Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating a 3-D Chart
Decision Making: Choosing the Right Chart
Excel supports a wide variety of charts and chart styles. Deciding which type of chart to
use requires evaluating your data and determining the ultimate purpose or goal of the
chart. Consider how your data will appear with each type of chart before making a final
decision.
In general, pie charts should be used only when the number of categories is small and
the relative sizes of the different slices can be easily distinguished. If you have several
categories, use a column or bar chart.
Line charts are best for categories that follow a sequential order. Be aware, however,
that the time intervals must be a constant length if used in a line chart. Line charts will
distort data that occurs in irregular time intervals, making it appear that the data values
occurred at regular intervals when they did not.
Pie, column, bar, and line charts assume that numbers are plotted against categories.
In science and engineering applications, you will often want to plot two numeric values
against one another. For that data, use XY scatter charts , which show the patterns or
relationship between two or more sets of values. XY scatter charts are also useful for data
recorded at irregular time intervals.
If you still can’t find the right chart to meet your needs, you can create a custom chart
based on the built-in chart types. Third-party vendors also sell software to allow Excel to
create charts not built into the software.
Choosing the right chart and chart style can make your presentation more effective and
informative.
Creating a 3-D Chart
You can add visual interest to charts by using 3-D (three dimensional) effects. The
3-D effects provide the illusion of depth and distance, which makes the charts appear to
stand out on the page. You’ll change the format of the Allocation of Assets pie chart to a
3-D style.
To change the assets pie chart to 3-D:
1. Click the Allocation of Assets pie chart , and then click the Chart Tools Design
tab on the Ribbon.
2. In the Type group, click the Change Chart Type button. The Change Chart Type
dialog box opens.
3. In the Pie section, click Pie in 3-D (the second Pie chart type).
4. Click the OK button. The pie chart is now a 3-D chart, and has a slight shadow
along its lower edge.
To create a 3-D effect, Excel adds three spatial dimensions to the chart, which it labels
the x-, y-, and z-axes. The x-axis represents the length of the object. The y-axis represents
the height of the object. The z-axis represents the object’s depth. These Excel defi nitions
of the x-, y-, and z-axes might not match what you have learned in math classes about
3-D charting.
Currently, the 3-D pie chart does not look very different from the 2-D version because
you are looking straight down on the chart from “above,” directly along the y-axis.
To increase the 3-D effect, you need to rotate the chart. You can only rotate the chart
 
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