For reasons you don’t want me to go into, I have to make a Venn diagram. Is Excel going to be any help?
According to Microsoft, yes! It’s easy to create overlapping circles and make them into pretty colours. The video tutorial is voiced by someone who sounds extremely proud of this, and finishes with a chipper “THAT’S how I want my Venn diagram to look!”
Except it’s extremely useless. I don’t know if anyone at Microsoft stopped to consider that Venn diagrams are supposed to mean something, not just look harmonious with your document theme.
For one thing, I need to crunch numbers and get areas and overlaps which are proportional to my data – none of that is mentioned.
It’s not too surprising, given that the example Venn diagram is set up to show all the overlaps between birds and mammals (errr… there isn’t any) and… I’m sorry, I can’t even imagine an invertebrate amphibian mammal bird reptile even if one had ever existed. Which it didn’t.
Microsoft were the company which re-thought the world, brought the cleverest, most useful tools, and made billions in the process. When did it all become about style over function (**cough** Vista)? And if Microsoft no longer get it, who does?