Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Other Chart Types
Other Chart Types
You’ll find a total of five chart types under the Other category (in the Charts group on the
Insert tab). We’ve already discussed stock charts, which are genuinely useful. It’s much more
difficult to make a compelling case for the other four chart types, so we’ll simply list them
here and offer a brief description.
Surface charts are made up of two data series containing numeric data and resemble a
topographic map. If you can envision a rubber sheet stretched over a 3-D column chart,
you have a pretty good idea of what a 3-D surface chart looks like.
Doughnut charts are similar to pie charts but can contain multiple data series, with one
series inside the “doughnut hole” of the next. Excel’s Help system notes that doughnut
charts are “hard to read” and suggests stacked column or stacked bar charts as alternatives.
Bubble charts resemble scatter (XY) charts with an extra dimension that turns plot points
into bubbles of varying sizes. As in a scatter chart, the values in the x and y series plot the
location of each data point. The third value determines the bubble size.
Radar charts plot data in a circular arrangement, where one set of numeric values starts at
the center of the chart and a second set of ordered values (typically time) is plotted around
the outside of the circle.
Linking Worksheet Data to Chart Elements
The elements that make up a chart are, in most cases, linked directly to data within a
worksheet. Series names typically come from the label attached to the column or row that
provides the data series values. Axis labels and legends are also derived from source data.
If you change any of the data points in the source data, the corresponding chart element is
You can view and edit the source data for a chart by clicking anywhere in the chart and
then clicking Select Data, in the Data group on the Design tab. Figure 13-15 shows this
dialog box for a chart whose data source consists of three rows (each treated as a separate
data series) and three columns (each treated as a separate category).
In this example, the source data (as identified in the Chart Data Range box) is a single
contiguous range. If your chart consists of selected rows or columns from a larger range or
table, you’ll see each range listed separately, with commas separating the multiple ranges.
The labels above the two main boxes in the Select Data Source dialog box do not change
with the chart type, which can lead to some confusing results. For example, in a pie chart,
the values in the Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels box define each slice of the pie and are