Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Session 4.1
Choosing a Chart Type
The first step of the Chart Wizard provides the chart types, from which you choose the
one that you feel will best display the data you want to plot. Excel supports 14 types of
charts, ranging from the column chart, similar to the one shown in Alicia’s first sketch, to
stock market charts that can be used to record the daily behavior of stocks. Figure 4-5
provides information about some of the chart types. The charts are useful in different situ-
ations. When you want to compare the values from different categories (such as the sales
of different telescope models), you will want to use a column, bar, or line chart. If you
want to compare the values of individual categories to a whole collection of categories,
you will want to use either a pie chart or a doughnut chart. If your data doesn’t contain
categories and you want to compare one set of numeric values with another, you will
probably want to create an XY Scatter (scatter) chart or a bubble chart. Finally, for stock
market data, you can use an Excel stock chart.
Excel chart types
Figure 4-5
Icon
Chart Type
Description
Column
Compares values from different categories. Values are indicated by the
height of the columns.
Bar
Compares values from different categories. Values are indicated by the
length of the bars.
Line
Compares values from different categories. Values are indicated by the
height of the line. Often used to show trends and changes over time.
Pie
Compares relative values of different categories to the whole. Values are
indicated by the size of the pie slices.
XY (scatter)
Shows the patterns or relationship between two or more sets of numeric
values. Often used in scientific studies and statistical analyses.
Area
Similar to the line chart, except that areas under the lines are filled with
colors indicating the different categories.
Doughnut
Similar to the pie chart, except that it can display multiple sets of data.
Radar
Compares a collection of values from several different data sets.
Surface
Compares three sets of values in a three-dimensional chart.
Bubble
Similar to the XY (scatter) chart, except the size of the data marker is
determined by a third numeric value.
Cylinder, Cone,
Similar to the column chart, except that cylinders, cones, and pyramids
Pyramid
are used in place of columns.
Each chart type has its own collection of sub-types that provide an alternative format
for the chart’s appearance. For example, the column chart type has seven different sub-
types, including the clustered column and the stacked column. There are also 3-D, or
three-dimensional, sub-types.
Finally, Excel also supports 20 additional “custom” chart types with additional format-
ting options. Some of the custom charts actually combine the properties of two or more of
the main chart types. You can also create your own customized chart designs and add
them to the custom chart list.
 
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