Excel > Excel 2007 Intermediate > Charts

Creating a Chart

You can create many different types of chart in Excel to create the ideal visual representation of your data. The most common chart types in Excel include:

  • Column chart - used to compare different values side by side. Each value is represented by a column. Multiple data series are identified by different coloured columns.
  • Line chart - used to illustrate trends over time. Each value is plotted as a point and connected by a line through each point.
  • Pie chart - used for showing values as a percentage of a whole. Each value is represented by a different coloured segment of the pie.
  • Bar chart - like column charts but are displayed horizontally. Also used to compare vales side by side.
  • Area chart - like line charts except that the area beneath the line connecting the points is filled by a colour.
  • Scatter chart - used to plot a cluster of values. Multiple items can be plotted by using different coloured points.

There are a variety of other charts including Bubble, Doughnut and combination charts that all display data in a different manner. For now we will concentrate on creating one of the more common charts.

To create a chart:

  1. Select the range containing the values and labels that you wish to chart
  2. Select a chart range

  3. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
  4. The Charts group provides several different types of chart to choose from. Each chart also has several sub types to choose from
  5. The Chart group on the ribbon

  6. Click the chart type that you want and select a chart from the list
  7. Select a chart from the list

The chart is displayed on the worksheet and three new Chart Tools tabs (Design, Layout and Format) appear on the Ribbon.

Excel chart inserted

These tabs will be used to format and modify the chart.

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