Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Changing the Chart Options
Customizing Your Legend
Second only to the category axis in terms of the
impact on a chart’s usability, the legend is very
important. The legend lets people know what
the colors in your chart mean, so that they know,
for example, that the blue columns are New York
and the green ones are Philadelphia. Without
the legend, your charts—regardless of the type—
would be pretty, but useless.
Your legend can be customized in two ways. You
can format the font used, picking a different font
entirely, or simply making the text larger, for
better legibility. Formatting options are found
on the Format tab, where you can choose from
Text Fill, Text Outline, and Text Effects options
(see Figure 11-21) and on the Home tab, where
your standby tools for Font, Size, Style, and Color
are found in the Font section of the ribbon.
Want lighter, darker, brighter, or more subtle
gridlines? Here’s your solution: the
Format Major Gridlines dialog box.
If you’re using a 3D chart style, you
can change its 3D rotation. Click the 3D
Rotation button (see the Layout tab’s
Background group, within Chart Tools)
and use the resulting dialog box (the
Format Chart Area dialog box, which
opens to facilitate formatting other
aspects of the chart, too) and change the
rotation using the X and Y fields to move
it horizontally and vertically. The chart
changes as you click the triangles on
these two fields or after you enter new
values manually. Once you like what you
see, click the Close button.
Format your legend text with the
Format tab’s Text tools.
You can also format the placement of the legend,
placing it on the left, right, or along the bottom
of the chart. To make these changes,
doubleclick the legend, and use the resulting Format
Legend dialog box, shown in Figure 11-22.