I know perfectly well that I can't plot negative values on a log chart. That
doesn't mean that my data doesn't have negative numbers in it. For years
I've been trying to outsmart Excel so that it effectively ignores negative
data on log plots, but it seems to me that it should simply happen (like it
does in most other mathematical tools). If the user isn't smart enough to
know that he can't plot negative numbers on a log scale, well, warn him by
default, if you must, but allow the skilled user to disable the message! It
is incredibly annoying, and it reduces my productivity by 100% when I'm
analyzing very typical data in thermal tests.
I can turn off just about anything other automatic stuff else that
me (like converting cells with "@" into email addresses, for crying out loud
- that took me a long time to figure out how to disable). What's wrong with
a "don't show me this again" checkbox on the "Negative values cannot be
plotted correctly on a log chart." warning dialog? What's wrong with simply
ignoring the negative data and not plotting it, just like you do with #NA and
#VALUE and all those other unplottable values?
I don't want to have to build my own log charts that ignore
(I could, but what's the point of a built-in log chart if you can't use it).
I don't want to have to write formulas for cells to make the offending
negative value "invisible" to the chart (I've tried dozens of ways, and they
all fail to be user-friendly at some level, like making OTHER dependent
formulas fail gracelessly). What I want is to tell Excel that I'm smart
enough to know that when the chart has a hole in it, it's because it couldn't
plot the data. What's so hard about that?
This has frustrated me for years. Can you tell?
Roger Stout, PE
Senior Research Scientist
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