Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 7: Formatting and Customizing Charts
Before you can customize a chart, you must activate it. To activate an embedded chart, click
anywhere within the chart. To deactivate an embedded chart, just click anywhere in the worksheet or
press Esc (once or twice, depending on which chart element is currently selected). To activate a chart
on a chart sheet, click its sheet tab.
If you press Ctrl while you activate an embedded chart, the chart is selected as an object.
In fact, you can select multiple charts using this technique. When a group of charts is
selected, you can move and resize them all at once. In addition, the tools in the Drawing
Tools Format Arrange group are available. For example, you can align the selected ➜
charts vertically or horizontally.
Selecting chart elements
Modifying a chart is similar to everything else you do in Excel: First you make a selection (in this case,
select a chart element); then you issue a command to do something with the selection.
You can select only one chart element at a time. For example, if you want to change the font for
two axis labels, you must work on each label separately. The exceptions to the single-selection
rule are elements that consist of multiple parts, such as gridlines. Selecting one gridline selects
Excel provides three ways to select a particular chart element:
➤ Use the mouse
➤ Use the keyboard
➤ Use the Chart Elements drop-down list
These selection methods are described in the following sections.
Selecting with the mouse
To select a chart element with your mouse, just click the element.
To ensure that you’ve selected the chart element that you intended to select, check
the name that’s displayed in the Chart Elements dropdown found on the far left of the
Chart Tools Format tab. The Chart Elements dropdown displays the name of the ➜
selected chart element, and you can also use this control to select a particular
element. See the “Selecting with the Chart Elements dropdown” section later in this