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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.
Chart areas, plot areas, columns, bars, and many other chart elements have borders, and sometimes you want to change them. You can do it by adjusting the color of the borders, the thickness, and the type of border, whether it's solid or dashed-- a wealth of choices here. Now, in this chapter, we will be talking about quite a few different formatting choices. In general, it's a safe thing to say these choices are found on the Format button in the Ribbon. However, even though you can start here and get to a lot of features, many times a quick way to begin formatting in Excel 2007 charts is to right-click.
Now if you have been a chart user in prior versions, you may have gone by the almost mantra of saying anytime you double-click a chart element, you immediately get a dialog box. That's not true in Excel 2007, but it is safe to say anytime you right-click on an element, you have the option to get into some formatting tools quickly and easily. So there is no box or border on this title here. I might want to add it. I might want to make some other changes to it. Despite all those choices on the Format tab, let's simply right-click on the title anywhere in here, right-click. And nearly always when you right-click on an element it's the last choice that you want, if you're looking for formatting.
You'll always see the word 'Format', and then it's going to be followed by the element that you happen to have right-clicked upon. Click Format Chart Title and the relevant dialog box comes up. Now let me close this and show you another way too, and for some people it's faster, although maybe you've switched from mouse to keyboard in the process. You might click the element first and then press Ctrl+1, and you may well know that Ctrl+1 does activate the formatting dialog box in your standard use of Excel. So here's another way to get here.
So in either case, either by right-clicking on an element and choosing Format followed by the phrase or words for the element that you're choosing, you will come to this dialog box. Remember the other way to get here. I'm not trying to confuse people, but I do know that as you work with Excel and you've got all these formatting choices, it is a bit much to suggest there are so many different ways to get here and trying to come up with one way isn't really the goal here, but just to alert you to the idea of how many different ways you can get to the same feature.
Another way would be we've chosen the Format tab, we click the element that we are interested in, and then the left group in the Format tab, second choice, Format Selection. Now, something else that you might have seen in prior movies, and I'll emphasize it here too: sometimes you're working with an element and working with title, so I might want to change, in this case actually add a border color, perhaps a solid line, black is just fine. The color you see here will be the one that was used most recently by whoever was using this feature on the particular computer you're using.
So if I put in red here, I'm going to have a red border, and you can't see that too clearly just yet, but it's going to be red. So I might want to change the Border Style and make it thicker possibly. As I'm doing this, you can see the reaction a bit over on the left-hand side. If that's not enough special features, you can go into Dash type, maybe you want this kind of a border, and on and on and on, quite a few other choices here as well. Now, maybe that's all you want to do here for the moment. If we click another element, we don't need to close the dialog box, so maybe I'll go to the Legend, click the Legend. And as I click Legend, keep an eye on this dialog box title says Format Chart Title.
I'll click the Legend and the dialog box, as you might expect, switches to Format Legend. So in this example maybe we want to fill this with a color, maybe a solid fill, a certain color, red, or whatever. We've got all of these choices here as well, too. So you can begin to see how easy it is. You can control any of the elements within a chart simply by right-clicking and the appropriate dialog box will appear after you've chosen the Format choice, usually the last one, and the various dialog boxes will always be context-sensitive.
Remember, if I click another area as I'm doing now, left side, the dialog box title changes again. So, as you can see, there's any number of different border color and styles available, with a wealth of options to control these appearances.
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