5. Data entry

Internal datasheet
Absolute and relative values
Transposing the datasheet
Reverse order in datasheet
Extracting numerical data from images

5.1 Internal datasheet

Every chart created with think-cell has an associated datasheet. The datasheet is opened by double-clicking the chart or by clicking the image  Open Datasheet button that appears when the chart is selected. The datasheet also opens immediately when a new chart is inserted.

think-cell uses a customized Microsoft Excel sheet for data input, which you can use in the same way as regular Excel. You can use all the same shortcut keys, you can enter formulas instead of numbers, and so forth. But of course you can also use an Excel file as a data source (see Excel data links).

To insert or delete a row (or column) you can use the respective buttons in the toolbar of the datasheet. The standard buttons for undo and redo and cut, copy and paste are available as well.

Note: If you have Microsoft’s Chinese Conversion feature installed, you will find the options Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese in the datasheet’s More menu.

5.2 Absolute and relative values

The think-cell datasheet alternatively supports entry of absolute or relative values. The distinction between the two types of data is made by the Excel cell formatting. You can always toggle the interpretation of a column’s data with the image button.

Keep in mind that for the display in the chart, it does not matter if you enter percentages or absolute values. If you enter absolute values but want to label the chart with percentages (or vice versa), think-cell performs the necessary conversion (see Label content). A simple datasheet with only absolute values looks like this:

think-cell data-sheet absolute values

For simple charts based on absolute values only, the 100% row on top of the chart data can be left empty. If you choose to label the chart with percentages, the percentages are calculated from the absolute values, assuming the sum of each column to be 100%. You can enter explicit values in the 100% row to override this assumption. The following datasheet calculates percentages based on 100% being equal to a value of 50:

think-cell data-sheet absolute values with totals

Alternatively, you can fill in the datasheet with percentages. Again, you can choose to label the chart with absolute or relative values. In order to have think-cell calculate absolute values from the percentages you entered, you should fill in the absolute values that represent 100% in the 100% row. The following datasheet uses percentages to specify the same data values:

think-cell data-sheet relative values with totals

The default behavior of the datasheet depends on the chart type: 100%-charts and area or Mekko charts with %-axis as well as pie charts default to percentages, while all other charts default to absolute values.

5.3 Transposing the datasheet

The layout of a think-cell datasheet depends on the chart type. In bar charts, for example, columns contain the data for a single series, while in column charts, rows contain the data for a single series. Here is a typical datasheet for a column chart:

think-cell typical data-sheet for column charts

The size of a think-cell datasheet is limited to a maximum of 256 columns and 65536 rows. If the data for your chart requires more than 256 columns, you can use the image  Transpose Sheet button to transpose the datasheet, swapping the row and column data together with any category/series interpretation. Here is the transposed version of the previous column chart datasheet:

think-cell data-sheet transposed

Transposing the datasheet lets you create charts where the datasheet would normally require more than 256 columns, and can often be used to simplify data entry when working with a large amount of data.

Note: The limitation of the number of rows and columns is due to the same limitation of Excel datasheets in general in Excel 2003. For compatibility reasons, the limitation also applies when using Office 2010 or later.

5.4 Reverse order in datasheet

In think-cell, the visual order of data in the datasheet always corresponds to the order of the data in the chart. This is also true for flipped charts (see Rotating and flipping elements). If you want to flip the data in the datasheet, you can use the image  Flip Rows (or image  Flip Columns) button in the datasheet’s toolbar.

Note: This function is particularly convenient to convert data from former MS Graph charts, because in MS Graph data is entered in headfirst order.

5.5 Extracting numerical data from images

Let’s assume you have an image of a bar or column chart like the following somewhere on your screen, e.g., a chart on a website, in a PDF document or a reporting software window:

think-cell extract numbers tool sample input

Using think-cell’s capture tool, you can extract the numerical data of the image and use it in a think-cell chart.

  1. Create a think-cell chart of the type you wish to use to present the extracted data, e.g., a stacked column chart. The chart type does not have to be same as the chart type in the source image.
  2. In the chart’s datasheet, click the image  Extract Numerical Data from Column or Bar Chart Images button in the toolbar. A capture window titled Chart Data Capture appears on the screen.
  3. Drag and resize the window so that it covers the chart image. It is best if you restrict the gray detection area to the chart data area, i.e., without any chart title, but including axes and labels. think-cell extract numbers tool during detection
  4. Once the algorithm has finished analyzing the image, the Fill datasheet button becomes active. In the capture window, the detected baseline is highlighted in green and detected chart segment outlines are highlighted in red. think-cell extract numbers tool after detection
  5. Click the Fill datasheet button. The extracted numbers are inserted into the datasheet window. To close the capture window, click the button in the top-right corner. think-cell datasheet with extracted numbers inserted

In the chart, you can now use think-cell’s formatting to highlight aspects of the data or use difference arrows and other tools for analysis.


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