Charting in Excel

Charting and Graphing

Today we will start charting and graphing in Excel 2010. It turns out that you are quite lucky. The 2007 version of Excel is much better done. Its interface is very intuitive and easy to use. Lets start by you first typing in the following initial spreadsheet data.

Once you get this data loaded they you should write the necessary functions in the pink column and row. These functions sum the relavant row or column. Wrap up this by formating the chart to get something like the following.

At this stage we can use the builtin support to graph the above spreadsheet in a variety of ways. Start by selecting A2 thru E5. Then click insert tab, then pick column. We have a set of thumbnails that allow us to pick a format. Pick stacked column in 3D (Second row, second from the left). It should generate the following graph.

The chart at the left is automatically created using the information found in row 2 and column A. The words Desktops, Notebooks, and Peripherals are used as the legend heading on the right. The column heading are used as the labels of the horizontal catagory axis. The rest of the displayed informatation is obtained from the numerical values found in the table. At this point you can change the size of the chart by grabbing a corner and moving in, or copy and paste (embed) into another document such as powerpoint or word. Embedding means that we can modify the excel data and the excel chart embedded in say word will automatically be updated. I hope you got that! This is a cool feature.

Chart Modification

Excel makes it really easy to change the format of the chart. First double click on the chart and then select the layout tab. It should look like the following.

Look at it close. The label and Axes sections are heavily used. Start by clicking on Legend and try some of the options such as no legend or other positions fo the legends. Add a title to the chart by clicking on Chart title and also add the two Axis Titles.

Not click on the Design Tab. Chart Styles allow you to select differnt colors. Try them. The Chart Layouts are also useful. Click them and see the effiect. For a major change in format go to the Change Chart Type. Pick a cylinder example. Try some of the others as well. Experiment to see your options.

Note that if you change the values in the generating table, labels and numbers, their effect will automatically be applied to the chart. Everything is interconnected.

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