Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Excel provides a rich set of options for formatting the background areas of your charts—
including the plot area, the chart area, and the walls and floors of three-dimensional charts.
You can also apply these formatting options to legends, to the background areas of titles
and data labels, and to certain kinds of chart markers—including columns, bars, pyramids,
cones, cylinders, areas, bubbles, pie slices, and doughnut bites. These options are all
available via the Fill section of the formatting task pane. Shown here is the pane as it might
appear for the chart area with a solid ill selected:
Choosing a solid ill
To ill an area with a solid color, simply choose Solid Fill and open the color picker, which is
the drop-down list next to the Color heading. When you choose Solid Fill, the Transparency
control also becomes available. For a discussion of the uses of transparency, see “Making
areas transparent” later in this chapter.
Filling an area with a color gradient
A color gradient is a smooth progression of color tones from one part of an area to
another—for example, a transition from bright red at the top of a column marker to black
at the bottom. Color gradients can give your chart areas a classy, professional appearance.
Of course, depending on how you use them, color gradients can also be distracting. If
you’re creating charts that are intended to convince or impress others, it’s probably a good
idea to exercise a bit of restraint in using gradients. On the other hand, if flamboyance is
your style, Excel gives you plenty of ways to express yourself.