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Modifying a column chart

From: Excel 2010 Essential Training

Video: Modifying a column chart

Chances are that after you create a chart, you will want to make some changes and customize it to your liking. All the tools you need for that are under the Chart Tools section that appears when you have the chart selected. So I am going to click the chart and now I have the Chart Tools section on the Ribbon bar with three tabs underneath it. If you don't see that Chart Tools section, it's just because you don't have the chart selected. Now you can scroll down to see it a little better. I am just going to move the chart up here so we can see the whole thing. Before we start formatting it, let's say you decide that you want this chart to be on its own sheet.

Modifying a column chart

Chances are that after you create a chart, you will want to make some changes and customize it to your liking. All the tools you need for that are under the Chart Tools section that appears when you have the chart selected. So I am going to click the chart and now I have the Chart Tools section on the Ribbon bar with three tabs underneath it. If you don't see that Chart Tools section, it's just because you don't have the chart selected. Now you can scroll down to see it a little better. I am just going to move the chart up here so we can see the whole thing. Before we start formatting it, let's say you decide that you want this chart to be on its own sheet.

See down here we have our Data sheet, which is where all our data is, and then we have Sheet2 and Sheet3, which are blank. So make sure the chart is selected, click the Design tab here under Chart Tools, and over here on the right, click Move Chart. Now, right now it tells you that it's an object in this Data sheet. Click New Sheet, give it a name if you like, click OK, and Excel pops it onto its own sheet. And you might do this if you want to get a bigger printout. Maybe you just want to see it a little bit more clearly. Maybe you want to print out just the chart and you don't want any of the underlying data getting in the way.

Now, if you change your mind and maybe you want this chart back on the Datasheet, sure, right now you could Undo, but let's say you save it, you close it, you go away for a few days and you come back, and Undoing is no longer an option. Well, what you do here is under the Chart Tools section, under Design, you click Move Chart again, and now we can make this an object in that Data sheet. Click OK and it comes back and you notice that Chart sheet has just been removed. So now we can move this back. Maybe we will stretch it out here a little bit. Right now we have our series is in columns.

We have columns for Quarter 1, 2, and 3, and that's what's in the Legend. And if you are never really sure, oh, gee, is the series columns or rows, I don't know? The Legend is the giveaway. So right now we have a Quarter 1 series, Quarter 2 series, and so on. Let's click over here to Switch Column/Row. It's just a little easier to look at. It will be a little easier to modify in this exercise. So let's go and format this chart, so it looks a little bit more olivish. So with it selected, make sure the Design tab is active, and over here click that down arrow.

And you will notice as you move your mouse pointer around, there's no updating to the chart. It's not dynamic here. So just click one that you like. This one is kind of olive colored. Now let's insert a title above the chart. So click the Layout tab. And over here click Chart Title, and let's choose Above Chart. So it gives us a placeholder, and let's click in here. I will just select that. You don't even have to delete; you can just type write over it. I will call this Billions of Gallons Sold.

That's a lot of olive oil. Now, if you want to format it, you see you have this dotted line around it. The best thing to do is click off it, anywhere in the chart is okay, then click back on it. So now you have a solid border instead of a dotted border. Go up here to the Format tab and you see I have these WordArt Styles. Click that and you have all sorts of options here. And choose one you like. Don't worry about the color just yet. I will choose this one here. Well, that blue color doesn't really look very olivish. So we can change it.

Go up here to Text Fill and choose maybe a green fill. And you see it keeps some of that formatting as well. We could also add a reflection if you like. Go up here to Text Effects > Reflection, and you could apply some sort of reflection. And if you roll your mouse over some of these options, you can see how it's changed. I am just going to take this one. It's kind of subtle. We could also format this sort of as an object and give it a background. Leave it selected, and over here under Shape Styles, click that down arrow.

And if you roll your mouse over, you can see all these different shape styles. And I am going to go down here to this kind of rounded green look, and there it is. Now, if you decide you don't want the reflection on that rounded look, you could always go back to Text Effects, back to Reflection, and turn that off. Now, let's do one more thing here. Let's take a look at the numbers. If you notice here, New Jersey is the fourth bar and if you just roll your mouse over the fourth bar here, you can see there is New Jersey in the first quarter, New Jersey here, much higher number in the second quarter, and New Jersey back down to a smaller number in the third quarter.

Well, we don't know why that's happening, but you might assume that in the second quarter that New Jersey number is an outlier, so you might want to highlight it a little bit more than just having it green, with all of the other bars. So here is what we do. Click that bar there, and when you click it, you notice that all three of the New Jersey series bars get selected, and over here in the chart also it gets selected. Click that Quarter 2 New Jersey bar a second time and just that bar is selected. So that's not a double-click. It's really a click, hesitate, and click again.

