Chapter 10. Chart

The Chart menu provides options that allow you to modify the settings for an existing chart. This menu can only be used with an existing chart; you cannot create a new chart with it. To create a new chart you must select Insert Chart. In fact, you can only see this menu when you have a chart selected within a worksheet or on a chart sheet. When the Chart menu displays it temporarily replaces the Data menu.

If you have a chart selected, you can change the chart type, modify the source for the data used to create the chart, or just change the chart options such as whether to include axes titles. This menu also provides the ability to create custom chart types by selecting the Chart Chart Type option.

So what type of chart should I create? It doesn’t take long to become totally overwhelmed by the vast number of chart types available within Excel; you can even create your own custom chart types. Once you select the type of chart you want to create, you have the option of selecting from several sub-types. So which one should you use? Amazingly enough, with all the types of charts available, most people only use Column, Line, Pie, Scatter, and Area charts. Make sure you try some of the less commonly used chart types; it is not always what you say, but how you say it.

Excel divides the chart types into two basic but broad categories: Standard Types and Custom Types. The category names actually have very little significance. The Standard Types tab contains 14 different ...

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