About the Data Visualizer add-in for Excel

Have a question about using Data Visualizer add-in with Excel? Here are some important things to know.

Can I use the Data Visualizer add-in?

This table gives a general description of which features are available depending on which license you have.

Office 3651

Plan 1

Plan 2

Create a diagram with the add-in for Excel

Yes

Yes

Yes

Refresh the diagram from the latest data

Yes

Yes

Yes

View, print and share diagram with Visio for the web

Yes

Yes

Yes

Basic diagram editing with Visio for the web

No

Yes

Yes

Advanced features in Visio Desktop app2

No

No

Yes

1 The add-in requires you to sign in with your Office 365 work or school account to use the features described in the table above. If you choose not to sign in, you can still create the diagram with the add-in. However the View, Print, Share, and Edit abilities are only available when you're signed in.

2 See Create a diagram for details about custom editing or advanced features.

Where do I find the Data Visualizer add-in? 

It's an add-in for Excel that allows you to create a Visio diagram from Excel data without having to install Visio. 

  • In Excel for Office 365 or Excel for Office 365 for Mac, on the Insert tab of the ribbon, select Get Add-ins or Add-ins. Then search for Visio Data Visualizer.

  • In Excel for the web, on the Insert tab of the ribbon, select Office Add-ins. Then search for Visio Data Visualizer.

See Create a diagram for full details. 

The Add-ins button in Excel is grayed out

Some organizations choose to disable add-ins to have greater control over what users install on their systems. This is done by an Office 365 administrator. Often when an admin has disabled add-ins, an alternative "centralized deployment" system for add-ins can or will be set up. You can discuss this possibility with your admin. This Help article describes how admins can make add-ins available to an organization by using centralized deployment.

Why do I have to sign in to use the add-in?

Without signing in, you can use the add-in to create a diagram in Excel and save the workbook. But if you want to share the diagram as a Visio file or edit the diagram in Visio, you'll have to sign in with the work or school account associated with your Office 365 subscription.

Sign-in for the add-in isn't yet synced up with Office 365. So even if you've already signed in to your work or school account on your computer, when you select the Edit button, the add-in will ask you to sign in. Once you've signed in, a Visio .vsdx file is created, and then you can open the file in that app. 

The add-in asks me to sign in, but when I try to it doesn't work

In some versions of Microsoft Edge, the sign-in process for using the add-in is currently not working. You can get around this problem by upgrading to a new version of Microsoft Edge or using a different supported browser (such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox).

What's the best way to share a diagram made with the add-in? 

With the Data Visualizer add-in, you don't need Visio to create a diagram. The same is true for sharing the diagram with others:

  • Select Open in Web from the ellipses (...) in the add-in header. This will open in the diagram in Visio for the web. Select the Share button to create a link or to enter the email addresses of those you want to share with. All Office 365 users will be able to view the diagram in their favorite browser.

  • Alternatively, if you want to share both the data and the diagram, share the Excel workbook that contains the diagram with others. To share it, attach the workbook to an email message, or save it in OneDrive and then use the Share button to send a link. See Share OneDrive files for more details.

Where should I edit the diagram? In the desktop app or the web app?

Visio for the web lets you quickly make basic edits to a diagram right in a web browser. If you want to augment the diagram in advanced ways, such as using custom shapes in the diagram, using two-way synchronization between the data and the diagram, or applying data graphics to your diagram, then you'll need to use the Visio desktop app. 

Create a Visio file, if you like

The add-in allows you to create a Visio diagram without ever opening Visio. You use a table of a data in Excel to describe what the diagram should look like, then the diagram is drawn for you right on your Excel worksheet.

You can share the diagram by sending the Excel workbook to other people.

But if you have a subscription to Visio or if you own the Visio desktop app, you may also work further with the diagram in Visio. To do that, simply select Edit on the toolbar at the top of the add-in drawing canvas. At that point, a Visio .vsdx file containing the diagram will be saved to your OneDrive account, and the file will be opened in Visio. After that, you can do basic editing and share the file with others (in Visio for the web), or you can do full editing plus sharing with others (in the Visio desktop app).

I created a diagram, but now when I go back to the Excel file, it's not there

When you are using the following versions of Windows 10 and Excel together, the Data Visualizer add-in doesn't work properly:

  • Windows version 1903 (May Update 19H1)

  • Excel version 16.0.11629.20246

The result is that after you create a diagram in Excel, close the file, and then return to it later, the diagram won't be there in the file.

The specific version of Excel that has this problem is from the Office 365 Monthly Channel release in June 2019. Newer versions are available. To work around this problem, update to a newer release. See Install Office updates for details on how to do that.

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