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Numbers offers intuitive organization features, allowing users to focus more on analysis and presentation. In Numbers '09 Essential Training, David Rivers explores the important features of this spreadsheet application and introduces the new tools for formula development and charting. He walks through the new functionality of charts, tables, and templates, and shows how to make spreadsheets effective and eye-catching. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you create a chart in Numbers '09, default formatting is applied to the chart type you select. Of course, you can change this formatting to suit your own needs. Let's work with our Distance Comparison chart in our Running Club Data spreadsheet. Click once to select it first. Now, we can adjust general formatting for the entire chart and one option is to use the Format Bar. For example, you will find the Chart Options button. Click this button to view currently selected options such as the Legend, which appears across the bottom of our chart but we can also turn on or off other options like Hidden Data or in this case, let's click Show Title. This displays the title of our chart across the top.
We also have buttons for adjusting the X and Y axes. Click the X Axis button and here you'll see check marks next to certain options. If we want a border around our chart, we can select Show Chart Borders. Let's click the Y-axis button and this is ideal for showing tick marks in gridlines. For example, if we want to show tick marks centered on our Y-axis, we can choose Major Tick Marks Centered. Now, we see those tick marks, let's go back to the Y-axis button and also Show Minor Gridlines. We see the major gridlines currently, when you select Show Minor Gridlines, additional lines are added to help us line up the data.
On the far right side of the Format Bar, you'll find the Chart Colors button. Click this button to open up the Chart Colors window, and now we can choose from different categories using the first button. We have 3D Texture Fills, ideal for working with 3D charts. We also have 2D options with Image Fills and Color Fills. Let's make sure 2D Image Fills is selected, and now click the second button to choose a type. Let's try Fun. The colors to be used are displayed down below. If you like those, click Apply All and they are applied to the chart. Now let's close our Chart Colors window.
Now, we can also access additional formatting options from the Chart Inspector. With our chart still selected, click the Inspector button and make sure that Chart Inspector is selected. Here we have three categories: Chart, Axis, and Series. With the Chart button selected, you'll see current options currently turned on such as Show Title in Legend. Also down below, we can adjust the Gap between the bars in our chart, as well as the Gap between the sets of bars. Let's pump up the Gap between bars from 10% to 20%, and let's increase the space between our sets by clicking the Up Arrow to change it to 120%.
Notice the graph or chart itself does not increase in size, but the bars themselves decrease to create that extra space. Let's add a shadow as well to each of the elements. Let's choose Individual to add shadows to each individual element as opposed to the entire group. A very slight shadow is applied adding a nice effect. Now, let's click the Axis button to take a look at some of the axis options. These are the same options we saw from the Format bar. We can now adjust our Y Axis and X Axis options from here as well. If we wanted to for example, show labels every one or two categories. We could choose 2, for example. Notice now that we are skipping every second month in our X Axis.
Also when we click these buttons, we see the same options. Maybe the tick marks don't make sense for this particular chart, so we'll turn off Major Tick Marks Centered by selecting it. Now, let's move to Series. Here's where we get to work with the individual series in our chart. Each bar and the line represent a separate series. Let's select a line across the top. Notice the data selected is our Goal column. So these values being displayed in this chart are for the goals. Now, any changes we make will affect this series.
For example, we can change the Data Symbol from the Circle to something different. Let's choose the Square. Also, we may want to display values as opposed to lining them up with the Y Axis. Click the Value Labels check box and now we can choose where to display those labels. Centered is fine, but let's display them above our actual line. They may be difficult to see right now because of their coloring. So let's select any label and all the labels are selected, and now let's change their color from the Format Bar.
We'll go to the Fill button, which currently displays White, and choose Black. Now, they are very easy to read. When you are done with the Chart Inspector, close it up and click anywhere on the Canvas to deselect the chart to view the end results. So although Numbers does a nice job of formatting your charts for you when you create them, you can always make changes from the Format Bar or from the Chart Inspector to add that personal touch.
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