Charts provide a visual representation of data by graphically conveying a message or a trend. Excel provides tools that allow users to create different kinds of charts. Charts are dynamic, which means that if the data changes in the worksheet, then the chart is updated automatically to reflect those changes. A chart can be embedded in the same worksheet or displayed in a separate worksheet. In addition, you can always change the formatting, the chart type, or add and modify the chart data.
There are several different types of charts. Charts can:
- Compare items. A chart can compare sales of several different items. An example of this type of chart would be a bar or column chart.
- Compare data over time. A chart can display fluctuating stock prices over the course of a month. An example of this type of chart would be a line chart.
- Make relative comparisons. A chart can display relative percentages of a whole, such as sales. An example of this type of chart would be a pie chart.
NOTE: For more information on charts, consider taking the workshop: Excel 2016: Charts & Graphics.
Creating a Simple Pie Chart
We will focus on a pie chart that will show the relative comparisons of sales on items that have been sold. Creating a chart is as easy as selecting the cells and choosing a chart type.
A selection of rows or columns of numbers that are plotted in a chart is called a data series. A characteristic of a pie chart is that it charts one series of data. First, we will select the item names and their respective sales figures.
Step1. To switch to the Insert tab,
Click the Insert tab
Step2. To select the cells in column B for the chart,
Press & Drag cells B3:B9
Step3. To select a different range of cells, press:
Control key+Press & Drag cells G3:G9
NOTE: When you press and hold down the control key, you can select non-adjacent columns. This works for individual cells, ranges of cells, and entire rows or columns.
NOTE for MacOS Users: Use Command key+Press & Drag to achieve the same selection results.
Step4. To choose a chart type, in the Charts group,
Step5. To select the pie chart, in the left pane,
Double-Click the Pie chart
Step6. To move the chart below the data, if necessary,
Point to the blank chart area,
Press & Drag the chart below the data
Step7. To view different chart layouts, on the Ribbon, in the Chart Styles group,
Step8. To choose a specific layout,
Point to various layouts, Clickany layout
NOTE: You can also Click the Chart Styles button to the right of the chart to select a different layout.
NOTE for MacOS Users: To see the various layouts, Click the black triangle button below the chart designs on the Ribbon.
Adding a Chart Title
Depending on the type of chart, a chart may have a chart title, a horizontal axis title, and a vertical axis title. However, a pie chart would not have axes titles because it has no axes.
We can replace the default text for any title placeholder.
Step1. To select the chart title placeholder,
Click the chart title placeholder
Step2. To replace the title text, type:
Sales by Category
Step3. To save this workbook, on the Quick Access Toolbar,