Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Formatting Chart Series
Also, be aware that the size of the plot area can be changed automatically when you adjust other
elements of your chart. For example, if you add a legend or title to a chart, the size of the plot area
may be reduced to accommodate the legend.
Remember to think of the purpose and utility of your chart before adding images to
the plot area. Images may be appropriate for charts used as marketing or sales tools
where visual components and eye candy help attract attention. Although in an analytical
environment where the data is the primary product of your chart, there is no be a need to
dress up your data with superfluous images.
Formatting Chart Series
Making a few simple formatting changes to a chart series can make a huge difference in the
readability of your chart. When you create a chart, Excel uses its default colors and marker styles for the series.
In many cases, you’ll want to modify these colors or marker styles for clarity (basic formatting). In
other cases, you may want to make some drastic changes for impact.
You can apply formatting to the entire series or to a single data point within the series — for
example, make one column a different color to draw attention to it.
This workbook, named Chapter 7 Samples.xlsx , is available at www.wiley.com/
go/exceldr with the other example files for this topic.
On the Web
Basic series formatting
Basic series formatting is very straightforward: Just select the data series on your chart and use the
tools in the Chart Tools ➜ Format ➜ Shape Styles group to make changes. For more control, press
Ctrl+1 and use the Format Data Series dialog box.
Using pictures and graphics for series formatting
You can add a picture to several chart elements, including data markers on line charts and series
fills for column, bar, area, bubble, and filled radar charts. Figure 7-9 shows a column chart that uses
a clip art image of a car. The picture was added using the Fill tab of the Format Data Series dialog
box (select the Picture or Texture Fill option; then click the Clip Art button to select the image). In
addition, the original image is sized so that each car represents approximately 20 units.
Figure 7-10 shows another example. The data markers in this line chart display a shape that was
inserted in the worksheet and then copied to the Clipboard. Select the line series and press Ctrl+V
to paste the shape.