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Here is a quick trick to make range slider stay at its place while displaying dynamic data.

Range slider is a very useful feature of charts in Xcelsius 2008/ Dashboards 4. This property allows you to plot a wide data range and still able to view all the values.

For example, if your data varies between 1-20 ,000 the chart (line/column) will hardly be able to display any trend without the slider- the lower values will appear as zero line.

With this property On, the chart will appear with a slider at the bottom which will allow users to resize, move and drag the slider along the x-axis to focus on specific data points or ranges. When set the automatic scale, the Y-axis will change the scale according to the slider position and its corresponding value allowing kind of zooming into particular area.

This is also useful when there is limited space you need to fit more x-axis labels than conveniently readable.  In such cases the slider allows legible font size and ability to see all the data points by moving along the x-axis.

My users always love to have the sliders on with their charts. It adds to so much flexibility.

However, there are situations when it can get little confusing.  One of them is hen the data values of the chart is changed based on a selector.

Say, we have States and their rolling 12 months revenue. 

The selector lists all the states and based on what user selects it moves the corresponding row into a destination range  Data!$D$5:$O$5.

The category / X axis labels are Data!$D$8:$O$8

The Values for Y axis are Data!$D$5:$O$5 same as the selector destination.

The “Values” property of Data in General tab is bound to the above destination range. If for a particular value in the selector, there are no revenues for example Michigan, Colorado and New York, the slider tends to shrink to the beginning of the chart and stays like that even for any later selections, say Ohio which has values. Now, user needs to drag the slider to the end of the chart so see the actual line.

This can either cause users to think there is no values available or annoyance that they have to necessarily resize the slider every time they come across a state without revenue. 

Here’s what you need to do

Step1 : To enable range slider: In the property sheet under behavior tab

Step 2: Choose “Category Label”  from the Drop downs for “Beginning Range Value” and “End Range Value’

Step 3: Bind the “Beginning Range Value” to Data!$D$8 which is the first cell of the category label range.

“End Range Value’ to Data!$O$8 which is the last cell of the category label range.

Step 4: Uncheck the “In Series” and “In Values”

In Preview/run time, when there is no data for a state, this is how it will behave - in the fixed slider chart, the slider stays at its earlier selected range instead of shrunk to the beginning.

Next when you select a state with value, the fixed chart will properly show values.

Please share your thoughts - if you have faced this before and if you have an alternate solution.

Do your users like range slider?



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