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Creating Microsoft Excel Charts

Added by LAURA NICOLE MASSARO KAUFFMAN , last edited by LAURA NICOLE MASSARO KAUFFMAN on Mar 26, 2010 10:16


Creating Microsoft Excel Charts

Step 1: Inserting the Chart

  1. Select the data and any header information.
  2. On the Ribbon, click the Insert tab.
  3. From the Charts group, hover over each drop down button, using the hints provided to decide which type of chart you want:

    Column

    compare values across categories

    Line

    display trends over time

    Pie

    display each value's contributions to the total value

    Bar

    compare multiple values, like Column, but does so horizontally

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    Tip: Choose Bar instead of Column when header text is long.

    Area

    emphasize the differences between several sets of data over a period of time

    Scatter

    compares pairs of values, when values represent several measurements.

    Other Charts...

    use for other types of charts

  4. Click the button from the Charts group and select from its drop down list of chart types.  The chart is inserted into the worksheet.

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Step 2: Formatting the Chart

  1. Once a chart is inserted, the Ribbon adds the Chart Tools tab group and defaults to Layout
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    Tip: If you ever need to go back to the Chart Tools tab when it does not appear, simply select the chart.

  2. On the Ribbon, go to the Chart Tools tab?Design tab.
    • To change the chart type, find the Type group and use Change Chart Type.
    • To change which data you selected for your chart, use the Data group.
    • To change the position of chart titles, legends, axes, gridlines, etc., use the Chart Layouts group.
    • To change select the color and 3-D effects of the chart data, use the Chart Styles group.
  3. On the Ribbon, go to the Chart Tools tab?Layout tab.
    • To change the chart title, double-click its text box.
    • To change the appearance of the chart titles and legends, use the Labels group.
    • To change the appearance of the axes and gridlines, use the Axes group.
    • To change the appearance of the background, use the Background group.
    • To name the chart, find the Properties group and use the Chart Name field.
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Note: Right-click any element on a chart and choose the format option from the context-sensitive menu for all the custom formatting associated with it.


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Step 3: Moving the Chart

When you have the chart formatted the way you like it, move the chart to the location you prefer:

  1. On the Ribbon, go to the Chart Tools tab?Design tab.
  2. Find the Location group and click Move Chart.  The Move Chart dialog box appears.
    • To move the chart to a stand-alone tabbed worksheet, click the radio option for New sheet and enter a name in the field.
    • To move the chart to an existing worksheet, click the radio option for Object in and select the sheet from the dropdown menu.

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Optional: Saving the Chart as Picture

When the data and formatting of the chart are finalized and you want to use your chart as an image elsewhere, do the following:

  1. On the Ribbon, go to the Chart Tools tab?Layout tab.
  2. Find the Current Selection group and change the dropdown menu to Chart Area to select the entire chart.
  3. On the Ribbon, go to the Home tab and find the Clipboard group.
  4. Click Copy.
  5. Find the dropdown menu under the Paste button and choose As Picture?Copy As Picture... The Copy Picture dialog box will appear.
  6. Make your selections with the Appearance and Format radio options and click OK.
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Tip: You can also paste directly into PowerPoint to use in a presentation, or use PowerPoint's save as picture features to export the chart for use on the Web and elsewhere! (See Saving PowerPoint Slides as Images.)

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