Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating a Chart
The value axes also display scale values. The axis on the left displays scale values from 0 to 1,200, in major
unit increments of 200. The value axis on the right uses a different scale: 0 to 160, in increments of 20.
Why two value axes? A chart with two value axes is appropriate because the two data series vary
dramatically in scale. If the Sales data were plotted using the left axis, the line would barely be visible.
Most charts provide some method of identifying the data series or data points. A legend, for example,
is often used to identify the various series in a chart. In this example, the legend appears on the bottom
of the chart. Some charts also display data labels to identify specifi c data points. This chart displays
data labels for the Units Sold series, but not for the Sales Calls series. In addition, most charts (includ-
ing the example chart) contain a chart title and additional labels to identify the axes or categories.
It also contains horizontal gridlines (which correspond to the left value axis). Gridlines are basically
extensions of the value axis scale, which makes it easier for the viewer to determine the magnitude
of the data points.
All charts have a chart area (the entire background area of the chart) and a plot area. The plot area
shows the actual chart, and in this example, the plot area has a different background color.
Charts can have additional parts or fewer parts, depending on the chart type. For example, a pie chart
has slices and no axes. A 3-D chart may have walls and a fl oor. You can also add many other types of
items to a chart. For example, you can add a trend line or display error bars. In other words, after you
create a chart, you have a great deal of fl exibility in customizing it.
Creating a Chart
Creating a chart is fairly simple:
1. Make sure that your data is appropriate for a chart.
2. Select the range that contains your data.
3. Select the Insert tab and select a chart type from the Charts group . These icons
display drop-down lists that display subtypes. Excel creates the chart and places it
in the center of the window.
4. (Optional) Use the various tools and commands to change the look or layout of
the chart or add or delete chart elements.
Excel 2013 includes a new option in the Insert ➪ Charts groups: Recommended Charts. If you choose this option,
the Insert Chart dialog box appears with two tabs. The Recommended Charts tab contains a list of suggested chart
types appropriate for your data; sometimes this feature can be useful, but you can’t always assume that all the
recommended charts are suitable. The second tab, All Charts, gives you access to all of Excel’s chart types. The charts
displayed in the Insert Chart dialog box are not generic thumbnails; the charts depict your actual data.
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