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In this course, Dennis Taylor shows how to analyze and communicate the value of data with charts in Excel. The course starts with the foundations: what the parts of a chart are, what the different types of charts are, and which charts work best for your data. The course then shows how to create a presentation-ready chart in minutes and offers dozens of in-depth tutorials on formatting and fine-tuning charts so they represent data clearly and accurately.
In certain charts, for example the stacked column chart that we are viewing here, it might be important to see the actual values of each segment of the columns that we are looking at here. This green they we're seeing for August, now the data is nearby, we could certainly figure this out. But would it be valuable to see the numbers right here? What we are talking about is a feature called data labels. And you might want to add data labels for each point within a line or column or bar or each sector in a pie chart even. You can do this for an entire series.
We could do this for all the green bars. We could do this for all of the bars here, the greens, the reds, and the blues. I think that would be a little crowded here. Or we can do this for selected points here and there. So it all depends upon your needs and whether we are talking about bar, columns. It works on nearly all the different chart types within Excel. So let's try these data labels here and without selecting any particular portion of the columns, let's simply go to the Layout tab in the Ribbon and choose Data Labels. We are not seeing choices that relate to the actual series of data.
We simply see Center, Inside End, and Inside Base. Let's just try one of these, for example, Center. Watch the chart. I think for a lot of us maybe that's too much information, but there's no doubt as to what each color segment means in terms of its value. Let's try a variation on this with Data Labels. Inside End, slight shifting of the data, and Inside Base, shifting the data downward. And let me, with these features in place, change the design of this particular chart here to the Chart Type on the Design tab, left button, Chart Type.
Let's make it a standard clustered column. Double-click. And of course totally unacceptable. Maybe in this example here we'll go back to the Layout tab, choose Data Labels, and choose Center, and I think you can see that's pretty bad too. Now if we had only 6 months of data-- let's quickly change that over on the left-hand side-- this might look a little better. Now obviously if you want to see all your data, this isn't acceptable either. But if we were showing this amount, maybe that would be okay with only 3 months. That's not so bad.
So depending upon how much data and the nature of its display and the different charts, you might want to add these data labels. Now let's remove them, and maybe we want these just on the blue columns. Now whether it's a stacked column or a clustered column it wouldn't make any difference. But if we simply want these on the blue columns, like I'll click one of the blues here, all of them will be selected, the entire domestic series. You can see the highlighting over in the data has been selected. Let's go to Data Labels now, and again we are not seeing any changing in the wording here, but we'll choose Center and just see what happens.
Maybe that's not the best choice here, although it's not bad. How about Outside End. Maybe that's a little bit better. And I think you know what happened if we tried this with the green. We'd see them on top of each green bar. It's going to get bit too crowded. Now even this might be more than you want. Let me go back here and well I'll simply choose None. I could choose Ctrl+Z in this case to undo. Choose None. Maybe you want to have numbers on just certain columns. Now you have to do these one at a time. Maybe the large one here at the end, we'll click this single point.
Now, for the moment every element in this range is selected. So pausing, clicking again-- there we go--we've selected only this point. By the way, when you are doing this too, if you are not sure that you've selected just the one, on the Layout tab, the extreme left choice would say Series Domestic Point. Now watch what happens if I click outside of this and click on a blue bar again. What do we see? The entire series. After a while it becomes real obvious, but use that as verification when you're selecting one column, two columns, or a series.
I want to click one column again, pause, click it again, so only the December column is chosen. Data Labels just for that one possibly, and I'll choose Outside End. And while we are here, would you like that to be a bigger font? Let's click this, and we could do this a couple of different ways but maybe on the Home tab, just jump over there. And in the Font group here maybe we'll make this a bigger font, 12, 14 whatever. And make it bold, or you know, the things you might want to do with it. You can manually move this around, but once again this could seem something like a work project.
But if you are only doing one or two of these occasionally, some of these manual movements might make sense. But there is a lot we can do from the menu, and it certainly is going to make sense at times to add data labels to help explain or to accentuate chart data. There's just a ton of options for doing this.
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