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In Excel 2010 Essential Training, Bob Flisser demonstrates the core features and tools in Excel 2010. The course introduces key Excel skills, shows how to utilize these skills with in-depth tutorials on Excel functions and spreadsheet formatting. It also covers prepping documents for printing, working with large worksheets and workbooks, collaborating with others, using Excel as a database, analyzing data, charting, and automating and customizing Excel. Exercise files are included with the course.
We can create column charts with just a few clicks. And Excel has many different types of charts and many variations of them. But when you learn how to use column charts, you can use the same techniques for other charts as well. Well, let's take a look at this worksheet. It has pretty typical type of data that you might want to chart. So to create the chart, we have to select the data first, because remember, Excel doesn't know what we want. We have to tell Excel what we want. So let's select from A4 down to D11. So we are selecting the column headers for State and the three quarters and the data for all our States.
The important part is we are not selecting the Total column and we are not selecting the Total row. When you create a column chart, you don't want to select your totals, because then you will double the amount of data that's in your chart and your chart just won't be right. So now that we have it selected, we insert a chart. Well, because we are inserting a chart, we go up to the Insert tab. And here in the Ribbon bar, we have the Charts group. So let's click Column. And just to keep it simple for now, let's just choose the first type of 3-D Column. Click and boom, it just puts it on the page.
Now, if you want to format the chart, you see on the Ribbon bar we have the Chart Tools section, and we have three tabs there. And later in this chapter we are going to go use them. But if all you need is a chart with the default settings, you are all done. But let me show you a little bit more. Let's say we don't want all three quarterly data in this chart. Maybe the 3rd quarter data hasn't come in yet. So leave the chart selected or move it out of the way if you need to. And you see we have this blue box around our data. Put your mouse pointer in this heavy dot in the lower right corner and your mouse pointer becomes a two-headed arrow.
Now, that is not the Auto Fill handle. Don't get that confused with Auto Fill. It has nothing to do with it. But when you get that two-headed arrow, just drag over here to the left so this box is just around the first two quarters, and you notice that the chart immediately changes. It's live. The numbers are alive also. For example, let's take a look at Connecticut. You see Connecticut has some fairly low numbers in this chart. What happens if we change them? Let's go over here. I will just select that first Connecticut number. And let's make that, I don't know, 850.
Type in 850. Press Enter. And boom, immediately that data point increases, so we can see that's live. I want to show you one other way that you can very quickly insert a column chart. I will just move this chart out of the way here. Let's select the same cells as we did before. Again, we are selecting the column headers. We are selecting the State data. We are not selecting the Total column. We are not selecting the Total row. Once we have those cells selected, just press the F11 key on your keyboard and boom, Excel creates a brand new chart on a brand new worksheet.
Now, it's a two column chart, so it doesn't look as fancy as the other one. But we could modify that if we want. The advantage here is that it's a lot bigger. And that's something also that we can modify. And we could change the location of this chart. We can change the location of the other chart if we want. We will talk about moving charts around also in this chapter. This hasn't deleted the chart or the data that we already have. If you click back here on the Data tab, you can see there is our original data, and there is our original chart. So if that's all you made, you are pretty much done.
But later in the chapter we will talk about modifying and formatting our charts.
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