Excel Charts

Selecting data

Select the data you want to graph. Select both the numeric data and the row and column labels.


If the data is not contiguous, select the first range of data, hold down the Control key then select the Chart Wizard Icon second range of data.

Chart Wizard - Click the Chart Wizard button on the toolbar.

Choose the type of chart you want. Select the type of chart in the left column, and then choose the sub-type in the right column.



Click Next

Specify the location and orientation of your data. If you selected data before clicking the Chart Wizard, those cells appear in the Data Range box. The Series section controls which labels appear on the X-axis. In the above example, if you choose Series in Rows, the month labels appear on the X-axis. Series in Columns creates a chart with the city labels appearing on the X-axis.

The Series Tab also lets you change labels for your data and axes.

Options - To change one of these options click the tab at the top of the dialog box.



The Chart Wizard prompts you for a chart location. You can create the chart on the same worksheet as the data or on another worksheet. Click Finish after you select the location for your chart.

  Manipulating the Chart

An Excel chart is a worksheet object. Like other worksheet objects, you can move it, change its size, delete it and place borders around it.

Changing the chart size

To change the size of a chart, click on the chart to select it. Small selection boxes appear on each corner of the chart. Drag one of the selection handles to make the chart larger or smaller.

Moving the chart

To move the chart, press the mouse on the border of the chart and drag the mouse.

Deleting a chart

Select the chart and press Delete or Backspace to delete it.

Changing charted data

Charts are linked to the selected data. Whenever the data changes, the chart adjusts to reflect those changes. For example, if the January Austin numbers increase to 100, the January Austin bar in the chart increases.

Editing and Formatting a Chart

The figure below illustrates the major components of a column chart. To modify any component of an Excel chart, double-click it. For example, to change the font of the chart title, double-click the title to activate a font dialog box. Double-click the y-axis to activate the Format Axis dialog box.

Using the Chart toolbar

Use the Chart toolbar (shown below) to change the chart type, add gridlines and a legend, or change the orientation of the chart. The Chart toolbar normally appears when you select a chart. If the Chart toolbar is not visible, use the Toolbars command on the View menu to display it.

Chart Toolbar

Formatting a chart

When the chart is selected, the Selected Chart Area command on the Format menu   lets you place a border around the chart or shade it with different colors and patterns.

Adding titles and labels

To add a title to the chart or one of the axes, choose Chart Options from the Chart menu. Note, the Chart menu is only visible when the chart is selected. Click the Title tab in the Chart Options dialog box and type the chart title and axis labels in the appropriate boxes.

Adding and deleting arrows

Often a chart contains information that you want to highlight or emphasize. To create an arrow on a chart, click the Arrow tool on the Drawing toolbar and drag a line where you want the arrow to appear. If the Drawing toolbar is not visible, use the Toolbars command on the View menu to display it. After Excel adds the arrow, change its length by dragging the selection handles at either end of the arrow. To delete an existing arrow, select it and press Delete .

Bar patterns and colors

You can change the color and pattern of each column to accommodate different situations. If you print the chart, you might wish to select black and white patterns more suitable than the default choices. When you double-click any column or pie slice, Excel activates the Format Data Series dialog box. Use this option to change both the color and pattern of the selection.

Formatting the axes

To choose different formats for an axis, double-click it and select the appropriate options from the Format Axis dialog box.

  Adding new data to a chart

To add data to a chart, select the data on the worksheet and then, using the border of the selected data, drag it onto the chart. The Add Data command on the Chart menu can also be used to add data to an existing chart. To remove data from a chart, select Source Data from the Chart menu, click the Series Tab and click the Remove button.


Inserting data labels

Choose Chart - Chart Options . The Chart Options dialog box has a tab called Data Labels used to include labels in a chart.


Printing a chart by itself

To print a chart by itself, select the chart and choose File Print . Make sure Selected Chart is chosen in the Print dialog box.


Printing charts with worksheet data

You might also want to print your chart with its accompanying data. You can include any worksheet object (chart, text field, clip art) in your printed report by simply selecting the cells underneath the worksheet object. When you choose Print , click Selection to print the selected cells, which will include the chart.

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