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Lesson 24. Creating Charts > Charting Terminology

Charting Terminology

Before you start creating charts, you should familiarize yourself with the following terminology:

Data Series The bars, pie wedges, lines, or other elements that represent plotted values in a chart. For example, a chart might show a set of similar bars that reflects a series of values for the same item. The bars in the same data series would all have the same pattern. If you have more than one pattern of bars, each pattern would represent a separate data series. For instance, charting the sales for Territory 1 versus Territory 2 would require two data series—one for each territory. Often, data series correspond to rows of data in your worksheet.

Categories Categories reflect the number of elements in a series. You might have two data series that compare the sales of two different territories and four categories that compare these sales over four quarters. Some charts have only one category, and others have several. Categories normally correspond to the columns in your worksheet, with the category labels coming from the column headings.

Axis One side of a chart. A two-dimensional chart has an x-axis (horizontal) and a y-axis (vertical). The x-axis contains the data series and categories in the chart. If you have more than one category, the x-axis often contains labels that define what each category represents. The y-axis reflects the values of the bars, lines, or plot points. In a three-dimensional chart, the z-axis represents the vertical plane, and the x-axis (distance) and y-axis (width) represent the two sides on the floor of the chart.

Legend Defines the separate series of a chart. For example, the legend for a pie chart will show what each piece of the pie represents.

Gridlines Typically, gridlines appear along the value or y-axis, although they can emanate from the x-axis as well. Gridlines help you determine a point's exact value.



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