Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting a default chart type and creating a template, part of Excel 2007: Charts in Depth.
If the default clustered column chart, like the one we're seeing here on the screen to the right of the data, is not the kind of chart you're likely to need most often, you can change the default chart type to another type. Suppose after working with charting for a while, you begin to recognize that the chart type like we see below the data here--this is a stacked bar chart-- suppose, more often than not, this is a kind of chart you need. Anytime you press Alt+F1 on selected data, or the F11 key, you will get a chart instantly and it'll be the default type. But if it's not this type, you have to change it every time.
So let's make this be the default type, because this is the one, for example, that you have decide this is the chart you'd like to see more often than not. So we've got it selected. On the Design tab, change Chart type. Now we're really not trying to change it right now, so that it might seem little strange. We come into the dialog box here, and that type of chart is selected. We'll simply click below here, set as Default Chart. Click OK. So what does that mean? From now on, when we select data--and it certainly doesn't have to be this data, or the same amount of data. Maybe I just want to show this data right here.
I'm going to press Alt+F1. Instead of this being a clustered column chart, it's going to be a stacked bar chart as I press Alt+F1, because that's the default that I changed it to, and from now on, that's the way it's going to be. Now similarly, after working with charts, you might also decide that certain chart types, and maybe it's a clustered column chart type with certain design features, is something that you'd like to have handy and available. So on this particular chart here, I'm going to change the style of it to look like this. I'm going to give it a different background color maybe with a format button, make a quick change here, maybe we make an interchange, and so on, because I just love the color combination, it's ideal, and I want to have this at my fingertips at different times.
So with this in place, I'll click the Design tab and the second button from the left, Save As Template. And I might have others out there already, so maybe I'll call this BlueStacked, something like that, some way for me to remember it. I can get more specific called Background, Plot Area, whatever. I'm just going to call it BlueStackedbar, and Enter. Now in the future, anytime I'm either creating a chart from scratch--say over here with this data, I want to create a chart using the Insert tab > Other Charts > All ChartTypes, I see templates listed here.
I have got three or four of them already perhaps. Do I want this one? Do I want that one? And I see the names that presumably are helping me remember which one I want, say this one here. I will click it, and OK, and there it is; one of my favorite chart types is available. And when working with existing charts, like this one right here, I might want to change that to one of my favorites. So from here, Change Chart Type, choice at the top, Templates. Maybe I'll choose this one, BlueBackgroundBar. Make it a little bit different, maybe this one here, GoldBackgroundStackedBar, another one I created a while ago. Double-click it.
There we go, and that resurrects another favorite. So you get quite a few of these set up. So we can change the default chart type in Excel so that every time we use Alt+F1 or F11 to create a chart it will be of that type. The example we saw previously was a bar chart, and we can save our own favorite charts that have certain look and style features, and we can get to them at any time, either when we create new charts or when we want to alter existing charts.
- 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