Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
As you become more skilled with Excel, you’ll realize that entering numbers,
organizing your layout, and formatting cells aren’t the most important parts
of spreadsheet creation. Instead, the real work lies in analyzing your data—
in other words, figuring out a way to tell the story that lies behind your numbers.
Excel’s charting tools may be just what you need.
Charts depict data visually, so you can quickly spot overall trends. They’re a
fabulous way to help you find the meaning hidden in large amounts of data. You can
create many different types of charts in Excel, including pie charts that present
polling results, line charts that plot rising or declining assets over time, and
threedimensional area charts that show relationships between environmental conditions
in a scientific experiment.
Excel’s charting tools are enormously flexible: You can generate a simple chart with
standard options in a couple of mouse clicks, or painstakingly customize every aspect
of a chart’s appearance (including colors, scale, titles, and even 3-D perspective). This
chapter takes the first approach and explains how to generate straightforward charts,
giving you all the tools you need to move from plain numbers to pretty pictures.
Excel provides a dizzying number of chart types, but they all share a few things. In
this section, you’ll learn about basic Excel charting concepts that apply to almost all
types of charts; you’ll also create a few basic charts. At the end of this chapter, you’ll
take a tour of Excel’s most useful chart types.