Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
As you’ll see, a chart can use data that’s stored in any number of worksheets, and
the worksheets can even be in different workbooks.
A chart is essentially an “object” that Excel creates upon request. This object
consists of one or more data series , displayed graphically. The appearance of the
data series depends on the selected chart type . For example, if you create a line
chart that uses two data series, the chart contains two lines, each representing one
data series. The data for each series is stored in a separate row or column. Each
point on the line is determined by the value in a single cell, and is represented by a
marker. You can distinguish each of the lines by its thickness, line style, color, or
Figure 1-2 shows a line chart that plots two data series across a 12-year period.
The series are identified by using different data markers (squares vs. circles), shown
in the legend at the bottom of the chart.
Figure 1-2: This line chart displays two data series.
A key point to keep in mind is that charts are dynamic. In other words, a chart
series is linked to the data in your worksheet. If the data changes, the chart is
updated automatically to reflect those changes.
After you’ve created a chart, you can always change its type, change the
formatting, add new data series to it, or change an existing data series so that it uses
data in a different range.
Before you create a chart, you need to determine whether you want it to be an
embedded chart or one that resides on a Chart sheet.
An embedded chart basically floats on top of a worksheet, on the worksheet’s
drawing layer. The charts shown previously in this chapter are both embedded charts.