Tips and Tricks for Using Mekko Graphics

10 Tips Every Mekko Graphics User Should Know

1. Scale your data to simplify a chart.  Click on Chart in the Mekko Graphics ribbon and use Data Scale on the Values tab. In this case, I do not need to show the exact number of unit sales in thousands so I’m using data scale (value of 3) to convert thousands into millions for my chart. Note that the data in the Mekko Graphics data editor does not change when you change the data scale.

data scale 2

data scale 3

2. Apply different formats to data rows. You may have multiple data rows in a chart that require different number formats. There are 2 ways you can format a data row independently. On the series tab under Bars and Series, you can choose your format under the Number Format column. Alternatively, you can use the right click menu to choose a format under the ## dropdown menu.

format data rows

3. Sort your data to highlight your message. Choose Chart from the Mekko Graphics ribbon and click on the Sort tab. I usually choose to show the biggest series on the bottom and the widest bar on the left.Sort

4. Exclude a series from sorting. If you want your company to be shown first or last in a bar that you’re sorting, you can exclude it from the sort by choosing Bars and Series in the Mekko Graphics ribbon. Under Sort Order on the Series tab, you can select how to handle each series.  In this example, I also chose to show the Other series on the top of each bar.

Exclude from sort5. Switch rows and columns. If you’re using data in Excel, you don’t need to transpose the data before bringing it into your chart. You can just paste it into the data sheet and select the Switch Bars and Series button to make your chart.

switch 3

6. Highlight changes in a cascade chart. Simply right click on one of your total bars to insert an axis break. Then, click on the axis break and drag the dotted lines surrounding it to resize it. This will make the change bars more prominent in the chart.

Axis break

7. Format all labels quickly. This is often the last thing I do when making a chart. I right click in the white space of a chart and choose Select All Labels from the menu. Then I right click on an individual label and I can choose the font, font style and size for all labels in the chart.

select all labels

8. Flip a chart. To quickly convert a chart from vertical to horizontal orientation, use the Layout button in the Mekko Graphics ribbon.


9. Annotate multiple labels. To manage labels for small series, I like to multi-select the labels by holding down the Ctrl key and then right clicking to choose Annotate from the floating menu. Your labels will be nicely organized above the bar.

Multi Label Annotate

10. Share charts with colleagues who do not have Mekko Graphics. Users without Mekko Graphics can view the charts in PowerPoint but cannot access the chart data. You can use Export charts to Excel from the Mekko Graphics ribbon to create an Excel file with data for each chart in a separate worksheet.

export to excel