Friend To The Graphically Challenged

By SmallBusinessComputing Staff | Posted June 01, 2000
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by Steve Bennett

Amigo 2000
Rating 88

Tired of the anemic graphingcapability Microsoft Office offers? If so, consider Amigo 2000. An add-in designed to work with Excel and PowerPoint, Amigo 2000 makes it a snap to add dazzling charts and graphs to spreadsheets and presentations. Even the most graphically challenged user can create stellar visuals.

Once the program is installed, Excel and PowerPoint will sport a new menu bar button. With a click of the button, the program's built-in analyzer automatically formats data in the charted form that is most appropriate (bar or line graph, pie chart, etc.). Microsoft Chart users will feel right at home here. What's dramatically different is the range of options and capabilities placed at users' fingertips, and the ease with which one can modify a chart.

For example, Amigo enables users to edit and move all text elements in a chart or graph. Color gradients may be added, or users may choose from more than 100 textures. Clip art (in .wmf format) may also be used instead of solid bars. For example, stacks of dollar bills can be used in a bar graph to indicate rising or falling revenues. In addition, Amigo's spell checker reviews all text elements in a chart or graph (a capability notably missing in Microsoft Chart). The real knockout capability, though, is the program's ability to render charts as true 3-D objects.

All these capabilities require some computing horsepower. The software recommends a 500MHz machine or better with Windows 98 second edition and Office 2000. But, if your computer has enough "oomph," Amigo 2000 can be a true graphical friend, indeed.

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