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One of the problems that some people have in working with Excel charts is the tremendous wealth of possibilities for altering charts. There are so many options, and nobody really counts, but it's in the millions. And one of the ways that you will begin to understand charts a bit better, even before you created them, suppose you're looking at a worksheet like the one here called chart data. When you click on a chart the Ribbon menu system at the top of the screen, brand-new in Excel 2007, changes in a significant way.
As I click this middle chart on the screen here, the one just to the right of the data, keep your eye on the Ribbon up above and what happens? We see--and the terminology here, by the way, will vary if you're looking this Excel book or that book. It does vary somewhat. A lot of books will say there is now a new Ribbon called Chart tools. I think it's little more accurate to say there are three new tabs on the existing Ribbon: Design, Layout, and Format. And in this course, we'll be using many, many different features from each of those tabs, and it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Think of it sort of in this way, though.
The most important choices related to charts that you'll see are on the Design tab, and as I click this, all the choices that we see here, particularly the one on the left for changing chart type, and as we'll see some of the others here, are very important in the way that you use charts. Once you click Layout, you'll begin to see, this is where a lot of the fine- tuning is going to be done when you need those features. And the Format tab, perhaps less important most of the times in Layout, has a lot more to do with the actual visuals, the colors.
And again, we're not going to go through every single option here. But every time you click on a chart, you will see the term Chart Tools above the Ribbon and then these three tabs: Design, Layout, and Format. And the very structure of this course focuses on these three tabs, in that order, too. And anytime you're creating charts, keep in mind, you will see these. If I click outside of a chart, back on the worksheet, watch the Ribbon change into its more typical look, where we have the Home, Insert Page, Layout tabs that we normally see.
Click on the chart, we see the other three. So by recognizing the major kinds of grouping that occur on the Design, Layout, and Format tabs, this is going to simplify and give some sense of order to the way that you handle charts.
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