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Creating a Chart

A chart provides a visual, graphical representation of numerical data. Whether you turn numbers into a bar, line, pie, surface, or bubble chart, patterns become more apparent. For example, the trend of annual rising profits becomes powerful in a line chart. A second line showing diminishing annual expenses creates an instant map of the success of your business. Titles on the chart, horizontal (x-axis), and vertical (y-axis) identify the data. A legend connects the colors and patterns in a chart with the data they represent. Gridlines are horizontal and vertical lines to help the reader determine data values in a chart. Excel simplifies the chart-making process with the Chart Wizard, a series of dialog boxes that leads you through all the steps to create an effective chart on a new or an existing worksheet. When you choose to place the chart on an existing sheet, rather than on a new sheet, the chart is called an embedded object. You can then resize or move it just as you would any graphic object.

Create a Chart Using the Chart Wizard

Select the data range you want to chart.

Make sure you include the data you want to chart and the column and row labels in the range. The Chart Wizard expects to find this information and incorporates it in your chart.

Click the Chart Wizard button on the Standard toolbar.

To move backward or forward in the Chart Wizard, click Back or Forward. You can click Finish at any time.

Click a chart type.

Click a chart sub-type.

Click the Press And Hold To View Sample button to preview your selection.

Click Next to continue.

Verify the data range, and then select to plot the data series in rows or in columns.

Click Next to continue.

Click a chart options tab.

  • Titles tab. Type titles for the chart, x-axis, and y-axis in the appropriate text boxes.

  • Axes tab. Select the axes you want to display for the data.

  • Gridlines tab. Select the type of gridlines you want for the x-axis and y-axis.

  • Legend tab. Select options to display a legend and its location.

  • Data Labels tab. Select the labels you want for the data.

  • Data Table tab. Click to add a table to the chart.

Preview the options, and then click Next to continue.

Select to place the chart on a new sheet or as an embedded object.

Click Finish.

Drag the chart to a new location if necessary.



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