Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 2. How to Create
MiniCharts for Dashboard Reporting
The most common mistake that Excel users make when they
create charts is to make their charts too large.
Large charts make it difficult for readers to absorb information in
one glance. Small charts don’t have this problem.
Large charts use up valuable space on a page. They force readers
to flip back and forth between pages to compare results. Small
charts let readers compare many measures of performance on a
For management reporting, don’t use charts; use mini-charts .
Unfortunately, mini-charts take extra work to produce.
Create a simple line chart that shows twelve months of
performance, and then click and drag a corner to reduce its size
past your level of comfort.
Excel will reduce the chart’s font size to microscopic.
To fix this problem, select the Chart Area then choose Format,
Selected Chart Area. In the Font tab, set the font size to 8 points.
(For the sake of readers past the age of 40, please don’t be
tempted to reduce the font size below this setting.)
Also, in the Font tab, de-select the Auto Scale check box. This
forces Excel to keep the font size you set.
By default, Excel shades the Plot Area. To remove the shading,
select the Plot Area and choose Format, Selected Plot Area. In the
Patterns tab, specify an Area color of None.