Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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the answer is that more than one type of graph will perform the presentation goal
required; thus, the selection is a matter of your taste or that of your audience.
Therefore, it is convenient to divide the problem of selecting a presentation format
into two parts: the actual data presentation and the embellishment that will surround
it. In certain situations we choose to do as little embellishment as possible; in oth-
ers, we find it necessary to dress the data presentation in lovely colors, backgrounds,
and labeling. To determine how to blend these two parts, ask yourself few simple
1. What is the purpose of the data presentation? Is it possible to show the data with-
out embellishment or do you want to attract attention through your presentation
style ? In a business world where people are exposed to many, many presenta-
tions, it may be necessary to do something extraordinary to gain attention or
simply conform to the norm.
2. At what point does my embellishment of the data become distracting? Does the
embellishment cover or conceal the data? Don’t forget that from an informa-
tion perspective it is all about the data, so don’t detract from its presentation by
adding superfluous and distracting adornment.
3. Am I being true to my taste and style of presentation? This author’s taste in
formatting is guided by some simple principles that can be stated in a number of
familiar laws: less is more , small is beautiful , and keep it simple . As long as you
are able to deliver the desired information and achieve your presentation goal,
there is no problem with our differences in taste.
4. Formatting should be consistent among graphs in a workbook.
2.4.1 Ribbons and the Excel Menu System
So how do we put together a graph or chart? In pre-2007 Excel an ingenious tool
called a Chart Wizard is available to perform these tasks. As the name implies,
the Chart Wizard guides you through standardized steps, 4 to be exact, that take the
guesswork out of creating charts. If you follow the 4 steps it is almost fool proof, and
if you read all the options available to you for each of the 4 steps it will allow you to
create charts very quickly. In Excel 2007 the wizard has been replaced because of a
major development in the Excel 2007 user interface— ribbons . Ribbons replace the
old hierarchical pull-down menu system that was the basis for user interaction with
Excel. Ribbons are menus and commands organized in tabs that provide access
to the functionality for specific uses. Some of these will appear familiar to pre-
Excel 2007 users and others will not—Home, Insert, Page Layout, Formulas, Data,
Review, and View. Within each tab you will find groups of related functionality
and commands. Additionally, some menus specific to an activity, for example the
creation of a graph or chart, will appear as the activity is taking place. For those
just beginning to use Excel 2007 and with no previous exposure to Excel, you will
probably find the menu system quite easy to use; for those with prior experience
with Excel, the transition may be a bit frustrating at times. I have found the new
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