Different Ways to Customize Your Chart
Excel provides you with numerous options for image chart customization. You too can learn how to customize your image charts in smart and clever ways.
You must first be aware of chart terms like data series, axis, legend, chart area, plot area, chart title, gridlines and data labels for these are central to your chart customization strategy.
There are so many themes to choose from in Excel. You can select the theme that best fits the occasion by clicking on themes in the themes section from the ribbon above. Take a close look at all themes for their unique blend of effects, fonts and colors. You also have the option of modifying fonts, colors and effects in various themes. The theme settings that you select can bring changes to the chart layouts available in the program.
Chart Style and Layout
You can switch between the columns and rows if that is what you prefer. Here is how an Excel chart is drawn by default. Whichever data series has the most entries is shown along the x-axis. If you don’t like this, you can configure Excel to reverse the axis according to your style. To do this, all you need to do is to simply click on the switch column/row icon that you can see in the design ribbon.
Depending on the color palette that you have chosen, Excel can present you with 50 different chart designs. All of these chart designs can change if you modify your color palette since Excel is a versatile software for charts. You will notice that certain charts also have their own respective borders and backgrounds. These can give a fresh and exotic look by embellishing your charts.
You can check out all of these styles by clicking on the design tab and locating the chart styles group. You can preview what your chart will look like by clicking individually on the various styles that take your fancy.
Various chart layouts are available in Excel that display various configurations for the chart elements. To have a look at these layouts, you can go over to chart layout sections within the design tab. You will find the option for viewing chart layouts towards the right edge of this section. You can click on different layouts to get a preview of how your chart will look if you apply it.
Other Chart Elements
You can also add extra chart elements to lend greater meaning and visual appeal to your charts like data labels, data tables, text boxes, shapes and images. You can also add your own style to these elements.
You can resize the picture element you want by selecting one of its corners and moving the cursor to change the size. You can right click on the picture for additional formatting options.
To draw a text box, you have to click on its icon first and then click on the point of the chart where you want the text box to appear. You can draw out your text box according to the size that you prefer. You can then click inside the text box and write whatever you feel is necessary. You can also format the text inside this box by right clicking and selecting the appropriate option.
You also have the choice of making the data table visible on your chart. The data table also gives you plenty of options to customize it further.
Data labels show what quantities the numbers along a particular axis are representing. There are options for fonts, text size and colors.
Here are certain best practices that you can use to customize your charts perfectly.
Use the Best Chart for Your Data
With Excel, you have plenty of formats available for visually depicting your data in the best possible way. Many people make the mistake of choosing charts that they find easy to work with, however, this approach is not ideal for many cases. While you can use basic chart formats like bar charts, pie charts and line charts in many instances, there will be scenarios when other chart formats may be a better idea. It’s not a question of what is easier for you, but rather what fits your scenario. If you are unsure about working with a particular chart type, then you can try experimenting with it to discover how it works. If you make any wrong move, you can simply undo it by clicking on the undo option.
Use legends to show what quantity each element represents. Google and Excel charts have legends by default on their charts. The legend will show what the shapes and colors on your charts are indicating. They are of great help in allowing your audience to follow your charts more easily.
Besides labels, another easy way to indicate the meaning of shapes and colors on your charts is to make use of data labels and axes. You can also include valuable information on the text boxes that these elements provide to show what your chart implies.
Pay Attention to Details
One key purpose of charts is to help viewers focus on the right numbers and data. You can use colors, fonts and the appropriate text size to your advantage for highlighting information that matters.
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