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Hour 12. Adding a Chart > Creating Charts with the Chart Wizard - Pg. 194

Adding a Chart Element Gridlines What It Is 194 The lines that depict the x-axis and y-axis scale of the data series. For example, major gridlines for the y-axis help you follow a point from the x- or y-axis to identify a data point's exact value. Types of Charts The most common chart types include pie, bar, column (default), line, and area. Table 12.2 lists these chart types, their descriptions, and how you would use them. Table 12.2. Excel's Chart Types Chart Type Pie Bar Description/How to Use It Plots only one category of data, but each wedge of the pie represents a different data series. Use this chart to show the relationship among parts of a whole. Horizontal representations of column charts, often called histograms. Use this chart to compare values at a given point in time, emphasizing the performance of a group of items. Often, different patterns are not required for bar chart data series. Similar to a bar chart; use this chart to emphasize the difference between items over a period of time. Columns make it easy to compare the values of items in each category. Column charts are best for comparing two or more items. Use this chart to emphasize trends and the change of values over time, showing how one or more items have changed over time. Lines emphasize the change, not the comparison of one item to another. Also useful for plotting numerous categories of data for multiple data series. Similar to the line chart and stacked column chart in that an area chart shows how items combine to form a total. Use this chart to emphasize the amount of change in values, providing a more dramatic representation of the change in values over time. Column Line Area Most of these basic chart types also come in 3D. A standard, flat chart is professional looking, but a 3D chart can help your audience distinguish between different sets of data. When you choose a chart type and a chart subtype, you can display, in a professional manner, interesting and meaningful results based on your worksheet data. Creating Charts with the Chart Wizard One of the terrific features in Excel is the Chart Wizard. The easiest way to create a chart in Excel is to use the Chart Wizard. The Chart Wizard leads you step by step through the task of creating a chart. Excel plots the data and creates the chart where you specify on the worksheet. Creating charts with the Chart Wizard is a snap because you get help every step of the way. You are guided through four dialog boxes from which you create your chart: Chart Type, Chart Source, Chart Options, and Chart Location. You can preview the sample chart in all the steps and make changes to the chart at any time. You can select data before you create a chart, or if you don't select anything and your worksheet is relatively simple, Excel grabs the data automatically. You begin with Excel's default (or automatic) chart and then modify it to your liking. With so many chart types and options, you have carte blanche for creating a chart that best suits your needs. All charts start out basically the same. You have to create a basic chart with Excel's automatic settings before you can create more customized charts. If desired, you can modify the basic chart, using various tools. The first task is to select the data you want to chart. The second task is to bring up the basic chart.