Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Basic Steps for Creating a Chart
Moving and deleting chart elements
Some of the elements within a chart can be moved. The movable chart elements include the plot area,
titles, the legend, and data labels. To move a chart element, click it to select it. Then drag its border.
The easiest way to delete a chart element is to select it and then press Delete. Note that if you delete
a chart element and later decide that you want to add it back, all previous formatting will be lost, and
you’ll need to reapply the formatting.
A few chart elements consist of multiple objects. For example, the data labels element consists of
one label for each data point. To move or delete one data label, click once to select the entire
element and then click a second time to select the specific data label. You can then move or delete the
single data label.
Formatting chart elements
Many users are content to stick with the predefined chart layouts and chart styles. For more precise
customizations, Excel allows you to work with individual chart elements and apply additional formatting.
Every element in a chart can be formatted and customized in many ways. Many users are content
with charts that are created using the steps described earlier in this chapter. But because you’re
reading this topic, you probably want to find out how to customize charts for maximum impact.
For more detailed information about formatting and customizing your chart, see
Excel provides two ways to format and customize individual chart elements. Both of the following
methods require that you select the chart element first:
➤ Use the Ribbon commands on the Chart Tools➜Format tab.
➤ Press Ctrl+1 to display the Format dialog box that’s specific to the selected chart element.
If you use Excel 2013, you can also double-click a chart element to display the Format dialog box for
The Ribbon commands contain only a subset of the formatting options. For maximum
command, use the Format dialog box.
For example, assume that you want to change the color of the columns for one of the series in the
chart. Click any column in the series (which selects the entire series). Then choose Chart Tools➜
Format➜Shape Styles➜Shape Fill and select a color from the list that appears. To change the
properties of the outline around the columns, use the Chart Tools➜Format➜Shape Styles➜Shape Outline
command. To change the effects used in the columns (for example, add a shadow), use the Chart
Tools➜Format➜Shape Styles➜Shape Effects command.