Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
By anchoring the chart you cause charts in the same row or column
of your printed report to be precisely aligned, which helps to give
the report a professional appearance.
Minimal Chart Formatting
Edward Tufte probably is the
bestknown authority on the presentation
of quantitative information. I once
showed him the report from which
the previous example was taken.
MN
O
PQ
Cash Flow
4
6
Net Operating Cash Flow
Billions of $
30
20
10
Tufte liked that it presented a lot of
divergent data on one page, but he
thought the report had too much
formatting.
0
7
00
I
II
III
01
9
Net Investing Cash Flow
Billions of $
0
-5
Sergeant Joe Friday used to tell
witnesses on the Dragnet TV show,
“Just the facts, ma’am.” Tufte
encourages the same approach. This pair of charts follows that
advice.
-10
10
00
I
II
III
01
Every graphical element in this figure has a reason to be there. The
labels are necessary; their colors and size help readers to
differentiate section titles from chart titles.
The Excel borders, drawn at the top and left side of the figure,
group the common items into a single unit. The chart itself uses the
least formatting possible.
The label “Billions of $” is returned by formulas in cells O7 and O10.
To position the label as shown, each of these cells is aligned top
and right.
Does this approach provide readers with more information more
easily? It certainly does when the report is printed in black and
 
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