Someone Think of the Colorless

Monday, September 12, 2005, at 08:40PM

By Eric Richardson

In high school they had "Computers" classes where they taught you how to use things like Word and Excel. I never took those classes. I did "independent study computers" and built the school web site.

But tonight some of that might have come in useful. I've been trying to make some charts in gnumeric, to lay out financial info for tomorrow's DLANC meeting. I've successfully figured out how to make the charts, but it would appear that gnumeric has zero support for choosing sensible colors that will show up in grayscale. Does Excel handle that better? How hard can it be to have a "I'm printing in grayscale option" in the properties that alters the behaviour of the code that picks colors?

I was able to manually set bar elements to different gray levels, but pie charts appear to only let you say "Automatic", in which case half of what it picks just shows up as white when run through my laser printer.

I refuse to touch Open Office's oocalc app. I've messed with it before and despise its UI much as I do that of OO's word processor. I also installed kchart (can't find a working website for that one) and couldn't handle (or understand) the UI. gnumeric feels very nice, but pie charts where half the elements come out white aren't very useful to me.