Excel is an amazing tool that allows you to visualize data in a number of ways. Whether you’re looking to analyze trends or find patterns in your organization, graphs can help you make sense of information in your spreadsheet.
If you’ve never made a chart in Excel before, it may seem overwhelming, but once you know how to use the tools, it will become easier than ever. The trick is to be familiar with the different types of charts available in Excel, as well as your specific data needs and preferences.
To start, select the data you want to plot in your chart. To do this, click and drag your mouse from the top-left corner of a data group (e.g., cell A1) to the bottom-right corner of the same group. Once you’ve selected the entire data range, click the Insert tab and choose a chart type.
A line graph is a great choice when you’re looking to compare two or more groups of data. It can also be used to show a comparison between two separate metric values.
Once you’ve created your chart, it’s easy to tweak it to match the style of your worksheet. You can change the axis labels and legend, resize it to fit your needs, add a title, and more.
Choosing the Right Chart Format: The chart type you select determines how your data will be displayed in your Excel worksheet. There are nine categories of chart options in Excel, so make sure to select a format that will best suit your data. In addition, you can use the Recommended Charts option to see a gallery of pre-configured graphs that will better reflect your data.
Combine Chart Types: Combining a column or area chart with a line graph is a great way to visualize dissimilar data. It’s also a good way to make a comparison between multiple sets of data, such as sales by product and number of items sold.
Axis Labels and Legend Size: Once you’ve created your chart, you may notice that the axis labels are a bit small for your liking. You can easily beef up these labels to make them more readable by selecting them and clicking on the Format Axis button on your chart’s ribbon.
In addition to formatting the axis labels and legend, you can also make your charts more appealing by changing their fill color. In Excel 2010 and earlier, this process was a bit complicated, but it’s much easier in the latest version.
Create a Chart from a Template: In Excel 2013, you can apply a chart template to your workbook by clicking the Dialog Box Launcher on the Insert tab, switching to the Templates folder and selecting the template you want to use. This is a great way to save time and avoid the hassle of creating your own charts.
You can even apply a chart to a new workbook by saving it as a template and using it in another spreadsheet. You can then access your chart templates from the Charts tab, which will let you view and edit them without having to open each one separately.