Chapter 20: Learning Advanced Charting

In This Chapter

Understanding chart customization

Changing basic chart elements

Working with data series

Discovering some chart-making tricks

Excel makes creating a basic chart very easy. Select your data, choose a chart type, and you're finished. You may take a few extra seconds and select one of the prebuilt chart styles and maybe even select one of the chart layouts. But if your goal is to create the most effective chart possible, you probably want to take advantage of the additional customization techniques available in Excel.

Customizing a chart involves changing its appearance, as well as possibly adding new elements to it. These changes can be purely cosmetic (such as changing colors, modifying line widths, or adding a shadow) or quite substantial (say, changing the axis scales or adding a second value axis). Chart elements that you might add include such features as a data table, a trend line, or error bars.

The preceding chapter introduced charting in Excel and described how to create basic charts. This chapter takes the topic to the next level. You learn how to customize your charts to the maximum so that they look exactly as you want. You also pick up some slick charting tricks that will make your charts even more impressive.

Selecting Chart Elements

Modifying a chart is similar to everything else you do in Excel: First, you make a selection (in this case, select a chart element), and then you issue a command to do something with ...

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