Chapter 6. Create Charts

Excel gives you tools for quickly generating a chart, or visual representation, of the numbers in your worksheet. Charts clarify patterns that can get lost in columns of numbers and formulas, and they make your data more accessible to people who are not familiar with or do not want to delve into the details.

Charts can make a greater impression than rows and columns of numbers because the mind perceives, processes, and recalls visual information more quickly than textual or numerical information. In addition, shapes and colors have real impact. This effectiveness, however, can be a liability when charts emphasize unimportant or misleading patterns. This chapter helps you become comfortable with the Excel charting tools, so you can communicate your content as effectively as possible.

In this chapter, you learn how to generate a chart quickly. You then learn to add chart details, change the chart type, and remove data series. One task shows you how to create a trendline. A trendline visually summarizes the direction and magnitude of change over time.

Anyone who uses Excel to manage and analyze experimental data can benefit from the section in this chapter on error bars. Several tasks provide insight into specific types of charts. For example, you can use histograms to show frequencies.

Get Excel® 2007: Top 100 Simplified® Tips & Tricks now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.