Excel 2010 Introduction – Lesson 9 – Creating Charts

Lesson Nine: Creating Charts

Charts provide a visual way of relating information. This module will explain how to insert a chart. You’ll learn about the chart tools tab and gain an overview of the parts of a chart. You’ll learn how to change the chart style, as well as how to resize and move a chart.

Inserting a Chart

You can create a visual representation of your data by inserting a chart. It’s as simple as selecting the data you want to represent and then selecting the type of chart you want to use.

Use the following procedure to insert a chart.

  1. Select the cells, including the labels to include in the chart.

  1. Select the Insert tab from the Ribbon.
  2. Select the type of chart you would like to use.

Excel displays the chart.

Overview of the Chart Tools Tab

You may have noticed the Chart Tools tabs that appear when you inserted your chart. These contextual tabs are used throughout Office 2010. The appropriate tab appears, depending on which type of object you are using.

Tools tabs for working with charts

Understanding the Parts of a Chart

the parts of a standard chart.

  • The Chart area includes all other parts of the chart that appear inside the chart window.
  • A data marker represents a single value in the worksheet. Depending on the type of chart, this may be a bar, a pie slice, or another shape or pattern.
  • A group of related values make up the chart data series. Charts usually have more than one data series, except pie charts, which only represents one data series.
  • An axis is a reference line for plotting data. A two-dimensional chart has an X-axis and a y-axis. For many charts, the label is on the X-axis and the values are on the y-axis. Three dimensional charts also have a Z-axis. A pie chart does not have an axis of any type.
  • A tick mark intersects an axis as a small line. It may have a label and can indicate a category, scale, or chart data series.
  • The Plot area includes all axes and data point markers.
  • Gridlines can make it easier to view data values by extending tick marks across the whole plot area.
  • You can add chart text to include a label or title. The chart text can be attached to the chart or axis, which cannot be moved independently of the chart. Unattached text is a text box simply shown with the chart.
  • The legend defines the patterns, colors, or symbols used in the data markers.

Changing the Chart Style

The Chart Style gallery includes a number of predefined formats to enhance the look of your chart. You can easily select a new style that changes the color and style of the chart elements.

Use the following procedure to select a new chart style.

  1. Select the chart you want to format.
  2. Select the Chart Tools Design tab.
  3. Select the arrow in the Chart Styles area.

Select the desired chart style.

Resizing and Moving the Chart

Picture handles appear around the chart when you select it. These handles help when resizing the chart manually. Make sure these handles are present when you need to move a chart.

Use the following procedure to resize a chart.

  1. Click on the chart to select it. Notice the border around the chart. Each corner has three small dots.
  2. Select one of the corners and drag the picture. Notice the cursor changes to a diagonal line with arrows at both ends. You can make it smaller or bigger, depending on which direction you drag.

  1. Release the mouse when the chart is the desired size. Notice that Excel may rearrange the graphic elements for the best look and fit.

Use the following procedure to move the chart to a new worksheet in the workbook.

  1. Select the chart.
  2. Select the Chart Tools Design tab.
  3. Select the Move Chart tool.

Excel displays the Move Chart dialog box.

  1. Select New Sheet.
  2. Give the new worksheet a new name, if desired.
  3. Select OK.

Excel creates a new worksheet in the workbook (notice the tabs at the bottom). The chart has also been resized to fill the worksheet.

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