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Microsoft Excel 2007/2008

Creating a Basic Chart

Microsoft Excel 2007/2008 makes creating charts simple. With a few clicks, Excel will create a basic chart you can edit and enhance to meet your needs. This document shows you how to create a chart and perform basic editing.

return to topCreating a Chart

In Excel, charts are visual representations of data on a spreadsheet. There are many types of charts available, so you should find the appropriate one for your project.

Windows:

  1. Create the data to be charted
    For information about entering data in Excel, refer to Getting Started with Excel.

  2. Select the data to be charted
    NOTE: To select data from different areas of your worksheet or to select non-contiguous cells:
    Hold down [Ctrl] and select the cells.

  3. From the Insert command tab, in the Charts group, click the type of chart you prefer
    A pull-down menu appears.
    EXAMPLE: Click BAR
    NOTE: For information on the various chart types, refer to Guidelines for Charting.
    Various types of Bar charts appear.

  4. Click the specific chart you want
    The chart appears on the spreadsheet.
    The Design, Layout, and Format command tabs appear on the Ribbon.

  5. OPTIONAL: If the information is represented on the incorrect axes, in the Design command tab, from the Data group, click Switch Row/ColumnSwitch Row/Column button

Macintosh:

  1. Create the data to be charted
    For information about entering data in Excel, refer to Getting Started with Excel.

  2. Select the data to be charted
    NOTE: To select data from different areas of your worksheet or to select non-contiguous cells:
    Hold down [Cmd] and select the cells.

  3. From the Elements Gallery, select the Charts tab » click the type of chart you prefer
    EXAMPLE: Click BAR
    NOTE: For information on the various chart types, refer to Guidelines for Charting.
    Various types of Bar charts appear.

  4. Click the specific chart you want
    The chart appears on the spreadsheet.

  5. OPTIONAL: If the information is represented on the incorrect axes, from the Formatting Palette, expand Chart Data » clickSort by Row buttonto sort by Row or click Sort by Column buttonto sort by Column

return to topModifying a Chart

Once your chart is created, you can modify it to fit your needs or any changes in your data. For more information, refer to Working with Chart Elements (Windows | Macintosh) or Formatting Your Chart (Windows | Macintosh).

return to topChanging the Chart Type

If the chart you selected is not appropriate for the information you are charting, you can simply change it.

Windows:

  1. Right click your chart » select Change Chart Type...
    The Create Chart dialog box appears.
    Create Chart dialog box

  2. From the categories pane, select the type of chart you prefer
    NOTE: For information on the various chart types, refer to Guidelines for Charting.

  3. On the right, in the chart type section, select the specific chart you want

  4. Click OK
    The chart is changed.

Macintosh:

  1. From the Elements Gallery, select the specific chart you want
    The chart is changed.

return to topWorking with Data Series and Data Ranges

A data series identifies the information charted. For example, a data series may contain the enrollment, by school, for the current academic year. Another data series may contain the forecasted enrollment for the next academic year. If you need to delete or change the references to the cells containing the information, you will need to edit the data series.

A data range is a range of cells that contain data in a data series. To type a range, type the range's initial cell's ID, a colon, and the range's final cell's ID.
EXAMPLE: The data range B2:B5 references the the cells B2, B3, B4, and B5.

Adding Data Series

You can add an additional data series to an existing chart.

NOTES:
Before you begin, you should enter this added data into your worksheet.
Adding a data series to a chart does not move it to the information used to create the chart.

Windows:

  1. Right click the chart » click Edit Data Source...
    OR
    From the Design command tab, in the Data group, click EDIT DATA SOURCEEdit Data Source button
    The Edit Data Source dialog box appears.
    NOTE: You may add a data series only in the x-axis of your chart. To switch axes, click SWITCH ROW/COLUMNSwitch Row/Column button.
    Edit Data Source dialog box

  2. Click ADD
    The Edit Data Source dialog box closes and the Edit Series dialog box appears.
    Edit Series dialog box

  3. In the Series name text box, type the name of the series.
    EXAMPLE: In a line chart of students' grades, a series name would be the student's name.

  4. In the Series values text box, type the appropriate data range to be added
    EXAMPLE: In a line chart of student grades, the data range values would be the cells containing a specific student's grades specified in the chart.
    OR
    To select a data range
    1. Click COLLAPSE DIALOGCollapse Dialog button
    2. Select the cells to be added
    3. Click RESTORE DIALOGRestore Dialog button

  5. Click OK
    The Edit Series dialog box closes and the Edit Data Source dialog box appears.

  6. Click OK
    The data series is added to the chart.

Macintosh:

  1. Select the chart

  2. On the Command bar, from the Chart menu, select Source Data...
    The Select Data Source dialog box appears.
    Select Data Source dialog box

  3. In the Chart data range text box, type the appropriate data range to be added
    NOTE: Be sure to include the cell containing the row or column label in the cell range.
    OR
    From the worksheet, select the data range to be added

  4. Click OK
    The data series is added.

Deleting Data Series

NOTE: Deleting a data series in a chart does not delete the data from the worksheet.

Windows:

  1. Right click the column, bar, line, or pie segment representing the data series to be deleted

  2. Click Delete
    The data series is deleted.

Macintosh:

  1. Select the chart

  2. On the Command bar, from the Chart menu, select Source Data...
    The Select Data Source dialog box appears.

  3. From the Series scroll box, select the series that you want deleted

  4. Click REMOVE
    The data series is deleted.

return to topPositioning and Resizing a Chart

Moving Your Chart

The chart is an object on your worksheet. While your chart may be placed on top of some worksheet information, the information still exists. The chart can be moved anywhere on your worksheet.

  1. Select the chart by clicking it
    The cursor changes to include a four-headed arrowFour-headed arrow graphic.

  2. Click and hold anywhere on the border except corners or centers
    NOTES:
    Clicking and dragging on a border's centersChart border centeror cornersChart border cornerwill resize your chart.
    Clicking and dragging inside the chart will move the contents within the chart border, but will not move the entire chart.

  3. Drag the chart to the appropriate location

  4. Release the mouse button
    The chart is repositioned.

Resizing Your Chart

As you resize the chart, the chart elements adjust proportionally.

  1. Select the chart by clicking it

  2. Click and hold one of the border centersChart border centeror cornersChart border corner
    The cursor changes into a double arrow.

  3. Drag the mouse to resize the chart

  4. Release the mouse button
    The chart is resized.

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