So just that bar is selected. Now, right-click your mouse on it and from the pop-up menu, you want to choose Format Data Point. Now, if that says Format Data Series, it means that you don't have that one New Jersey bar isolated. It means you have the whole series isolated. So you will want to make sure just to get that one selected. So click Format Data Point. And over here choose Fill. And you see it says Automatic, because it's simply picking up the style that all of the bars have. So instead, let's choose maybe Gradient Fill. Nice sunset color, isn't it? And if you click here on Preset colors, there is other presets that you can choose, and of course you can customize these anyway you like and you can change the gradient atops, you can change the color, brightness, and transparency.

I am just going to leave those the way they are, and click Close and I am going to deselect. So if you have to present this chart to someone and you especially want to show them that New Jersey number is an outlier, this is a heck of a lot more obvious than it is than the number in this Data sheet, wherever it is.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Essential Training
Excel 2010 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 124397 viewers

Bob Flisser
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Exploring three common uses for Excel
      3m 17s
    2. Touring the interface
      3m 38s
    3. Finding the commands you need
      3m 51s
    4. Using Backstage view or the File tab
      3m 25s
    5. Maintaining file compatibility
      5m 20s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Creating a worksheet
      5m 23s
    2. Techniques for copying and pasting
      3m 57s
    3. Entering data automatically with Auto Fill
      4m 37s
    4. Targeting large data groups
      4m 26s
    5. Changing a worksheet's structure
      3m 0s
  4. 47m 50s
    1. Understanding formulas and functions
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data in a worksheet
      3m 22s
    3. Adding numbers manually
      5m 1s
    4. Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum
      6m 11s
    5. Adding a whole worksheet
      1m 48s
    6. Working with numbers in columns
      4m 53s
    7. Preventing errors using absolute references
      5m 57s
    8. Working with times and dates
      3m 8s
    9. Using IF
      4m 49s
    10. Using SUMIF and AVERAGEIF
      4m 15s
    11. Naming and using cell ranges
      3m 45s
  5. 33m 57s
    1. Formatting numbers and dates
      7m 6s
    2. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      4m 35s
    3. Adjusting columns, rows, and text
      5m 2s
    4. Using conditional formatting
      4m 6s
    5. Using custom conditional formatting
      5m 49s
    6. Adding pictures and shapes
      7m 19s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Inserting SmartArt
      6m 54s
    2. Coordinating a look using themes
      3m 22s
    3. Applying built-in styles
      3m 16s
    4. Creating and sharing styles
      5m 33s
    5. Using templates
      4m 9s
    6. Creating and using original templates
      2m 13s
  7. 13m 23s
    1. Making the pieces fit
      4m 57s
    2. Inserting headers and footers
      3m 51s
    3. Printing and PDFs
      4m 35s
  8. 34m 3s
    1. Finding and replacing data
      3m 12s
    2. Freezing panes
      3m 0s
    3. Repeating row and column titles
      3m 34s
    4. Creating multiple custom worksheet views
      5m 18s
    5. Hiding or grouping rows and columns
      5m 31s
    6. Managing worksheets
      7m 23s
    7. Calculating formulas across worksheets
      6m 5s
  9. 36m 34s
    1. Importing and exporting data in Excel
      8m 2s
    2. Setting workbook permissions
      6m 44s
    3. Inserting and editing comments
      6m 49s
    4. Sharing a workbook
      1m 25s
    5. Tracking changes
      3m 5s
    6. Saving files in shared locations
      10m 29s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Splitting cell data into multiple cells
      2m 22s
    2. Joining data from multiple cells
      4m 18s
    3. Basic and multi-field sorting
      6m 30s
    4. Using tables to sort and filter data
      4m 31s
    5. Inserting automatic subtotals
      3m 46s
    6. Creating lookup tables
      6m 3s
  11. 32m 56s
    1. Using auditing to diagram
      6m 3s
    2. Using evaluation in Excel
      2m 2s
    3. Working with Goal Seek
      5m 29s
    4. Using data tables in formulas
      6m 2s
    5. Using scenarios in formulas
      5m 28s
    6. Exploring the Analysis Toolpak
      7m 52s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Discovering PivotTables
      2m 22s
    2. Creating a basic PivotTable
      2m 46s
    3. Modifying a PivotTable
      6m 57s
    4. Creating and modifying a PivotChart
      5m 56s
  13. 26m 58s
    1. Choosing chart types
      1m 55s
    2. Inserting Sparklines
      3m 54s
    3. Creating a column chart
      3m 23s
    4. Modifying a column chart
      5m 47s
    5. Creating and modifying a pie chart
      6m 45s
    6. Placing Excel charts into other Office applications
      5m 14s
  14. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding macros
      3m 5s
    2. Recording and using a simple macro
      11m 58s
    3. Editing a macro
      6m 50s
  15. 20m 33s
    1. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 30s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon bar
      8m 44s
    3. Setting Excel options
      8m 19s
  16. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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