Making Charts (Graphs) in Excel
When should you use a chart?
Use a chart whenever you want to visualize your data, making it clear and simple to comprehend. Sometimes one glimpse at a chart can save a lot of effort of figuring out the meaning of your data.
Last things to verify before creating a chart:Make sure your data is organized in the correct layout:
- No spaces or empty rows: It should have a table layout, with no spaces between rows and columns, and no spaces or empty rows between the headers and the rest of the table.
- Include the headers: When you select the chart’s data table, contain the headers inside the selection.
Types of charts:
You can choose between many types of charts, the most popular are Column, Line and Pie.
The chart’s elements:
You can add three types of titles to the chart: a general title to the whole chart, and specific titles to the X-axis (the horizontal axis) and the Y-Axis (the vertical).
The legend (which represents the meaning of the columns or lines) can be placed in any desired location around the chart, and can also be hidden.
You can add small numbers to the columns, to show their exact values.
You can set the Y-axis scale, and control the range of values depicted on it.
For example, on a chart comparing a $33,000 car with a $34,000 car, the difference will be much more salient if the Y-axis range is between $30,000 - $35,000 than that of a range of $0 – $35,000.
Formatting the chart’s elements (fonts, colors, backgrounds etc.):
Every element in the chart (titles, legend, columns etc) can be formatted as if it was a simple graphic object. All texts and numbers can be simply right-clicked and formatted with the mini-toolbar.