Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 2: Understanding Chart Types
Chapter 2
Understanding Chart Types
Types of charts Excel can generate
Examples of each chart type
Creating a user-defined chart type
Y OU RE PROBABLY FAMILIAR WITH many types of charts: bar charts, line charts, pie
charts, and so on. Excel supports all the basic chart types and even some esoteric
chart types, such as radar charts and doughnut charts. This chapter presents
examples of each of these chart types, along with information that may help you
determine which type of chart to use to present your data.
Conveying a Message with a Chart
People who create charts usually do so in order to make a point or to communicate
a specific message. Often, the message is explicitly stated in the chart’s title or in a
text box within the chart. The chart itself provides visual support.
Choosing the correct chart type is often a key factor in making the message
compelling. Therefore, it’s often well worth your time to experiment with various
chart types to determine which one is most effective.
In almost every case, the underlying message in a chart is some type of comparison .
Examples of some general types of comparisons include:
Compare item to other items: For example, a chart may compare sales in
each of a company’s sales regions.
Compare data over time: For example, a chart may display sales by
month and indicate trends over time.
Make relative comparisons: An example is a common pie chart that
depicts relative values in terms of pie “slices.”
Compare data relationships: An XY chart is ideal for this. For example,
you might show the relationship between marketing expenditures and
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