I agree, we need Custom Error bar please ...
But better yet, how about the ability to <B>select a series of columns </B>and have the option to produce a column graph with a bar representing the <B>mean of each column and have error bars that are the standard error or standard deviation automatically calculated from the data column!</B>
"Custom Error Bars" were essential to generating figures for scientific publications, but they were also a real pain when all you ever really needed was to make a nice graph (often showing the mean value of a group) with simple error bars that actually meant something.
All the error bar options in excel other than "Custom" are pretty much useless for this and the only reason we want "custom" is because <B>Excel completely lacks the really feature we want:
Graphs were bars represent data ranges, automatically calculated with options of error bars calculated from that same data. </B>
The only thing close to this in Excel is to always use list manager and then pivot table reports or to do it all by hand. The more time you have to make a new row just to calculate something like a mean (what you really want to graph) and then another to get the standard error ... just leaves more room for human formula error / confusion / frustration / the want to just go and use another software package.
One fix would be to allow us to put a formula in the data selection bar for the "Y" value (for example) .... like y=AVG(A1:A10) ... then have it just understand that if I say "Standard Deviation" for my error bars, I mean STDEV(A1:A10); likewise with standard error.
Please, please, please makes this easier to do. There is a HUGE body of academics that would be very grateful.
N.Bryant - Grad student at UF >> Stay informed about: Custom Error Bars in Excel 2008: Where did they go?