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Excel® Dashboards & Reports by John Walkenbach, Michael Alexander

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Chapter 6. Formatting and Customizing Charts

In This Chapter

  • Getting an overview of chart formatting

  • Formatting fill and borders

  • Formatting chart background elements

  • Working with chart titles

  • Working with legends, data labels, gridlines, and data tables

  • Understanding chart axes

  • Formatting 3-D charts

If you create a chart for your own use, spending a lot of time on formatting and customizing the chart may not be worth the effort. But if you want to create the most effective chart possible, or if you need to create a chart for presentation purposes, you will want to take advantage of the additional customization techniques available in Excel.

This chapter discusses the ins and outs of formatting and customizing your charts. It's easy to become overwhelmed with all the chart customization options. However, the more you work with charts, the easier it becomes. Even advanced users tend to experiment a great deal with chart customization, and they rely heavily on trial and error — a technique that's highly recommend.

Chart Formatting Overview

Customizing a chart involves changing the appearance of its elements, as well as possibly adding new elements to it or removing elements from it. These changes can be purely cosmetic (such as changing colors or modifying line widths) or quite substantial (such as changing the axis scales).

Before you can customize a chart, you must activate it. To activate an embedded chart, click anywhere within the chart. To deactivate an embedded chart, just click anywhere ...

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