Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chart Types
Figure 19-17:
Though a cone chart looks a little different, it’s really just a column chart
in disguise.
The venerable bar chart is the oldest form of data presentation. Invented sometime
in the 1700s, it predates the column and pie chart. Bar charts look and behave almost
exactly the same as column charts—the only difference being that their bars stretch
horizontally from left to right, unlike columns, which rise from bottom to top.
Excel provides almost the same set of subtypes for bar charts as it does for column
charts. The only difference is that there’s no true three-dimensional (or layered) bar
chart, although there are clustered, stacked, and 100% stacked bar charts with a
threedimensional effect. Some bar charts also use cylinder, cone, and pyramid shapes.
Tip: Many people use bar charts because they leave more room for category labels. If you have too many
columns in a column chart, Excel has a hard time fitting all the column labels into the available space.
People almost always use line charts to show changes over time. Line charts
emphasize trends by connecting each point in a series with a line. The category axis
represents a time scale or a set of regularly spaced labels.
Excel provides several subtypes for line charts:
Line . The classic line chart, which draws a line connecting all the points in the
series. The individual points aren’t highlighted.
Stacked Line . In a stacked line chart, Excel displays the first series just as it
would in the normal line chart, but the second line consists of the values of the
first and second series added together. If you have a third series, it displays the
total values of the first three series, and so on. People sometimes use stacked
line charts to track things like a company’s cumulative sales (across several
different departments or product lines), as Figure 19-18, bottom, shows. (Stacked
area charts are another alternative, as shown later in Figure 19-20.) Stacked line
charts aren’t as common as stacked bar and column charts.
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