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Vis-à-vis: A Visual Language for Spreadsheet Visualizations

Danyel Fisher, Steven Drucker, Roland Fernandez, and Xiaoji Chen


Finding ways for information workers to easily create and modify visualizations that display their own data has been a long time goal within the visualization community. We describe Vis-à-vis, a declarative language for defining and extending visu-alizations directly within spreadsheets. Vis-a-vis allows users to directly bind data and formula to the visual attributes of an extensible set of visualization primitives. The visualizations that Vis-a-vis creates can be shared and modified easily, allowing users to modify existing visualizations. This approach allows users to select visualizations from a gallery, to customize them easily, or to create novel visualizations. The approach leverages familiar formulas and data from spreadsheets. We prototype a system that uses this language, and use it to build a number of standard and custom visualizations, and gather formative feedback from a small user study.


Publication typeTechReport
PublisherMicrosoft Technical Report
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