Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating a Chart Sheet
Edward Tufte and Chart Design Theory
Any serious study of chart design will include the works of Edward Tufte, who pioneered
the field of information design. One of Tufte’s most important works is The Visual Display
of Quantitative Information in which he laid out several principles for the design of
charts and graphics.
Tufte was concerned with what he termed as “chart junk,” in which a proliferation
of chart elements—chosen because they look “nice”—confuse and distract the reader.
One measure of chart junk is Tufte’s data-ink ratio, which is the amount of “ink” used to
display quantitative information compared to the total ink required by the chart. Tufte
advocated limiting the use of non-data ink. Non-data ink is any part of the chart that
does not convey information about the data. One way of measuring the data-ink ratio is
to determine how much of the chart you can erase without affecting the user’s ability to
interpret the chart. Tufte would argue for high data-ink ratios with a minimum of
extraneous elements and graphics.
To this end, Tufte helped developed sparklines, which convey information with a high
data-ink ratio within a compact space. Tufte believed that charts that can be viewed and
comprehended at a glance have a greater impact on the reader than large and cluttered
graphs, no matter how attractive they might be.
Creating a Chart Sheet
Chart sheets are helpful for detailed charts that need more space to be seen clearly or
when you want to show a chart without any worksheet text or data. Some reports require
large expansive charts rather than compact graphs to provide more detail and make them
easier to view and share. In those situations, you may want to devote an entire sheet to
a graph rather than embed it within a worksheet. To create a larger version of a chart
that covers an entire sheet, you move the chart to a chart sheet. Chart sheets are used for
graphic elements like charts and images, and do not contain worksheet cells for
calculating numeric values.
Ajita asks you to create a chart sheet for the workbook that shows a 3-D image of
the performance of the New Century Fund over the past 10 years. In this case, the chart
sheet is purely decorative; Ajita plans to use it as a cover page for the New Century
You can also embed
charts in a chart sheet,
enabling you to display
several charts in a single
To create the chart sheet for the New Century Fund report:
1. Go to the Fund History worksheet, and then select the range A4:B44 . This range
contains the data you want to use in the chart.
2. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon.
3. In the Charts group, click the Line button, and then click the 3-D Line chart type.
The 3-D line chart is embedded in the Fund History worksheet. You’ll move this
chart to a chart sheet.
4. In the Location group on the Chart Tools Design tab, click the Move Chart
button. The Move Chart dialog box opens.
5. Click the New sheet option button, and then type Cover Sheet in the box as the
name for the new chart sheet.
6. Click the OK button. A chart sheet named “Cover Sheet” that contains the
3-D line chart is inserted in the workbook.