Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 6: Excel Charts
Charts convey much more information than just reading spreadsheet data. Charts
make it easier to see what is hiding behind the numbers. In this chapter, you are
going to find out how to generate and format Excel charts. I will demonstrate how to
use some of the different types of charts and the common techniques to deal with all
To get a quick/instant chart from data in Excel, select any cell in the data range as
shown in Figure 6.1 (alternatively select the entire range B3:E8) and press the F11 key.
When you use the F11 key, it generates a clustered column chart (the default chart) on a
new sheet. You will find it on the sheet Simple Chart in the Excel file Chapter 6.
If you wish to change the default chart type after Excel created it, right-click on
an empty space inside the chart, and then select Change Chart Type in the local
menu. A window with chart options will pop-up and allow you to select a different
chart type. See Figure 6.2.
Here is an alternate way to select a different chart type. When you create a chart,
Chart Tools appear on the ribbon. This Chart Tools ribbon shows Design, Layout,
and Format tabs. Click on the Design tab under Chart Tools; in the Type group click
Change Chart Type, and select another chart type.
CREATING A CHART USING THE MENU
Using the Insert ribbon to insert charts will allow the creation of a variety of charts in
a controlled approach. This can be explained with a simple example.
The easiest way to create a chart is by arranging the reference data in the way
that Excel expects it; namely, position the data or names you want on the X-axis (the
horizontal axis) in the first column.
This is done by entering the data you want to appear on the X-axis on the left-
most column of the reference data. You may arrange it in different ways
so, you may have to go through additional steps to create the desired chart.
The example I chose, which you can see in Figure 6.1, lists months
names on the
left column of the data set because I want them to be positioned on the bottom or
the X-axis of the chart.