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Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments

Whether you're in a hurry to create a chart or you're just a casual chart user, applying the final touches to the chart requires just a few commands that you can do quickly. So you really don't have to spend a lot of time tweaking a chart. Now, sometimes you might want to, but let's just review the idea of creating a chart, making a couple of changes, and in effect say 'this is complete'. It's good enough for the presentation or the printed page. In the example here I'm going to be highlighting on this chart datasheet this data right here. I want to create a chart. We will use the standard technique, Insert from the Ribbon. How about a column chart this time. Clustered Column. There we are.

Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments

Whether you're in a hurry to create a chart or you're just a casual chart user, applying the final touches to the chart requires just a few commands that you can do quickly. So you really don't have to spend a lot of time tweaking a chart. Now, sometimes you might want to, but let's just review the idea of creating a chart, making a couple of changes, and in effect say 'this is complete'. It's good enough for the presentation or the printed page. In the example here I'm going to be highlighting on this chart datasheet this data right here. I want to create a chart. We will use the standard technique, Insert from the Ribbon. How about a column chart this time. Clustered Column. There we are.

Now what does these chart lack in another words for presentation or on paper? We see numbers. We see the colors. We see a legend. It looks pretty good, but what do the numbers mean? And what year is this? What company is this? And so on. So I think a quick suggestion here in terms of what we need would be a title on top, something to explain the numbers, and maybe nothing else. The title might include a year. There are a lot of different approaches here. We're ignoring for the moment the idea that maybe we don't like the colors, or maybe the line should be darker, or maybe they shouldn't be there. There are all kinds of things we could do with the chart. But let's just say after creating the chart, we could have done this with the keystroke shortcut. I happened to use in this case the menu approach, but in both cases we've got some shortcomings.

Let's deal with them directly. Probably the fastest way, and we'll see this in more detail later, is simply to say let's add titles. The Layout tab offers us one way to do this, and we see Chart Title. There it is, Chart Title, Centered Overlay Title, Above Chart, either way. How about Above Chart, right there? Obviously, that's not the exact title we want. Why don't we just, for example, say Sales-2010. There it is. How about a title on the left-hand side? Is that an obvious choice? Well, maybe not obvious, but Axis Titles. Click it.

The Vertical Axis Title and rotate it. That probably would make sense. Rotate it down on the left-hand side. Now it doesn't say all that, but that's what we want to do. Rotated Title and we see Axis Title. And more or less what we want to say is what we're seeing in row two. And how about Millions of Dollars, or Sales in Millions? Something like that. Or just Millions of Dollars. Enter. There is the data. Although there are many other things we could do with this chart, for a lot of us, that's perfect. That just says what we want to say.

We will worry about that colors later and all those kinds of changes that we could make. The chart shows us the information. The legend clearly defines what the color means. We see that's it in million of dollars. It's for the year 2010. What else do we need to know? If it's within the same company, we would only mean to name the company. We could have a title below the month at the bottom of the screen. Probably not necessary here. So despite all the numerous adjustments you can make to a chart, making a chart "complete" only takes a few steps.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007: Charts in Depth
Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9594 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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