Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Flipping the Data Series
These kinds of distortions raise classic questions about the ways in which chart data are presented.
Pinching the chart, as we see above, makes the column bars seem higher than they “really” are.
Flipping the Data Series
Now back to an earlier point about data series. If you click anywhere on the chart, the ribbon takes on
this appearance, showing you the Chart Tools (Figure 5-12):
Figure 5–12. The Chart Tools tab
Each of the Design, Layout, and Format tabs are lined with a set of chart-related button groups.
Click Design, and click the Switch Row/Column button in the Data group, and the chart undergoes this
transformation (Figure 5-13):
Figure 5–13. Same data, different angle
What’s happened? What we’re seeing is a flipping of data series. Whereas our initial chart
designated each of the five tests as a series, here the data have been right-angled, so that the student
names now serve as the series and the tests occupy the Horizontal Axis (tip: the legend will identify the
data series). Our revised chart clusters the student grades by each exam , so that each student is
represented once in each series. In the original chart version, however, the grades are clustered by each
student , so that each exam is represented once in each series. Just keep in mind that the data with which
we’re working in both cases are identical ; it’s the data series that have traded places.
This ability to switch and re-designate data series—even as the data used in the switch remain
precisely the same —is an important presentational option, and you need to decide which works for you.
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