Creating Compelling Charts in Microsoft Excel 2010

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In versions of Microsoft Office before Microsoft Office 2007, Microsoft Graph was used for creating charts, but in Microsoft Office 2007 and Microsoft Office 2010, Microsoft Excel is used for embedding and displaying charts.

To insert a chart from within Microsoft Excel:

  • Select the data and labels from which you wish to create your chart.Click Insert. In the Charts group, click a chart button, then click on your required type.
  • Alternatively, click the Charts Dialog Box Launcher at the bottom right of the group, and the Insert Chart dialog box will be displayed.
  • Click on a category in the left pane, click a chart, then click OK. A chart will appear embedded in the worksheet.

Note The easiest way to create a default column chart on a new worksheet is still to select the data and labels, then press the F11 key.

Changing Chart Location

To change the location: Click the Chart Tools Design tab.In the Location group, click Move Chart. To send the chart to a new sheet on its own, select New Sheet, or to send the chart to a different worksheet, select Object in and find the relevant sheet from the dropdown.

Changing chart type

To change type:
Select the chart whose design you want to change.Click the Chart Tools Design tab.In the Type group, click Change Chart Type.Select your required chart type.Click OK.

Changing chart layout

To change layout:
Select the chart whose layout you want to change.Click the Chart Tools Design tab.In the Chart Layouts group, select a layout or click the scroll up or down arrow to see further layouts, or click the More list arrow, then click your required layout.

Changing chart style

To change style:
Select the chart whose layout you want to change.Click the Chart Tools Design tab.In the Chart Styles group, select a style or click the scroll up or down arrow to see further styles, or click the More list arrow, then click your required style.To send the chart to a new chart sheet, select New Sheet, or to send the chart to a different worksheet, select Object in and find the relevant sheet from the dropdown.

Changing chart titles

Select the chart whose title you want to change.Click the Chart Tools Layout tab.In the Labels group, click Chart Title.Select one of:
None – This hides the title Centered Overlay Title – Inserts a title on the chart without resizing it Above Chart – Positions the title at the top of the chart and resizes it. More Title Options – Sets custom chart options.
Double-click the text box, then type in the required title. Changing chart legend
Select the chart whose legend you want to change.Click the Chart Tools Layout tab.In the Labels group, click Legend.Choose from the available options as to how you want your legend to be displayed.

Editing chart data

If you change data that is used, the chart will automatically be updated.
To add data to an existing chart:

  • Select the chart to which data is to be added.
  • Click the Chart Tools Design tab, then in the Data group, click Select Data.
  • The Select Data Source dialog box will be displayed.To change the chart data, click the Collapse button at the right of the Chart Data Range box.
  • To switch rows to columns and columns to rows, click Switch Row/Column.
  • To add a new data series, click Add. Type in the name of the series in the Series Name box, or select the series name in the worksheet. In the Series values box, type in the range containing the values for the new series, or select the range in the worksheet. Click OK.
  • To edit an existing data range, click Edit under Legend Entries (Series). Edit data as required. Click OK.To remove a data series, click on the series name, then click Remove.
  • To reorder the data series on the chart, select the series to be moved, then click the Move Up or Move Down buttons to move to the required position.

Dragging data to a chart

If the chart is embedded, data can be also added to it by dragging the sizing handles of source data ranges. The data needs to be in cells that are adjacent to the existing worksheet data.

Click on the chart so that the sizing handles around the source data on the worksheet is displayed.To add new categories and data series to the chart, drag a blue sizing handle to include the new data and labels in the rectangle.

If you only want to add a data series, drag a green sizing handle to include the relevant data and labels into the rectangle.If you want to add categories and data points, drag a purple sizing handle to include the new data and categories to the rectangle.

Copying data to a chart from a microsoft excel worksheet

To copy data to an existing chart:

  • Select the worksheet data to be added to the chart.
  • On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy.Click on the chart.
  • On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Paste.
  • Alternatively, if you need to specify exactly how the data should be copied to the chart, click the Paste button dropdown arrow and select Paste Special.
  • Select your required options, then click OK.

Removing chart data

  • Assuming that your calculation options are set to automatic, if data is deleted from your worksheet, it will also be removed from your chart.
  • To remove a data series from a chart without affecting the source data:
  • Click in the chart.Select the data series to be removed by clicking on it within the chart.
  • Press the Delete key.

Creating charts in Word and PowerPoint

To create a chart in Word or PowerPoint:

  • On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Chart.Select the required chart type from the Insert Chart dialog box, then click OK.
  • The applications will tile, with Excel being opened at one side showing sample data, and a sample chart is inserted into Word/ PowerPoint.
  • Type in your required data, overwriting the sample data. If you want to use data from a Word table you will need to copy the table to Excel, again overwriting the sample data.
  • The chart will be created. Close Excel and the application will return to full size with the Excel spreadsheet embedded within them.
  • Note If you are working in compatibility mode, your chart will be created as it was in earlier versions of Microsoft Office.

Copying an Microsoft Excel chart into Word/ PowerPoint

  • To copy a chart from Excel and paste it into Word/PowerPoint, select it within Excel, then from the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy (or press Ctrl + C).
  • In Word/PowerPoint, place the insertion point where you want it to be pasted, then from the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Paste dropdown.
  • You will see various Paste Options allowing you to select how the chart should be pasted into your document.
  • If you want the chart to be linked to your Microsoft Excel data set, so that if the Excel data changes, the chart also changes, ensure that one of the Link options is chosen.
  • If you want to paste as a picture, so you can easily resize it, etc, but will not be able to edit the data, click Picture (the last of the five options shown here.).
  • To paste in its Microsoft Excel format, click Keep Source Formatting & Embed Workbook.
  • To paste and format it using the document theme applied to the document, click Use Destination Theme & Embed Workbook.

Note: If you copy a chart to a document that is open in compatibility mode into Word, these options are not available and it will be pasted as a static picture.