Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Formatting Chart Background Elements
Working with the chart area
The chart area is an object that contains all other elements on the chart. You can think of it as a
chart’s master background. The chart area is always the same size as the chart object (the chart’s
When the chart area is selected, you can adjust the font for all the chart elements that
display text. In other words, if you want to make all text in a chart 12 point, select the
chart area and then apply the font formatting.
In some cases, you may want to make the chart area transparent so that the underlying worksheet
shows through. Figure 7-7 shows a column chart with a transparent chart area. You can accomplish
this by setting the chart area’s fill to No Fill, or set it to a Solid Fill and make it 100% transparent.
Figure 7-7: The chart area for this chart is transparent. The plot area, however, contains a fill color.
Working with the plot area
The plot area is the part of the chart that contains the actual chart. The plot area contains all chart
elements except the chart title and the legend.
Although the plot area consists of elements such as axes and axis labels, when you change the fill of
the plot area, these “outside” elements are not affected.
If you set the Fill option to No Fill, the plot area will be transparent. Therefore, the color
and patterns applied to the chart area will show through. You can also set the plot area
to a solid color and adjust the Transparency setting so that the chart area shows
In some situations, you may want to insert an image into the plot area. To do so, use the Fill tab of
the Format Plot Area dialog box, and choose the Picture or Texture Fill option. The image can come
from a file, the Clipboard, or clip art. Figure 7-8 shows a column chart that uses a graphic in the plot
area. In addition, the column series is partially transparent.