Charts

Charts in Excel

Charts in Excel help display data and make understanding of data easier. You can quickly create a chart in Microsoft Excel by using the Chart Wizard. In this wizard, you can choose from a variety of chart types and specify various chart options. Although worksheet or spreadsheet data that you want to plot in a chart can be located in rows or columns, some chart types require a specific arrangement of the data before you can create a chart in Excel. On the Excel worksheet, arrange the data that you want to plot in a chart.

How to arrange data for different chart types in Excel:
For a column, bar, line, area, surface or radar chart, you should arrange the data in columns or rows.

Data in columns:

Item 1 Item 2
1 2
3 4

Data in rows:

Lorem 1 3
Ipsum 2 4
For a pie or doughnut chart in Excel with only one series of data, you should arrange the data in one column or row only.

One column of data and one column of data labels:

A 1
B 2
C 3

One row of data and one row of data labels:

A B C
1 2 3
For a pie chart or doughnut chart in Excel that has more than one series of data, you can arrange the data in more than one column or row.

More than one column of data:

A 1 2
B 3 4
C 5 6
 

More than one row of data:

A B C
1 2 3
4 5 6
For an xy (scatter) or bubble chart in Excel, you can arrange the data in columns, so that x values are listed in the first column and corresponding y values and/or bubble size values are listed in adjacent columns.

Data in columns:

X Y Bubble
1 2 3
4 5 6
For a stock chart in Excel, you need to arrange data in the following order (in rows or columns): high values, low values, and closing values. Use names or dates as labels.

Data in columns:

Date High Low Close
1/1/2002 46.125 42 44.063
Select the Excel cells that contain the data that you want to use for the chart. Tip: If the cells that you want to select for the chart are not in a continuous range, select the first group of cells that contain the data that you want to include. Hold down CTRL, and then select any additional Excel cell groups that you want to include. The nonadjacent selections must form a rectangle. Click Chart Wizard on the Standard toolbar, or click Chart on the Insert menu. Follow the instructions in the Chart Wizard. For information about the Chart Wizard options, click Help in the title bar of the wizard. Tips: To quickly create a basic chart that is displayed on a separate chart sheet, select the data that you want to use for the chart, and then press ALT+F1 or F11. If you use a specific chart type frequently when you create a chart, you may want to set that chart type as the default chart type.
Change the default chart type in Excel Click anywhere in the chart area to select the chart. On the Chart menu, click Chart Type. On the Standard Types tab or Custom Types tab, in the Chart type list, click the chart type that you want or accept the current selection, and then click Set As Default Chart. Click Yes, and then click OK. If the Add Custom Chart Type dialog box appears, type a name in the Name box and a description in the Description box, and then click OK.

Further reading:

Making Charts in Microsoft Excel

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