activating the chart before it is displayed. The rendering of the charts still seems quite slow compared to 2013.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have the same issue. I just got a brand new MBP 15' and 2016 Office... It seems like this issue was reported more than a year ago...still no fix?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    When running a VBA script that opens a workbook to take a screenshot of the charts and then closes the workbook the resulting image is blank. It seems that's because Excel does not render the chart. Instead it renders a blank area with the three gray bars.
    Is there a way to fix this while running a VBA script?

  • Krzysztof commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have the same problem - also it is worth mentioning: Excel does not render the charts while user is scrolling. Even if the scroll is very very slow - excel will wait, until the scrolling is done, and then after 1-2s will render charts. It doesn't matter if user scrolls with mouse or with a keyboard arrow.

  • AJC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I first noticed this behavior when I was grading a batch of student files. Most or all of those showed this problem, and I've included a link to an anonymized version of one of those files below. Other files I looked at don't seem to show the problem, but they have fewer graphs. The one I included has five. Smart Art and symbols I added to the same file don't show the problem. There's also a link to a video demonstrating the problem. I'm running the latest version of El Capitan.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11788268/Excel%20Graph%20Rendering%20File.xlsx
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/11788268/Excel%20Graph%20Rendering%20Demo.mp4

  • AJC commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'm seeing this too. Like Excel 2008, Excel 2011 doesn't show the problem. Maybe the older versions stored a static version of the final graph, while 2016 re-renders the graph every time it comes back on screen? Whoever the cause, this is another of the half-dozen or so reasons I continue to use 2011 instead of moving to 2015.

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