For z-axis challenged charts, more scrolling and zooming

17 July 2007

Of course, as soon as I start talking about some of the new features in XtraCharts, I can guarantee I'll leave somethng out. And so it was with Zooming and Scrolling. I was so taken with the 3D charting functionality that I forgot about mentioning the 2D charts and their support for zooming and scrolling.

This is, in some ways, just as it should be: I wouldn't be here nattering about XtraCharts if all I could talk about were our pie charts. Anyway, in 2D-land user interaction with charts is just as compelling as with 3D charts (wlthough notice it has been present for a while).

First of all here's a step line chart.

Notice that there's a scrollbar along the bottom of the chart: the graph is so wide that it does not fit in the width of the window. The scrollbar has a thumb that is equal to the proportion of the window width to the entire chart. You can scroll the chart left and right either by using this scrollbar, or, easier, by using the same click-and-grab action on the chart as you could with the 3D charts.

And zooming is just as easy: use the mouse wheel. Roll back to zoom out, roll forward to zoom in. You can also use the shift key in combination with the mouse: press shift, click the left mouse button, and then drag a region. That region then occupies the entire window.

If you zoom in, oc course, it's likely that the vertical axis will also get a scrollbar to indicate that you can scroll up and down as well as left and right.

So, again, your users gain more control over the presentation and use of your charts, and in very intuitive ways.

Next time: Gantt charts for sure.

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