dan lasota's masters in education portfolio for online innovation and design


Limited Features with Google Docs Spreadsheets

8 August 2012 ed431

Working with the spreadsheet tool in google docs has been a little frustrating. There are limited embedding options (compared with a service like YouTube). Here are three versions of the same pie chart.

Below is the embedded chart picture from a spreadsheet in my google account. I cannot change the size and the color options for the chart are very limited. Worst of all, I lose the interactive nature of the google chart object. This is just a picture. That's it.

What should be an interactive chart (below), is merely a red line which reads "Pie chart should have a first column of type string". It seems to be able to produce an image correctly in the first example, and in the sheet within the google doc itself, but not here. I was not able to find a fix to this even after using the google...

Finally I downloaded a PNG file from the google doc and have uploaded that into this WordPress Blog's media library. It is the same size as the embedded picture. I'm not sure why google selected 600 pixels as a width for this, but that's what you see, since there are no options to change it.

3 thoughts on “Limited Features with Google Docs Spreadsheets

  1. Fattic says:

    I was looking for the three versions of the pie charts right below the statement. It took me some time to realize that you intended the words to go with the pictures in three different paragraphs. For me it would have been helpful if you titled each section as version 1, version 2, or version 3. Hopefully you find the solution to your problem with version 2.

  2. Jane Monahan says:

    I’m a little confused on the whole embedding of charts thing. I think I need to attend a Google training again.

    To my untrained eye your first and third chart pictures look the same. I can click on the third one and it opens in a new window but that’s the only difference.

    I got the pie chart string error too. I went to the Google help site — no help. I finally figured out what I needed to do but it required me re-typing my results into a new spreadsheet. That seemed redundant and I’m sure I’m missing something that would have made the process easier. I’m glad I only had 8 responses to tally.

    • dan.lasota says:

      I am actually going to see if anyone at UA OIT knows a way around this. Oh, and the first and third pictures are exactly the same (just different locations, dissapointing that you can’t even resize it).

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