Windows Excel chart on a mac

lspence8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2006
3
0
Hi

Firstly this is the first time I'm posting here so hello to everyone.
Secondly I must apologise for posting on your web since I'm not a Mac users but a PC user _ sorry :)
However I do have a Mac question.

I have two queries;
1) I need to get Windows Excel 2002 charts into adobe illustrator on an apple Mac.
At the moment I am copying the chart into PowerPoint and saving it as an .emf file this is then opened on the Mac and copied into adobe illustrator.
I need to cut out the PowerPoint step if possible. One reason is that it's messes a lot of the formatting up and the chart needs to be reformatted.
So my question is what is the best way of getting excel charts from windows into adobe illustrator on a Mac?

2) I need to automate the formatting of the chart in adobe illustrator.
Can one create a program (I'm a windows developer so if this can be done I will have to get a Mac developer to do it but first I need to know if it can be done)
To open the file on the Mac copy the chart into adobe illustrator and format it. This can be done on windows but I don't know anything about programming on a Mac so need to know if it can be done?

Basically we publish Hundreds of charts all from Macs but they are created in windows and the manual process of moving them across seem very cumbersome so I need to find out about automating this or simply making the manual process easier.

Any suggestions?

THANKS
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,720
1,201
New Zealand
Right-click on your graph, select Save as Picture, and put it somewhere. I expect that Illustrator will be able to open the resulting file directly.
 

OzMo

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2006
33
0
Australia
Have you had a look at Excel on the Mac (MS Office for Mac)?

Charts are very very close but not identical to Windows Excel, so depending on how much you customise your charts the formatting might be close enough for you.

If so, it could be easier to open the charts in Excel on the Mac, then save in a format that is usable in Illustrator (e.g. pdf: the option to print as a pdf is built in to the operating system).
 

lspence8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2006
3
0
Thanks for the replies

Please excuse my total Mac stupidity – so OzMo are you saying that I can open the windows excel file or import the windows excel file directly into Excel for Macs?
Because if I can that would be fantastic as that would cut out any messing about on the PC side. Then I am sure I can get a Mac developer to develop something to automatically open it and copy it into adobe illustrator and do most of the formatting.
Does that sound reasonable?
 

OzMo

macrumors member
Aug 13, 2006
33
0
Australia
1. Yeah, Office for Mac is almost perfectly compatible with Office for Windows, including Excel.

The ONLY troubles I have had when transferring files from one platform to the other are with fonts (Windows & OSX come with different standard fonts, see below **), with font sizes in Powerpoint, and some graphics formats (jpegs etc) being stretched in Excel. For example I recently finished building 21 workbooks, each containing around 30 charts with varying degrees of chart customisation. I built them on my Mac for distribution and use on Windows Excel. They work fine.

That is not to say there are NO other incompatibilities, but I have not found them, and I work extensively with Word, Excel, and Powerpoint across both operating systems.

2. I'm not certain about the automation, but if - for example - a pdf is a suitable format then I would assume that you could write an Excel macro to print each chart to a separate pdf, then automate the Illustrator end of the process somehow (I know nothing about Illustrator but I would assume it has some way in which you could automate the workflow).

If you were to network the PC & Mac (or using both Windows and OSX on an Intel Mac) it would probably be even easier - save the Win Excel files to a shared folder, then open them directly in Excel for Mac and go from there.

** There is a subset of fonts that are found on both operating systems ... Arial, Century Gothic, Comic Sans, Courier, Courier New, Georgia, Tahoma, Times, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, Verdana, and Wingdings.


Hope that helps.
 

lspence8

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 23, 2006
3
0
Thanks OzMo

This is a huge huge help as now that I know it can be done I can propose this to my boss and we can try source a Mac developer to do the automated side on the Mac.
THANKS A MILL
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
lspence8 said:
This is a huge huge help as now that I know it can be done I can propose this to my boss and we can try source a Mac developer to do the automated side on the Mac.
THANKS A MILL
It might be useful for you to know that automation on a Mac is done using AppleScript, which is quite powerful. Both Excel for the Mac and Illustrator for the Mac support AppleScript very well, so what you're talking about should be possible. You'll want to try to find someone experienced with AppleScript automation. There are definitely people around who do AppleScript professionally, because a lot of big print houses depend on AppleScripts heavily.
 

MisterMe

macrumors G4
Jul 17, 2002
10,650
28
USA
lspence8 said:
This is a huge huge help as now that I know it can be done I can propose this to my boss and we can try source a Mac developer to do the automated side on the Mac.
THANKS A MILL
FWIW, Excel is a blunt instrument when used as a charting app. Dedicated MacOS X charting apps are superior technically, produce better looking graphs, and are easier to use. Many can open Excel files if they are your source.
 

Gee

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2004
1,023
0
London, UK
lspence8 said:
This is a huge huge help as now that I know it can be done I can propose this to my boss and we can try source a Mac developer to do the automated side on the Mac.
THANKS A MILL
You might be able to work out how to do the automation yourself as well. The latest version of the mac os (tiger, 10.4) comes with a built in automator/workflow program called Automator (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/automator/). Never tried it myself, but apparently quite easy to build workflows without knowing any scripting or programming. Check it out...
 

mduser63

macrumors 68040
Nov 9, 2004
3,038
30
Salt Lake City, UT
Gee said:
You might be able to work out how to do the automation yourself as well. The latest version of the mac os (tiger, 10.4) comes with a built in automator/workflow program called Automator (http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/automator/). Never tried it myself, but apparently quite easy to build workflows without knowing any scripting or programming. Check it out...
It's a good suggestion, but unfortunately Automator simply isn't powerful enough to do what he's talking about. For one thing, it doesn't support Excel and Illustrator Automation, but even if it did, it almost certainly wouldn't really work. AppleScript is definitely the way to go. AppleScript is a full-fledged programming language and can control almost every aspect of both Illustrator and Excel.
 

Gee

macrumors 65816
Feb 27, 2004
1,023
0
London, UK
mduser63 said:
It's a good suggestion, but unfortunately Automator simply isn't powerful enough to do what he's talking about. For one thing, it doesn't support Excel and Illustrator Automation, but even if it did, it almost certainly wouldn't really work. AppleScript is definitely the way to go. AppleScript is a full-fledged programming language and can control almost every aspect of both Illustrator and Excel.
I thought Automator was a pretty front end for Applescript? No?
 

SimonTheSoundMa

macrumors 65816
Aug 6, 2006
1,002
190
Birmingham, UK
You may be interested to know that Office was originally for the Mac, and later on ported to Windows/DOS.


Charts also in OS X look far better than ones made on Windows. Save as a PDF or EPS if you want to export.