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Getting to Know the Elements and Types of a Chart

We will show some of the most common chart types, useful terms, and Charts areas of them. Keep in mind that you don’t really need to memorize these terms. The more we use Excel Charts, the more we become familiar with. Let’s begin:

We see a table with data. To the right of our data, we see one of Excel’s most common chart types. As you see, as I slide the mouse over without clicking, the outer area of the chart is called Chart Area. The inner area is the Plot Area.

Below the Clustered Column Chart, we see a Pie Chart .The outer area is the Chart Area and we can find the Plot Area if we slide the mouse near the pie.

Below the data, we have the Line Chart with the Chart Area and the Plot Area.

Chart and Plot Areas are not the only in a chart. For example, if we see the 3D Clustered Column Chart, which is below the Line Chart, it has areas called Back Wall, Side Wall, Floor, and, of course, the Chart and Plot area.

Another term of a chart is Data Label. Let’s point our mouse to the upper line in Line Chart. It will show information about this particular line like <<Series “Word” Point “2013” Value:525>>. Terms like Data Labels, Series, Point, and Value, we will see again as we continue to the course.

Most of the charts have horizontal or vertical grey lines, helping us to see specific numbers or values. For example, in Line Chart, we slide the mouse over and we have Vertical (Value) Axis Major Gridlines.

Now, what is a Legend? A Legend is an area, usually on the right or on the bottom of a chart, which helps us to decode the charted data. Column chart has Legend on the bottom and shows each program (Excel, PowerPoint) with different color, so it’s easy to find it on the chart, especially if we have a lot of data. If you remember from school, most maps had legends. All of our Charts in this particular worksheet have Legends on the bottom.

Now, if we want to make changes to chart elements, we can just click on it. After that, we have two options. First, we can right-click and choose the option Format Chart Area. The second option is that we can go to the Format Tab. The Format Tab is very useful because it has the term Chart Area with the drop arrow. If we click on it, we can see all the elements of a chart. We choose an element from the list and it is automatically selected. So very useful, especially if we cannot right click on a specific element of a chart.


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 You can see the detailed video tutorial below or on YouTube

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Last modified onSunday, 13 December 2015 11:53
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