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Creating charts instantly with shortcuts

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Creating charts instantly with shortcuts

After indicating what data you want depicted as a chart, there are two major keystroke shortcuts, one of them new in Excel 2007, that let you create charts instantly. I sometimes refer to these as show-off kinds of features because when you are demonstrating, or showing to others, how easy it is to create a chart, sometimes people are amazed. Let's imagine on the set of data that we're looking at here I'm going to be highlighting this data right here. I'm in a hurry. If you want to create a chart and have it on a separate worksheet from the data-- and sometimes you might want to. I think its more common these days and more likely to want to put the chart on the same worksheet, but if you would like to put this on a separate worksheet, simply press the F11 key.

Creating charts instantly with shortcuts

After indicating what data you want depicted as a chart, there are two major keystroke shortcuts, one of them new in Excel 2007, that let you create charts instantly. I sometimes refer to these as show-off kinds of features because when you are demonstrating, or showing to others, how easy it is to create a chart, sometimes people are amazed. Let's imagine on the set of data that we're looking at here I'm going to be highlighting this data right here. I'm in a hurry. If you want to create a chart and have it on a separate worksheet from the data-- and sometimes you might want to. I think its more common these days and more likely to want to put the chart on the same worksheet, but if you would like to put this on a separate worksheet, simply press the F11 key.

Now you notice at the bottom of this screen we are currently looking at a sheet called ChartData. I have highlighted the date in question from cells A4 to G8. I'm going to press the F11 key, and here's the chart on a new sheet, and you'll notice at the bottom of the screen it's called Chart1. It's to the left of the data. And if we go back to the original chart datasheet and create another one, it'll be called Chart2, and it'll be to the left to the data, and so on. One advantage of working with charts on there own sheet is you're not looking at the data. You might have a ton of it and the chart might be pretty busy. You're seeing it full screen. You can print it easily, and you can focus strictly on the chart itself as you work with it.

So that's one advantage to working with data on the separate sheet. The F11 shortcut has been around for quite some time. But a new shortcut in Excel 2007, as we go back to the ChartData sheet, is, after having your data highlighted, if you would like it chart right on the worksheet next to the data, it's simply Alt+F1. There we go. It's right there. Now something to point out here that will at times be a little confusing. The data here came up clustered in a certain way here.

Now what if I were to highlight just the first three months? You could imagine, for example, the chart to the right not showing April, May, and June, but looking pretty much the same. Let me move this down and over a little bit, shrink it a little bit from the corner. So we're looking at the data here. I'm going to highlight just this data right here, and I want to create a new chart right here on the worksheet, Alt+F1. And notice the chart is oriented quite a bit differently, and you're saying, "What's going on there? Isn't that strange? It's not grouping these by month any anymore." Based on the number of columns and rows in the data that you select, Excel makes an arbitrary choice, but in the second example here, we had more rows, we had four rows of data, than we had columns, three columns of data.

First time around when we highlighted this data, we had four rows of data and six columns. So depending upon what's more, rows or columns, you can get the different chart type. So what's going to happen if we choose April? Now this is an unlikely combination, but you could choose this. I'm going to press Alt+F1, and you see what's happing there. That's more like the first chart, which is to our lower left. In this case, it's a tie, so Excel goes one way or the other. So you will find that confusing at times, and one of the buttons that we'll be using at different times is anytime you do see a chart that's on the Design tab in the Ribbon, Switch Row/Column, and then you'll be this way, so you'll sense that from time to time.

But getting back to the shortcuts. Anytime you want to show data, for example a different sheet here like on the Line Chart sheet, here since our data is contiguous and everything in column A and B is something that we might want to show in the chart, we get everything there. When you all ready to create a chart, remember you don't highlight all the data although that's not wrong. Simply click on a single cell, and that means don't click on two cells, just a single cell within this cluster of cells here, and we'll simply press Alt+F1 again and we'll get the default type, which is a column chart, and we see the data that way. So, fast and easy.

And there will be times when you are not really trying to create a chart long term, you just want to see a quick visual representation of the numbers, and it gives you a quick read on the data and maybe you will get to the chart later. So charting sometimes is used to just an exploratory way, and these great shortcuts, F11, for creating a charts instantly on the new sheet or to create a chart on the current worksheet, Alt+F1-- two great shortcuts. I think you will use them a lot. Instant creation of charts.

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This video is part of

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Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9329 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 22m 7s
    1. Identifying chart elements like plot area, chart area, gridlines, and legends
      5m 3s
    2. Selecting the right chart type
      8m 2s
    3. Understanding chart terminology
      6m 31s
    4. Understanding the Ribbon and the Design, Layout, and Format tabs
      2m 31s
  3. 16m 24s
    1. Selecting data to display as a chart
      6m 17s
    2. Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
      4m 33s
    3. Creating charts with standard menu commands
      2m 24s
    4. Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments
      3m 10s
  4. 28m 8s
    1. Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
      3m 9s
    2. Setting a default chart type and creating a template
      3m 47s
    3. Dealing with empty and hidden cells
      4m 18s
    4. Choosing a chart layout
      4m 33s
    5. Choosing a chart style from 48 colorful variations
      3m 34s
    6. Changing the location of a chart
      3m 33s
    7. Moving and resizing a chart
      5m 14s
  5. 11m 25s
    1. Using pictures as chart elements
      3m 55s
    2. Adding shapes and arrows
      3m 37s
    3. Adding floating text and text boxes
      3m 53s
  6. 33m 45s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing chart titles
      3m 15s
    2. Adding horizontal and vertical titles
      3m 56s
    3. Linking titles to content
      2m 32s
    4. Showing numbers of different scales
      4m 38s
    5. Specifying the position of tick marks and axis labels
      2m 41s
    6. Changing the numeric format on labels
      5m 34s
    7. Adding, editing, and removing legends
      3m 19s
    8. Adding and editing data labels
      4m 40s
    9. Showing the source of a chart's data
      3m 10s
  7. 8m 13s
    1. Modifying axis scaling
      3m 50s
    2. Working with gridlines
      4m 23s
  8. 12m 53s
    1. Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
      4m 2s
    2. Adding drop lines
      3m 14s
    3. Adding high-low lines and up-down bars
      1m 39s
    4. Adding error bars
      3m 58s
  9. 9m 13s
    1. Selecting shape fill and outline
      3m 3s
    2. Adding shape effects
      3m 19s
    3. Applying WordArt styles
      2m 51s
  10. 16m 33s
    1. Formatting lines and borders
      4m 24s
    2. Filling an area with a color gradient
      2m 7s
    3. Specifying line style, color, and weight
      2m 46s
    4. Working with chart text
      3m 40s
    5. Changing the rotation of chart text
      3m 36s
  11. 38m 39s
    1. Using column and bar charts
      7m 24s
    2. Using line charts
      5m 46s
    3. Using pie charts
      8m 37s
    4. Using area, stock, and XY charts
      9m 3s
    5. Using doughnut, bubble, and radar charts
      7m 49s
  12. 10m 55s
    1. Pasting new data into a chart
      2m 58s
    2. Creating charts from multiple data sources
      3m 39s
    3. Adding new data using a table
      4m 18s
  13. 6m 19s
    1. Printing charts
      6m 19s
  14. 19s
    1. Next steps
      19s

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