Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Adjusting Fills and Borders: General Procedures
Not all chart elements can be filled. For example, the Format Major Gridlines dialog box does not
have a Fill tab because filling a line makes no sense. You can, however, change the gridline
formatting by using the tabs that are displayed.
The main Fill tab options are as follows:
No Fill: Makes the chart element transparent.
Solid Fill: Displays a color selector so that you can choose a single color. You can also specify
the transparency level for the color.
Gradient Fill: Displays several additional controls that allow you to select a preset gradient
or construct your own gradient. A gradient consists of from two to ten colors that are
blended together in various ways. You have literally millions of possibilities.
Picture or Texture Fill: Enables you to select from 24 built-in textures, choose an image file,
or use clip art for the fill. This feature can often be useful in applying special effects to a data
series. See the section “Formatting Chart Series,” later in this chapter.
Pattern Fill: Lets you specify a two-color pattern. This option is not available in Excel 2007.
Automatic: Sets the fill to the default color. All chart elements start out with Automatic fill.
As a general rule, it’s best to use these fill options sparingly. Using too much fill formatting can
subdue your data, hindering the chart’s ability to communicate the data. For example, Figure 7-5 shows
a very ugly chart with various types of fill formatting applied. The column data series uses clip art, in
the form of stacked monkeys. The plot area uses a texture, the chart area uses a gradient fill, and the
axis labels use a solid black fill.
Figure 7-5: Using too many fill types can quickly lead to ugly charts that are difficult to read.
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