Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Changing a chart's type, part of Excel for Mac 2011: Charts in Depth.
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- One feature associated with charts that you're likely to use often, is the ability to change the type of a chart. In this worksheet called YearData, we've got a chart to the right. I'm going to click on it and I'm not quite sure whether this column chart is the best chart type here, so let's change the chart type. We can do this easily from the "Charts" tab in the ribbon, in the group called "Change Chart Type," we see the major types here. Would this chart look better if it were a bar chart? Here's "Bar," I'll try the "Clustered Bar" option.
As I look at it I'm thinking, that's probably not as good. On the other hand I could drag its lower right hand corner, make it taller possibly, that could be better. Actually I'm not sold on that, I don't think it's so good. So I'll change my mind. Now it's not to say that you use this feature because you're unsure and you're always changing your mind, but it certainly is easy to make the change. Is a line chart going to be better? Let's go to "Line" here. If you do use "Line," I recommend the fourth option, for starters, "Marked Line." How's that look? Well, it could look better, possibly, if it's wider.
If I'm trying to accentuate a trend then I'll use that. I think that's better than column for bringing out the trend. Also for accentuating the dip here. It's not always clear which type is going to be best, although with certain data that you've used often, you have a clear favorite. Why not switch it, if it's not the type you want? Remember, if you do select data and press F11 to create a chart quickly, you'll get a chart on the new sheet, it will automatically be a clustered column chart, not always the best chart, so you can change it easily. And in this worksheet as I scroll downward here, I'm looking at this chart here and I'm thinking, well, that's okay, but maybe I should change it.
Maybe a vertically oriented chart is easier to read. So instead of a bar chart, I'll make it be a column chart. I'll keep it stacked, as this bar chart is, and I look at it that way and I'm thinking, well, maybe that is a better choice. Although it's in backward order, something strange about that. Chart to the right, that's a line chart, and that's been serving me okay, but again, emphasizing how easy it is to switch, we'll simply try it as a column chart. Well, that's pretty good too. But I don't care for it, Command Z.
Keep in mind too, that as you make these changes, sometimes you reject it immediately, Command Z is really handy, Undo. You can also get to this by way of the Undo button here, which is in the standard tool bar. So, no hesitation here in changing the chart type. Every time you see a chart, consider the possibility. Another chart type could be better. And again, over time you'll have your own favorites. Perhaps over time you'll use the feature less often, but it's so easy to change the chart type by using the various buttons available in the "Change Chart Type" group found on the "Charts" tab in the ribbon.
- Creating charts with one click
- Selecting the right chart types
- Changing chart type or source data
- Choosing a chart layout and style
- Saving charts as templates
- Editing titles, legends, and labels
- Adding a data table
- Analyzing data with trendlines
- Formatting the chart
- Customizing different chart types
- Creating Gantt and frequency charts
- Creating in-cell charts
- Moving charts