Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Turning Data into a Chart
Don’t look to the ScreenTips for assistance on figuring out what is in each layout, though.
When you move the mouse pointer over each layout, you’ll see only the generic names
Layout 1, Layout 2, and so on.
Whether you start with a default layout or use one of the Quick Layout options, you can
add, remove, and change the position and formatting of most elements to make the chart
easier to read and understand. Most of the tools you need are on the Layout tab, which
appears under the Chart Tools heading only when you click to select a chart. Figure 13-3
shows this tab in action.
Figure 13-3 The Current Selection group at the left tells you which chart element is available for
immediate formatting. Other commands allow you to select different parts of the chart.
INSIDE OUT Use the arrow keys to select individual elements easily
Trying to hit a specific chart element with a mouse pointer can be a frustrating
experience even if you have a steady hand and a sharp eye. The easier alternative is to use the
arrow keys. Click inside the chart borders (but away from axes, titles, legends, and the
like) to select the Chart Area, which is the first entry in the Chart Elements list in the
Current Selection group on the Layout tab. Now use the Up and Down Arrow keys to
move through the list, to the plot area, individual data series, axes, and so on. Use the
Left and Right Arrow keys to move through individual items in a series, a legend, or
another element made up of multiple data points. If the legend is selected, press the
Right Arrow key to select the first entry in the list, and keep pressing to move through
the entire legend.
Most of the commands on the Layout tab lead to additional menus that present the most
common formatting options. On the Gridlines menu, for example, you decide whether
gridlines are visible for each of the major axes; you can hide gridlines completely, show only
major or minor gridlines, or show both major and minor gridlines. Use the options on the