Chapter 15: Using Pivot Charts

In This Chapter

Creating your first pivot chart

Understanding the link between pivot charts and pivot tables

Using conditional formatting with pivot tables

Examining alternatives to using pivot charts

A pivot chart is a graphical representation of a data summary displayed in a pivot table. A pivot chart is always based on a pivot table. Excel lets you create a pivot table and a pivot chart at the same time, but you can’t create a pivot chart without a pivot table.

If you’re familiar with creating charts in Excel, you’ll have no problem creating and customizing pivot charts. Most of Excel’s charting features are available in a pivot chart. But as you’ll see, pivot charts are actually a completely different animal.

cross_ref.eps The discussion here assumes that you’re familiar with the inner workings of pivot tables, which is covered in Chapter 14. Feel free to refer to Chapter 14 if you need a refresher on pivot tables.

Getting Started with Pivot Charts

When you create a standard chart from data that isn’t in a pivot table, you feed the chart a range made up of individual cells holding individual pieces of data. Each cell is an individual object with its own piece of data, so your chart treats each cell as an individual data point, charting each one separately.

However, the data in your pivot table is part of a larger object. The pieces of data you see ...

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