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Creating a New Chart

The snappiest way to create a chart is to select some data—or a single cell within a data block—and press F11. Excel blasts your data, no questions asked, into whatever chart style is the current default, placing the result on a new chart sheet.

The F11 shortcut is a holdover from the earliest days of Excel, when all charts lived on separate chart sheets and before the invention of wizards. Nowadays the way Excel “expects” you to create a chart is by selecting some data and clicking the Chart Wizard tool on the Standard toolbar. (Alternatively, choose Insert, Chart.) These actions awaken the wizard, which presents a sequence of four helpful dialog boxes.


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