Creating Charts

Welcome to


Excel XP (2002)


Creating Charts

Selecting the Chart Toolbar


Before we can begin making charts, we will need the chart toolbar. The chart toolbar looks like this.




If it is not at the top of your screen, click View and then Toolbars and then click Chart.

























The toolbar will then appear at the top of the screen, or maybe floating. A floating toolbar can be dragged to the top to make it stick.


























Column Bar Charts


In my example I am going to create a Column Bar Chart of the Payment To data on the X axis (horizontal) and Yearly Amount data on the Y axis (vertical).


Because our columns of data are not next to each other, we will have to use the CTRL key to select all the data.


First, select all the data for Payment To including the header.

























Now hold down the CRTL key and select the Yearly Amount data.

























Now click on the drop down arrow next to Chart Type icon in the toolbar, and select Column Chart.

























You will now have your Column Bar Chart on the page.

























By clicking on the white space on the chart you can drag the chart to a better position.


























Changing the Bar Colours


You can change the colours of the bars to anything that suites you, including adding shading and shadows.


First double click on the bars to open the Format Data Series window.






















On the Patterns tab, under the Area section, you can select a colour for your bars. The Sample will show how your bar will look. You can also change the borders of the bar here. Automatic will normally give a basic black line around the bar. None will remove any border, and Custom allows you to select the border Style (whether is a solid line or dotted), Color (Automatic is normally black) and Weight (how thick the border is).


There is also a tick box for Shadow. Ticking this box will add a shadow to the bar if you have selected Automatic or Custom borders.


I have selected red for the Area, Automatic border and ticked the Shadow box to add a shadow to the bar.






















Click OK once you have made your selections.


Your chart will refresh with the changes.

























Another part of the Area section is the Fill Effects button. The Fill Effects button will allow you to changes the bar colours with shadings and textures. Clicking this button will bring up a new menu.
























The Gradients tab will allow you to change the shading; Texture adds a texture effect to the bar, and Pattern adds a line or dotted effect. The Picture tab allows you to add your own picture to the bar.


You are able to change colours, make the bar shade from one colour to another, even make the shading from different angles. Have a play with this as there is way to may combinations to show here. Click OK to confirm any changes you make, or cancel to exit the window.




Changing the Small Chart Background


To see the Format Plot Area window which you will need to change the chart background, double click on the background area of the chart. This is the area inside the X and Y axis.


You will then see the Format Plot Area window.





















This is the same as the Pattern tab we used for changing the bar colours and can be used exactly the same. I am going to change the background to blue.


I have selected the blue colour and then clicked OK to confirm my selection.





















My chart now looks like this.


























Changing the Whole Chart Background


The whole background of the chart can also be changes to help it stand out on the page. Double click on the white space on your chart to see the Format Chart Area window.





















The Pattern tab is the same as we used for the chart and bar changes, and can be used in the same way. I am going to select a light blue and click OK to confirm my changes.





















My chart now looks like this.


























Changing the Legend Background


You will notice when you changed the background colour, the legend remained white. This is because it has its own background colour and needs to be changed separate to the rest of the background colour.


Double click on the white space around the Legend to see the Format Legend window.





















The Patterns tab has the normal layout for changing the colours. I am going to select a slightly darker blue for the background on the legend, then select OK to confirm the change.





















My chart now looks like this.


























Chart Toolbar Options


There are a number of options on the toolbar that can be used to customise the look of your graph. To activate the options, you need to click on the graph first.





To turn the legend off, click this icon, click it again to add the legend back to the chart.


























Data Table


This option adds the data figures to the chart.


























By Row


This icon changes the graph so that what was the Legend title becomes the X axis title, and the Legend shows the colour code for each of the Payments To.


























By Column


This is the view you had originally where the legend has the column title, and the Payment To is shown on the axis.


























Changing the Location of the Chart


As we can see the chart is on the same page as our data. You can move this chart to another sheet, or make a chart sheet.


One of the easiest ways to move the chart is to copy and paste the chart to a new sheet. To do this right click on the chart and select Copy.

























Now select the sheet you want to put the chart onto. I am going to put this onto Sheet3. Select Sheet3.

























Right click on a cell where you want the chart to be out, and select Paste.

























Your chart will then be put onto the new sheet. This option has the advantage of being able to create one sheet with a lot of charts on it.

























The alternative method is to create a Chart sheet for this chart. To do this right click on the chart and select Location.

























In the new window, select As new sheet: You can also change the name of the new sheet, the default name is Chart1. Click OK when you have made your selection.












You will now see your chart on a new sheet.





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