How to Format the Labels in a Pie Chart in SSRS 2008 R2

OK this REALLY made me do a facepalm.

I was wresting again with SSRS (Microsoft’s SQL Server Reporting Services), and was just trying to format the numbers in a pie chart. It seemed clear enough: right click on the little numbers in the pie chart and edit the number format. It even displays all the numbers in all the pie slices with the new format.

Easy, right?

No.

That change only affects the first series, with no obvious way of selecting the other series values to format them… since they look like they’re already formatted!

[image here…]

Turns out you have to move the next series to the top position in the “Chart Data” floating tool window, and then you can modify the values. I found the answer here on Stack Overflow:

reporting services – How to Format the Labels in a Pie Chart in SSRS 2008 R2 – Stack Overflow

i had this same issue, if you just use the arrows (little blue arrows at the top of the chart data box) to move the value to the top of the list you can edit the label details/code/expression etc for that series. then just repeat this for all the values you’ve added. i’m sure there’s a better way but this worked so that’s what i did. It seems that when you are editing a label it is only ever editing the item/value at the top of the list, after you’ve done your labels then just shuffle them back into the order you wanted them listed

Once you do this, you see new values, unformatted (or, more accurately, formatted with the default number format).

[image here.]

You can then go through the same process as before and change the number format for those data points in the series.

What a pain.

Excel Tip: Keyboard shortcut to insert a row

I needed to know how to add a row to a spreadsheet I was working on, and thankfully Joe Witwer, author of this Excel tip, figured this out. While not exactly straightforward, it’s easy enough to add a row quickly. He also includes instructions regarding how to insert a column:

Excel Tips: Insert a New Row or Column – Excel Keyboard Shortcut:

Lately, I have been trying to use as many Excel keyboard shortcuts as I can (not only for productivity, but for ergonomic reasons). I haven’t found a quick keyboard shortcut to insert a new row or column, but there is a two-step process that is quite convenient:

  • Shift+SpaceBar = Select the current row
  • Ctrl+Shift+PlusSign = Insert row(s)

To insert a new column, in step 1 use Ctrl+SpaceBar to select the current column. To insert more than one row or column at a time, use the arrow keys as you hold Shift before going to step 2.

Hope this helps!

Make XP-Style Alt-Tab the Default in Windows 7

OK, so I’m not sure if this works in Vista but it definitely works in Windows 7.

I have grown very tired of the Aero-style Alt-Tab behavior in Windows 7 (only took 4 weeks to get sick of it!), and I really wanted to revert back to the “classic Alt-Tab” behavior and make it my default. The former is easy. The latter requires a little regedit hack:

  • Create a DWORD called “AltTabSettings” in \HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • Set its value to 1.
  • Test Alt-Tab combination. The Windows XP-style AltTab behavior should have returned.

Thanks to a comment from “barbudo” on this page for the answer to this mildly-perplexing problem (scroll down to the comments).