Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chart Types
Pie charts show the breakdown of a series proportionally, using “slices” of a circle.
Pie charts are one of the simplest types of charts, and one of the most recognizable.
Here are the pie chart subtypes you can choose from:
Pie . The basic pie chart everyone knows and loves, which shows the breakup of
a single series of data.
Exploded Pie . The name sounds like a Vaudeville gag, but the exploded pie
chart simply separates each piece of a pie with a small amount of white space.
Usually, Excel charting mavens prefer to explode just a single slice of a pie for
Pie of Pie . With this subtype, you can break out one slice of a pie into its own,
smaller pie (which is itself broken down into slices). This chart is great for
emphasizing specific data.
Bar of Pie . The bar of pie subtype is almost the same as the pie of pie subtype.
The only difference is that the breakup of the combined slice is shown in a
separate stacked bar, instead of a separate pie.
Pie in 3-D and Exploded Pie in 3-D . This option is the pie and exploded pie
types in three dimensions, tilted slightly away from the viewer for a more
dramatic appearance. The differences are purely cosmetic.
Note: Pie charts can show only one series of data. If you create a pie chart for a table that has multiple
data series, you’ll see just the information from the first series.
An area chart is very similar to a line chart. The difference is that the space between
the line and the bottom (category) axis is completely filled in. Because of this
difference, the area chart tends to emphasize the sheer magnitude of values rather than
their change over time; see Figure 19-19.
Area charts exist in all the same flavors as line charts, including stacked and 100%
stacked. You can also use subtypes that have a 3-D effect, or you can create a true 3-D
chart that layers the series behind one another.
Stacked area charts make a lot of sense. In fact, they’re easier to interpret than
stacked line charts because you can easily get a feeling for how much contribution
each series makes to the total by judging the thickness of the area. If you’re not
convinced, compare the stacked charts in Figure 19-18 (bottom) and Figure 19-20. In
the area chart, it’s much clearer that region 3 is making a fairly trivial contribution
to the overall total.
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