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Chapter 4. Working with Forms > Creating a Chart in a Form

Creating a Chart in a Form

Lists of data are wonderful for computers, but humans don't do well with long, dry list of numbers. We like pictures, especially pictures that tell stories about numbers. Adding a chart to a form gives viewers a clear summary of the underlying data in that form. When the form is opened, Access draws the data from the table or query behind the chart and presents it to your users in the manner that you specify.

For example, if you want to compare the lengths of books in your library, you can create a chart with the book title on the horizontal axis, a numerical range on the vertical axis, and the number of pages for each book displayed as a bar above the book title.

To create a chart:

1.
Open your form in Design view, choose Insert > Chart, and click the spot on the form where you want your chart to appear.

2.
Click the name of the table or query you want to supply the data for your chart and click Next ( Figure 4.43 ).

Figure 4.43. Select a table or query to provide your chart's data.


3.
Add the fields that you want to use in your chart by clicking a field name and then clicking the > button. Click Next when you're done ( Figure 4.44 ).

Figure 4.44. Add the specific fields that you want to pull values from.


4.
Click the type of chart you want to create and click Next ( Figure 4.45 ).

Figure 4.45. Select a chart type


When you click a chart button, a description of the chart and the type of data it summarizes best appears in the lower-right corner of the wizard screen.

5.
The next screen lets you configure your chart by rearranging the placement of the values from your table ( Figure 4.46 ).

Figure 4.46. If your chart isn't laid out quite right, change it!


To see what your chart will look like, click the Preview Chart button (Figure 4.47). Click Next to continue.

Figure 4.47. To see what your chart will look like, click the Preview Chart button.


6.
Type a name for your chart in the space provided and click Finish. That's all there is to it.

Tip

To change the way your chart summarizes your data, double-click the field name in the chart layout wizard screen; your choices are: None, Sum (the default), Average, Min (minimum), Max (maximum), and Count (the number of entries in the field).


Tip

To edit your chart after you've created it, simply double-click it when it's in Design view. For help, double-click the chart and then choose Help > Help in Microsoft Graph (the helper program that actually creates your chart).


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