Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Advanced Chart Formatting Options
The green box indicates the data series names, the blue box indicates the series values
(points to be plotted in the chart), and the purple box identifies category axis labels.
If you use a table as the source data for your chart, adding a new row or column
automatically extends the corresponding series in the linked chart. If your data source is a simple
range, you have to add new data manually. To do so, enter your data first, including the
column or row heading, and then click the chart to expose the color-coded handles. Drag
the corner of the range containing the series values so that it includes your new row or
column, and then drag the series name or category axis label, as needed, to include the newly
added cell.
If you find it easier to use the Clipboard, you can add a new row or column to your data
source (or select an existing range that isn’t currently part of the chart), copy it to the
Clipboard, and then click to select the chart and paste the Clipboard contents. Be sure to
include the cell that includes the series name or category axis label, if appropriate.
You can also use the sizing handles to reduce the number of series or data points. For
example, if you have a column chart that includes 12 months’ worth of results but you want
to show only the last three months, drag the corresponding selections in the data source to
make them smaller, using just the data you want to include.
INSIDE OUT No more data limits
Previous versions of Excel imposed strict limits on the number of data points you could
include per data series and per chart. With Excel 2010, those limits are completely
removed. You can now include as many data points as your PC’s memory can
accommodate. That’s good news for scientists and engineers who want to visualize very large
sets of data. However, this change doesn’t repeal the most fundamental principle of
turning information into graphics: KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).
Advanced Chart Formatting Options
Most of the work that goes into making a chart look clear and readable involves the
fundamentals of formatting—fonts that are big enough to read at the selected sizes, and
complementary colors and backgrounds that enhance rather than distract from the chart itself.
These options take advantage of tools, techniques, and themes that are common to all
Office programs. If you select an individual chart element and then click Format Selection,
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