Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Adding shapes and arrows , part of Excel 2007: Charts in Depth.
To accentuate a certain portion of a chart, or to draw attention or shift the focus to a particular chart element, you can put in a special label. You can add an arrow. You can add symbols to provide emphasis or to do what's called chart annotation. In the bar chart to the right of the data here, the April data for Europe is substantially larger than any other entry for that particular region. And you might just want to draw additional attention to it, although it certainly draws a lot of attention to itself already. Let's put an arrow, for example, pointing to this particular bar.
So having selected this chart, on the Layout tab, you do see a choice called Shapes. You wouldn't exactly suspect that an arrow is found there too, but there are lots of choices here, including, for example, a simple arrow right here. Click this. Draw it anywhere we want. You start from the tail of the arrow, point it toward wherever you want, and of course, we can move either end if we don't like that positioning, but that's easy to get to of course that way. Notice that there is a new tab in the Ribbon. We're temporarily looking at Drawing Tools > Format tab, and we can certainly make some changes to this arrow here under Shape Effects, Shape Outline, that sort of thing, and quite a few styles here, as if we don't have enough to do already, but perhaps you'll like that idea.
And we can put in additional arrows like that. Another kind of arrow, or a different kind of arrow that you might want to put in instead of this, is on the Layout tab, under Shapes, a thick arrow. Here's one here, and there's quite a few choices here, quite a few different designs. We'll just click and drag an arrow. And that may not be pointing the way we want it to, but the green dot on top allows us to rotate this. Minor point here, if you hold down the Shift key, you can only rotate this in 15-degree increments.
That may or may not be necessary, but that could be helpful. We're pointing it in the right direction but haven't got it lined up yet. Drag one of the borders. Maybe put it right there. The advantage to this approach could be we could actually add text to it if you happen to right-click on this and you have to right-click on the object. And then Edit Text, now there's no text there, but there could be. Let's Edit Text, and let's put in 'Great job'. And the text may not be looking the way you want it to just yet, so let's press Enter here.
And then right-click again this time on the blue arrow and choose Format Shape. And this time we will have some choice here with regard to the actual text box. Text layout, Vertical alignment, Text direction. It's Horizontal. Let's make it be this way. And you see what's happening there. You might, as I'm doing here, play with this different ways. Stacked is not the choice I think most of us would want. How about this one? We're getting there. We can begin to see what's happening with this. That may take some working, kicking around back and forth to get exactly what you want.
Also, if you happened to click there, too, you could go to the Home tab, make it be bold. Some of those choices work as well, and italic. And you can change the color of the font and on and on and on, if you wish. So you can add text that way as well. Use that kind of an arrow as opposed to the other kind. So there are lots of choices we can use here using arrows, and we can add any of those other shapes that might be appropriate, too. So once again, back on the Layout tab, we can go to Shapes, and any of these other choices that might make sense to you. And quite a few, Stars and Banners that sort of the thing, things that you might be familiar with in your use of PowerPoint and/or Microsoft Word.
- Identifying the plot area, chart area, gridlines, legends, and more
- Selecting the right chart type
- Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
- Choosing a layout
- Dealing with empty and hidden cells
- Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
- Moving and resizing a chart
- Inserting pictures and shapes
- Adding labels to a chart
- Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
- Changing a chart's data source
- Printing charts