Graphing Tutorials - Producing Graphs from Spreadsheet


Producing Graphs from Spreadsheet Data

This tutorial demonstrates how to implement the graphing software to dynamically read data from a spreadsheet (in this case an MS Excel Spreadsheet).


The following tutorials assume you have already downloaded and installed the
PHP Advanced Graphs and Charts package.

The latest release can be downloaded here

PHP Excel Reader

In this tutorial we will be using the open source package 'PHP Excel Reader' package. This package can be obtained from:-

Once downloaded place the following two files into the ./jpowered/graph/ directory:-

At the time of writing we had to make the following small change to the reader.php file:- We replaced:-


A good general article on using the 'PHP Excel Reader' package can be viewed at:-

Directory Structure

In this tutorial you will be create a web page and a couple of configuration files. For the purposes of this tutorial you should create a directory /graphtest/ directory under your web root directory.

This tutorial also assumes that you installed the graphing software directly under the web root
(e.g. /webRootFilePath/jpowered/graph/ )

Step 1 - Create a Spreadsheet

For this tutotial we shall create a simple MS Excel spreadsheet with the following layout in sheet 1:-

Once created, save this as "spreadsheet.xls" and place it on your web server in a directory /graphtest/ under your web root directory

Step 2 - Create Data Function

Create a file named datafunction.php which contains the following:-

Again place this file on your web server in a directory /graphtest/ under your web root directory

Step 3 - Create the Configuration File

Create a file named 'config.txt' and add the following contents to it. This file should then be placed in the /graphtest/ directory.

Note: This config.txt file contains the parameters which determine certain aspects of the graph like colors and fonts. For the function and options of each parameter see the following page:-
Graph Parameters »

Step 4 - Create the HTML page

Add this HTML code to your page (replacing [] with the actual domain of your web site. Place this page in the /graphtest/ directory.

Note:The relative file paths are relative to the location of the vertical-cylinder-graph.php file (they are NOT relative to the location of the web page).

Save the web page and load it up to your web server placing it in the /graphtest/ directory.

Final Step - View the page in a browser

Open your web browser and view the page. You should see a Vertical Cylinder Graph with 36 bars plotted (12 for each series).

How it works

When the page loads the graph function is called which in turn runs the function contained within the datafunction.php file

This function then uses the PHP XL Reader to open and extract the data from the spreadsheet. Finally the data is passed to the graphing function and the graph is produced.





Adding Graphs to Web Pages

Direct DB Access to MySQL DBs

Custom Data Function

Interface Scripts

Constructing configuration dynamically

Creating Date/Time Axis Labels

Graphing Data Directly from Spreadsheets



Demo Index

Troubleshooting Guide



Configuration Options and Parameters

Supplying the Graph with Data

Sample Image Tags

Database Connections

Database Information method

Custom Data Function

Installation Help

Upgrade PHP

Upgrade GD

Log File

Allow URL Fopen