How to Use a Visual Basic Macro to Create a Bubble Chart

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In Microsoft Excel, you can write a macro to create a bubble chart. Bubble charts are similar to xy (scatter) charts; however, instead of having uniform markers where the pair of x and y values intersect, these points are marked with circles that indicate the relative magnitude of the values in a third series.

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Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements. Enter the following code on a module sheet and follow the instructions below:
   Sub BubbleChart()
'define variables for workbook, chart, and chart series
MyBook = ActiveWorkbook.Name
MyChart = ActiveChart.Name
MySeries = ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Formula

'define variables for worksheet and chart series reference
StartVal = InStr(InStr(1, MySeries, "(") + 1, MySeries, ",") + 1
EndSheetVal = InStr(StartVal, MySeries, "!")
mysheet = Mid(MySeries, StartVal, EndSheetVal - StartVal)
EndVal = InStr(StartVal, MySeries, ",")
mysource = Mid(MySeries, StartVal, EndVal - StartVal)

If InStr(mysheet,"'") Then 'strip out apostrophe
mysheet = Mid(mysheet, 2, Len(mysheet) - 2) 'if sheet name has a
End If 'space

'begin loop to add data labels to chart
Counter = 1
For Each xItem In Range(mysource)
xLabel = xItem.Offset(0, -1).Value
ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Points(Counter).HasDataLabel _
ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(1).Points(Counter).DataLabel.Text _
Counter = Counter + 1
Next xItem

'create oval on worksheet (used for chart bubbles)
ActiveSheet.Ovals.Add(335.25, 12.75, 52.5, 52.5).Select
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
MyOval = ActiveSheet.DrawingObjects.Name

'get values from worksheet to compute bubble sizes
Set MyBubbleRange = Range(mysource).Offset(0, 3)

'begin loop to compute bubble size and add to chart data point
For Counter = 1 To MyBubbleRange.Count
BubbleValue = MyBubbleRange(Counter) * 50
With Selection
.Width = BubbleValue
.Height = BubbleValue
End With

'select worksheet
Next Counter

'activate chartsheet

'remove oval from worksheet
End Sub

To use the macro

  1. In a new worksheet in Microsoft Excel, enter the following values:

    A1: B1: Gross Revenues C1: Net Income D1: # of Plants
    A2: East B2: 831191 C2: 35427 D2: 26
    A3: West B3: 622199 C3: 54263 D3: 13
    A4: North B4: 153794 C4: 80881 D4: 40
    A5: South B5: 711327 C5: 33872 D5: 35
  2. Select the range B1:C5. From the Insert menu, choose Chart, As New Sheet. In the chart wizard choose the following:

    1. Step 2: choose XY (Scatter)
    2. Step 3: choose Type 1
    3. Step 4: choose Data Series in Columns; Use first 1 column(s) for X data; Use first 1 row(s) for legend text.
    4. Step 5: choose No for Add a legend; enter titles is optional.
  3. Activate the worksheet and type the following formula in cell E2:
  4. Select cells E2:E5 and click Fill Down on the Edit menu. This formula calculates the number of plants for each region relative to the total number of plants in all four regions.
  5. Select the chart sheet and run the macro. Click Macro on the Tools menu, click BubbleChart, and click Run.
For additional information on creating Bubble Charts using the Microsoft Excel 4.0 Macro language, please see the following article(s) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
107729 Excel: Macro to Create Bubble Chart

Article ID: 139662 - Last Review: Oct 10, 2006 - Revision: 1