In Stacked Charts - keeping consistent order and colour of categories across chart types

Hi,

Hope all reading this are well and staying safe.

I’m creating a Business Dashboard with a range of graphs for different purposes. Some of these are stacked charts.

My need is to achieve consistent order and colour of category groupings in charts, in two ways:

  1. Consistent order and colour of category groupings when changing a stacked bar chart to a stacked line chart.
    Airtable seems to take control and change the order and colour (see screenshots below). Please note: in creating the stacked line chart I simply copied/duplicated the stacked bar chart, and made one adjustment: changed the chart type from bar to line. This automatically changed the order and colour of the category groupings.
    Stacked bar:


    Note the order and the coour of the grouping categories in the above.
    And here is the stacked line chart that is a result of simply transforming the copied chart type to stacked line:
    image
    Note the order and colour of those categories has been changed.
    Can I control this?

  2. Consistent order and colour of categories across two different charts which use Views of the same table that are virtually identical, and where the order of the data presented in the charts is identical. Airtable again seems to take control of the colour and arbitrarily applies new order and colour to a new chart regardless of the fact that the order of data in the Table Views are the same.

Is there something simple I have missed? If so, would you please help me to control the order and colour of the groups across a range of charts regardless of the chart type?

Thanking you,

Carol

Hi Carol and welcome to the community.

By the looks of your charts, you are obviously skilled in creating good visuals. Unfortunately, the Chart Block has some limitations, mostly regarding simple nuances like sorting and colour control.

I’m not sure that you can’t achieve your objectives with it, but long ago I sorta gave up on the Chart Block and decided to use the new Vega-Lite Block which is in beta, but you can get access to it with a single click.

There are almost no limits to what you can build with Vega, but it does require a little technical understanding of the grammars and you need to edit JSON declarations. There are some good tutorials though and the dividends are huge if you master it. For example, this is simply out of reach for most charting tools -

Hi Bill,

Thank you for your welcome and for your time and energy on my question, and the feedback that I’ll need to look elsewhere – such as Vega-Lite – for controlling order and colour for consistency across multiple charts.

I’ll download and have a good “play” with it :smile: Your waterfall chart would be out of reach for most charting tools.

cheers

Carol

To be clear, you don’t need to download anything or really learn a whole lot to get some traction with the Vega-Lite block. You simply install it into your Airtable account with a single click and then start to use it like any other plugin component (i,.e., “app”) in Airtable.

And the Vega-Lite block will generate a basic grammar for you to select tables and fields, so you can get a feel for it right away. It’s all the little nuances of shape, form, and style that will require more learning. But as you can see from this thread, there’s a way to do almost any type of refined rendering.

One of the biggest advantages of Vega-Lite is extensibility. If you invest in developing charts using Vega grammars, and you need to apply the same or similar renderings in other places - like a website, or a portal, or another Airtable block, the JSON code is transportable without modification.

And here’s an example where I use Vega-Lite as an overlay of COVID death rates in a custom mapping app. This is made possible by building your own custom apps with the Airtable Blocks SDK. The Vega grammar used to create the overlay was initially developed by my client as a Vega block - we simply copied it into the custom app and added an opacity level.

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