Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
How Excel Handles Charts
of worksheets, and the worksheets can even be in different workbooks. The decision to use data from
one sheet or multiple sheets really depends on your data model, the nature of your data sources, and
the interactivity you want to give your dashboard.
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, and
each line represents 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
You can distinguish the lines by their thickness, line style, color, and data markers.
Figure 5-2 shows a line chart that plots two data series across a nine-year period. The series are
identified by using different data markers (squares versus circles), shown in the legend at the bottom of
the chart. The lines also use different colors, which is not apparent in the grayscale figure.
Figure 5-2: 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 so your dashboard can show the most current information.
After you create a chart, you can always change its type and formatting, add new data series to it, or
change an existing data series so that it uses data in a different range.
Charts can reside in either of two locations in a workbook:
➤ On a worksheet (an embedded chart)
➤ On a separate chart sheet