Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding chart terminology

From: Excel 2010: Charts in Depth

Video: Understanding chart terminology

Column and bar charts comprise the bulk of chart type usage for many Excel users. Three terms that you're likely to encounter when using these kinds of charts as well as others are the terms clustered, stacked, and 100% stacked. Let's look at these with column charts and then point out how you'll also encounter them with other chart types as well. The chart to the right of the data here is a clustered column chart. It's probably the default chart type in Excel, unless you've made a change to it, and it's certainly one of the most common chart types.

Understanding chart terminology

Column and bar charts comprise the bulk of chart type usage for many Excel users. Three terms that you're likely to encounter when using these kinds of charts as well as others are the terms clustered, stacked, and 100% stacked. Let's look at these with column charts and then point out how you'll also encounter them with other chart types as well. The chart to the right of the data here is a clustered column chart. It's probably the default chart type in Excel, unless you've made a change to it, and it's certainly one of the most common chart types.

Now when you are creating charts or you're possibly changing charts, if you go to the Design tab, Change Chart Type, this is where we see all those choices. I'm just putting the mouse over this Clustered Column. In line charts, you'll have roughly the equivalent, but you don't see the word Clustered. We will see these as we point to bar charts. There's a Clustered Bar. It's equivalent in area. You don't see that. And going back up here you will see them in this kind of a bBar chart.

That's a Clustered Horizontal Cylinder. Without beating this to death here, here's a Clustered Horizontal Cone. And I guess the best way to describe clustered is that it's not stacked. There's a Clustered Cylinder and a Clustered Cone and there's a Clustered Pyramid in there as well. So you will see that term a lot. And the chart to the right here is a clustered column chart, the one right here. Possibly we could change this, although let me close this instead of actually changing it. Point to the chart below the data here. This is a stacked column chart.

And this type has its advantage in that at a glance we can see grand totals. And it is slightly cleaner looking, and when you're dealing with lots of data, sometimes this simplifies the view. What isn't so good with these is when you're trying to compare colors across different months. Let me zoom in on this a little bit so we can see it better. Comparing the greens for example, the two Asia totals here, certainly because of the pop-ups we can see those are identical. But how about when you're trying to compare February over here and then June over here? A little bit tricky.

And the ones we're going to read most easily are the ones that start at the bottom. But again, this is a common chart style. It's called stacked. And once again, we may not be trying to change this, but as we point back to the Design tab and go to Change Chart Type, recognize that this is a stacked column and we also have the stacked cylinders, pyramids, and cones, and of course, as you would expect by now, we have these with bar charts and some of the other options here as well, including area and a few more.

So you'll see that term. Now a third choice here, not nearly as popular as those two, but is depicted here to the right. Let me zoom back just a little bit here so we can see this better. The chart right here below looks initially as if it's stacked, but you see percents down the side. And these kinds of charts are trying to do what a pie chart does. Pie chart can only handle one series, but this is called 100% stacked. And so when we look at the left column here, we're saying in effect these four totals add up to 100%, and they do.

But for February we've got a different set of totals, but of course, they add up to 100%. And here you can see something very misleading. If you were glancing at these and not absorbing what the chart really means, you would say Asia had a relatively high total in January, but not so high in February. Well, yes and no. Asia for January is 110, but it is a bigger portion of the total. Asia for February is 120. It's a smaller portion of the total, because sales did go up in February.

We can go over and see the data. But January data adds up to 290. We see that over in cell B10. February data adds up to 390. So on these kinds of charts, and you will be able to and we'll show you how to add additional labeling, the idea here, each column here represents 100% and we're getting a relative breakout of the pieces here. So this is called 100% Stacked and again, if we go to the Design tab and Change Chart Type, and even though we don't really want to change it again, we'll begin to see this term again.

100% stacked and we'll see it here and there and of course with bar charts and with area charts and some other choices as well. So those terms, clustered, we don't see it on area chart. But stacked, 100% stacked, and then clustered on our bar and column charts. Terms we'll see a lot as we work with various Excel charts.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010: Charts in Depth
Excel 2010: Charts in Depth

55 video lessons · 19713 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 20m 16s
    1. Identifying chart elements like plot area, chart area, gridlines, and legends
      5m 40s
    2. Selecting the right chart type
      6m 44s
    3. Understanding chart terminology
      4m 52s
    4. Understanding the Ribbon and the Design, Layout, and Format tabs
      3m 0s
  3. 16m 3s
    1. Selecting data to display as a chart
      4m 15s
    2. Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
      2m 29s
    3. Creating charts with standard menu commands
      1m 17s
    4. Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments
      2m 22s
    5. Creating graphic-in-cell charts with sparklines
      5m 40s
  4. 24m 26s
    1. Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
      3m 0s
    2. Setting a default chart type and creating a template
      3m 19s
    3. Dealing with empty and hidden cells
      5m 45s
    4. Choosing a chart layout
      3m 22s
    5. Choosing a chart style from 48 colorful variations
      2m 35s
    6. Changing the location of a chart
      2m 19s
    7. Moving and resizing a chart
      4m 6s
  5. 9m 49s
    1. Using pictures as chart elements
      3m 50s
    2. Adding shapes and arrows
      2m 58s
    3. Adding floating text and text boxes
      3m 1s
  6. 29m 53s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing chart titles
      2m 45s
    2. Adding horizontal and vertical titles
      3m 25s
    3. Linking titles to content
      1m 52s
    4. Showing numbers of different scales
      4m 19s
    5. Specifying the position of tick marks and axis labels
      3m 49s
    6. Changing the numeric format on labels
      3m 32s
    7. Adding, editing, and removing legends
      2m 17s
    8. Adding and editing data labels
      5m 42s
    9. Showing the source of a chart's data
      2m 12s
  7. 12m 7s
    1. Modifying axis scaling
      7m 55s
    2. Working with gridlines
      4m 12s
  8. 13m 57s
    1. Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
      6m 13s
    2. Adding drop lines
      1m 11s
    3. Adding high-low lines and up-down bars
      1m 59s
    4. Adding error bars
      4m 34s
  9. 12m 3s
    1. Selecting shape fill and outline
      4m 28s
    2. Adding shape effects
      5m 34s
    3. Applying WordArt styles
      2m 1s
  10. 16m 12s
    1. Formatting lines and borders
      3m 45s
    2. Filling an area with a color gradient
      3m 37s
    3. Specifying line style, color, and weight
      2m 57s
    4. Working with chart text
      2m 47s
    5. Changing the rotation of chart text
      3m 6s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Using column and bar charts
      9m 12s
    2. Using line charts
      5m 25s
    3. Using pie charts
      6m 30s
    4. Using area, stock, and XY charts
      8m 57s
    5. Using doughnut, bubble, and radar charts
      9m 49s
  12. 10m 0s
    1. Pasting new data into a chart
      2m 34s
    2. Creating charts from multiple data sources
      3m 34s
    3. Adding new data using a table
      3m 52s
  13. 11m 29s
    1. Printing charts
      6m 41s
    2. Copying and linking charts with Word and PowerPoint
      4m 48s
  14. 44s
    1. Next steps
      44s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Excel 2010: Charts in Depth.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.