Spreadsheet and Charting
In many ways, the spreadsheet document type/tool is the best part of the ClarisWorks package.
The spreadsheet is a fully functional – and fairly friendly – number crunching and presentation tool. It’s at about the Excel 2.0-2.1 level without any of Microsoft’s funky interface weirdness. Although the macro feature does not allow true scripting, the recordable macros combined with the 101 built-in functions will more than suffice for most office work and student work in the social sciences or in introductory natural science classes. It’s not quite as powerful as the shareware BiPlane spreadsheet, but its linking features and smooth interface make it a better bet.
ClarisWorks smoothly integrates spreadsheet frames throughout the whole application. Frames can be linked to one another like text frames, and ClarisWorks automatically links them to any included charts. Creating a chart is simply a matter of selecting the data and choosing from one of seven chart types (pie, bar/histogram, stacked bar/histogram, line with multiple graphs, scatter, x-y scatter, and x-y line). All charts can be done in color and several in 3D. The charting dialog is simple and easy to use – almost too simple for those accustomed to describing graphing options by name. Limited legend and axis options can be accessed for each graph from a single dialog box. ClarisWorks displays all chart types graphically rather than via menus. Changing linked spreadsheet data quickly updates dependent charts, and charts automatically turn into graphics objects, ready for annotation. The charting features resemble those of CricketGraph without the lousy Cricket interface.