Despite its hefty price tag, Charts Pro 1.0 was hard to beat for generating stunning 2D and 3D charts with a minimum of effort. Charts Pro 1.5 adds the ability to create animated charts for Web-based and other electronic presentations, though some will still find the price prohibitive.
Four new chart animations top the list of enhancements. The most innovative effect, Forecasting, lets you create charts that morph from one data set to another. However, you have to save the values that determine the animation’s ending point in a tab-delimited text file; whenever the data changes, you must reselect the file.
New graphic elements include axes with variable thickness and optional “walls”. You can now display the numeric values associated with data markers, and you can choose symbols to represent data points in 2D line-charts. Charts Pro 1.5 supports text rotation at any angle, and it lets you export charts in several new file formats.
Charts Pro 1.5 is an expensive one-trick pony, but it’s more capable than ever. While many will welcome the program’s novel animation-effects and other improvements, current users will justifiably balk at the steep cost of upgrading – but for brightening-up business presentations, it’s hard to top.