Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 17: Charting Techniques
Chart-making tips
Here I present a number of chart-making tips that you might find helpful:
Right-click any chart element and choose Format xxxx, where xxxx represents the
element’s name (or press Ctrl+1). Excel displays its Format dialog box, which remains open
until you close it. The formatting controls in the Format dialog box enable you to perform
actions that aren’t available in the Ribbon.
In Excel 2010, you can also double-click a chart element to display its Format dialog box.
To create a chart with a single keystroke, select the data that you want to chart and press
Alt+F1. The result is an embedded chart of the default chart type. To create the chart on a
chart sheet, press F11 instead of Alt+F1.
If you have many charts of the same type to create, create and format the first chart and
make a template from that chart by choosing Chart Tools➜Design➜Type➜Save as
Template. When you create your additional charts, use Insert➜Charts➜Other Charts➜All
Chart Types, and then select your template from the list.
To print an embedded chart on a separate sheet of paper, select the chart and choose
File➜Print➜Print. Excel prints the chart on a page by itself and does not print the
If you don’t want a particular embedded chart to appear on your printout, display the
Format Chart Area dialog box, click the Properties tab, and remove the check mark from
the Print Object check box.
Sometimes, using a mouse to select a particular chart element is tricky. You may find it
easier to use the keyboard to select a chart element. When a chart is activated, press the
up arrow ( ) or down arrow ( ) to cycle through all parts in the chart. When a data series
is selected, press the right arrow ( ) or left arrow ( ) to select individual points in the
series. Or, select the chart element by using the Chart Tools➜Format➜Current Selection➜
Chart Elements drop-down control. This control is useful for selecting chart elements, and
it also displays the name of the selected element. Better yet, put this control in your Quick
Access toolbar so it’s always visible.
You can delete all data series from a chart. If you do so, the chart appears empty. It retains
its settings, however. Therefore, you can add a data series to an empty chart, and it again
looks like a chart.
For more control over positioning your chart, press Ctrl while you click the chart. Then use
the arrow keys to move the chart 1 pixel at a time.
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