Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Changing The Chart—It’s Your Call
Changing The Chart—It’s Your Call
In any case, if you decide the column chart motif isn’t quite what you want, you can readily select a new
chart with by clicking on the chart and then clicking the Change Chart Type in the Type Group , on that
same Design Tab. You’ll trigger this dialog box (Figure 5-14):
Figure 5–14. Change of heart? Change your chart!
The gamut of chart types and sub-types are placed before you for you to select as you see fit—
provided the chart works with your data. And that friendly word of caution serves as a lead-in to a brief
cataloging of the basic chart types, and what they can and can’t do. Some chart usage decisions are
judgment calls, but the fact is that certain sets of data simply can’t be captured by certain kinds of charts,
a point that will become clearer as we proceed.
The Column Chart
Column —perhaps the most commonly deployed chart, and probably the most straightforward. That’s
probably why it’s listed first among the chart types (the order isn’t alphabetical). Column charts,
according to Excel’s own accompanying caption, “are used to compare values across categories.”
Granted, that’s a fairly innocuous description at best, but as we’ve seen, these charts do compare
different categories in an easy-to-understand mode of presentation. Look back at the tourist chart we
composed at the outset of the chapter; both the city and year dimensions are crisply, if not daringly,
portrayed. To mix metaphors, this Clustered Column chart is a garden-variety, vanilla chart, at least until
you jazz it up.
Note, however, that a popular column variant, the Stacked Column , is a touch more subtle, and
Excel offers two kinds of these. The Stacked Column chart piles, or stacks, the values in all chart series
atop one another, for each point on the Horizontal Axis. If that sounds murky, here’s what a Stacked
Column rendering of our grade data looks like (Figure 5-15):
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