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Dealing with empty and hidden cells

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Dealing with empty and hidden cells

Selecting data for a chart can include hidden rows or hidden columns. Also, it might contain zero values, as we see in this line chart here. But do you want the data in this chart to be depicted regardless of its hidden status, and what do you want to do with those zeroes at times? This chart perhaps is a little bit disconcerting because of the gaps. How might it look if it were column chart? Will that make any differences? Let's check this out here. Click on the Chart, Design tab, change the Chart Type, how about to a clustered column? Double-click that first choice.

Dealing with empty and hidden cells

Selecting data for a chart can include hidden rows or hidden columns. Also, it might contain zero values, as we see in this line chart here. But do you want the data in this chart to be depicted regardless of its hidden status, and what do you want to do with those zeroes at times? This chart perhaps is a little bit disconcerting because of the gaps. How might it look if it were column chart? Will that make any differences? Let's check this out here. Click on the Chart, Design tab, change the Chart Type, how about to a clustered column? Double-click that first choice.

We still see the gaps. For some reason, to me that's not as obviously un-appealing as the previous example was. As I press Ctrl+Z here to undo, it looks like that. So maybe that's a question of personal taste. What if we were to hide the columns? Now looking at the data, you would imagine eventually that this missing data should be reported and put into the data, and everything is going to be cleaned up, but for the moment it's not. What if these rows were hidden? And you can imagine, for example, the same kind of data, maybe if it's covering day by day, over a time period. You've got missing days.

Maybe that's a more likely scenario, but let's select the rows that have missing data. Row 4 and using the Ctrl key, row 11, and then row 18, and then right-click and Hide, and you see how the chart is changed. Now, not the world's best solution, but it does show us that the hidden data, or the hidden rows in this case, are not being displayed. Now, let's right-click one of these. Or if we choose the Design tab, the choice called Select Data, we do have some control over both hidden and empty cells.

It's in the bottom of this dialog box called the Select Data Source dialog box. Remember, we got here from the Select Data button on the Design tab. We also could have right-clicked on one of the lines and chosen Select Data. So hidden and empty cells. Show empty cells as gaps. Show data in hidden rows and columns, what if we were to do this first? Make this choice. Show data in hidden rows and columns. You see what's happening here. Now would you want to show the empty cells as zero? And you might be misled here.

Click OK and then OK. And I doubt if you would make that choice. Now you could, of course. It does show the data for those hidden months, which we are not seeing. For example, here is October. We don't see that in the list over there. It is in the hidden row 11. It displays as a zero. I think that's not such a good choice. Same thing with May here. Now another way to get into this dialog box, as I mentioned, is to right-click one of lines here and choose Select Data, and here we are back again, Hidden and Empty Cells.

And Connect the data points with line, we could do that. Now we are still showing the data in hidden rows, which in this case is zero value data. Click OK and for example, keep your eye on the May here. It's going to connect the April and June. And we don't necessarily know what really would've occurred there when we get the real data, but it's actually going to connect the dots as if it were continuous. So we click OK. So, you see what happened there. So it's up to you to decide what to use here, but you do have some control over how you want these to be displayed.

Now once again, switching this back to a column chart, on the Design tab, leftmost button Change Chart Type. We'll make it a column chart, the first choice, clustered column. We see what's happening here. If we were to right-click the column here or go through Select Data up on the Design tab, same place, hidden and empty cells. The third choice here, Connect the data points with lines, doesn't exist. So even though we could choose a zero here, we cannot really connect them with a line here because we have no lines.

So that option is not selectable if it's a column or bar or any other chart other than a line chart here. So we have some options, and you've got control over the way Excel shows or hides a chart's source data that might be in hidden rows or columns, or if you encounter 0 values. Remember distinct differences, the way this works between line and column or bar charts.

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Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9246 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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