Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 5: Excel Charting for the Uninitiated
5
Excel Charting for
the Uninitiated
In This Chapter
What is a chart?
How Excel handles charts
Embedded charts versus chart sheets
The parts of a chart
The basic steps for creating a chart
Working with charts
No other tool is more synonymous with dashboards and reports than the chart. Charts offer a visual
representation of numeric values and at-a-glance views that allow you to specify relationships
between data values, point out differences, and observe business trends. Few mechanisms allow you
to absorb data faster than a chart, which can be a key component in your dashboard.
When most people think of a spreadsheet product such as Excel, they think of crunching rows and
columns of numbers. However, Excel is no slouch when it comes to presenting data visually, in the
form of a chart. In this chapter, we present an overview of Excel’s charting ability and show you how
to create and customize your own charts using Excel.
What Is a Chart?
We start with the basics. A chart is a visual representation of numeric values. Charts (also known as
graphs ) have been an integral part of spreadsheets since the early days of Lotus 1-2-3. Charts
generated by early spreadsheet products were extremely crude by today’s standards, but over the
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