Microsoft option for quick, easy embedded graphics

Microsoft SkyDriveNothing beats hard-coding graphics and data right onto your website, but that’s not always possible – sometimes because of technical limitations and other times simply because of a lack of time.

For that reason, many of Google’s tools have become popular as embed options. But Microsoft would like a slice of the pie. A Microsoft representative at an Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in St. Louis recently showed me a slick alternative. I’ve begun using it in selective situations.

Simply take an Excel spreadsheet, spruce it up in the Excel “table” view and upload it to a Hotmail account in the document section known as SkyDrive. Use the share option to get an embed code. Take a look at the graphic at the bottom of this weather story. The bars add a graphic eliminate to what otherwise may have been a simple chart, and I like theĀ  ease for self-sorting.