For some time now, making charts in Excel has become not only simple, but also automated to the point that you can easily go from a spreadsheet spreadsheet to an overarching pane, bar, line or pie chart in no time with a few well thought out mouse clicks. Then, when you edit the data in your spreadsheet, Excel automatically makes the appropriate changes to your charts and graphs.
But this is not the end of the magic of the program. You can, for example, change the type of chart or graph at any time, as well as edit color schemes, perspective (2D, 3D, etc.), Swap axis and much, much more.
But, of course, it all starts with a table.
Hosting your data
Plan your data
Although Excel allows you to organize your spreadsheets in many ways, you will get the best results when you design your charts by arranging them so that each row represents a record and each column contains items or that relate to specific rows.
AND? Take the following table, for example.
The leftmost column contains a list of laser printers. Except for row 1, which contains column labels or headings, each row represents a specific printer, and each subsequent cell contains data about that specific computer.
In this case, each cell contains data about the print speed: column B, how long it took to print the first page of the print job; Column C how long it took to print all pages including the first page; Column D shows how long it took to process the entire document without the first page.
While this is a fairly simple spreadsheet, no matter how complex your data is, adhering to this standard format helps streamline the process. As you will see later, you can map cells in a small portion of your spreadsheet, or chart an entire document or sheet.
A typical Excel chart has several distinct parts, as shown in the image below.
Graphical representation of data
Draw your data
If you haven’t done this before, you will probably be surprised how easy Excel is to create charts in your tables. As mentioned, you can display the entire worksheet or select a group of columns and rows for the chart.
Let’s say, for example, that in the worksheet we worked on in the previous section, you wanted to display only the first two columns of data (columns B and C), excluding column D. This entails a simple two-step procedure:
- Select the data for the chart, including the labels in the left column and the headings in the columns that you want to include in the chart, as shown below.
- Press ALT + F1.
Or, to chart your entire spreadsheet, follow these steps.
- Select all data in the spreadsheet as shown in the top image below. Don’t select the entire sheet as shown in the second image below – select only the cells that contain the data.
- Press ALT + F1.
Excel does a great job of choosing the right type of chart for your data, but if you prefer a different type of chart like horizontal bars or perhaps a different color scheme, maybe even a 3D layout with a gradient fill and background. , the program makes all of these effects easier to achieve.
Changing the chart type
Change chart type
As with everything else in Excel, there are several ways to change the chart type. However, the easiest is.
- Select a chart.
- On the menu bar, click Chart Design.
- On the Chart Design ribbon, select Change Chart Type.
The Change Chart Type dialog box shown here appears.
As you can see, there are many types of charts, and clicking on one of them displays several options at the top of the dialog box.
In addition to changing the chart types in the Chart Design ribbon, you can also make several other changes, such as color schemes, layout, or applying one of the program’s many pre-designed chart styles. Chart styles are, of course, similar to paragraph styles in Microsoft Word. As with MS Word, you can apply one of the many styles as is, edit existing styles, or create your own.
Adding and removing chart elements
Add and remove chart elements
Chart elements are, of course, the various components like title, legend, X and Y axes, and so on that make up your chart. You can add and remove these items by clicking the plus sign that appears on the right side of the chart when you select it.
Below the dropdown chart elements pop up chart styles that appear when you click the brush icon to the right of the chart.
Under the chart styles, you will find chart filters that allow you to enable and disable (or filter) various chart components, as shown here:
If these modification options are not enough, there are many others in the formatting chart area to the right of the worksheet that allow you to change all aspects of the chart, from fills and background, to gridlines, to 3D bars, pie slices, etc. drop shadows – I can go on and on. But I’m sure you understand what is available.
For example, when you click Text Options, you get another set of effects that you can apply to text in charts. The possibilities are almost endless, so without any limits, you can create some striking charts and graphs – without even putting in the effort, which brings me to an important design guide.
Just because you have all these fantastic design tools at your disposal doesn’t mean that you have to use them or, well, not many of them at the same time. The idea is to make your graphics attractive enough to grab the attention of your audience, but not so busy that the design itself distracts from the message you’re trying to convey. At the end of the day, it’s the message that matters, not your design prowess or the brute strength of your graphic design software.
A good rule of thumb is that if he looks too busy and distracting, then he probably is; turn down a little. Don’t use too many decorative fonts, if available, as they are not easy to read. When using business-oriented charts and graphs, focus on the volume you are trying to say, not so much as you say it.
Meanwhile, displaying tabular data can make it much easier to understand and much more convenient than column by column of text and numbers.