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Getting Started With Excel

 Self-Paced Overview

Creating a Chart

Charts are visual representations of worksheet data. Various types of charts can be created in Excel, such as bar, line, and pie charts. Charts can be used to clarify trends or relationships that might not be apparent in the worksheet data alone. Once a chart is created, as data points on the worksheet are updated, the chart automatically changes to reflect those updates.

Microsoft Excel

To demonstrate charting data, let's consider the illustration above. We have a worksheet that contains data cells on the left and those same data cells charted on the right. To chart the data cell range L9:N14, do the following:

  1. Using the illustration as your source, type the numbers and headings into a blank worksheet starting at cell L9. You will only type the data included in the range of cells starting at L9 on the top left to N14 on the bottom right or data range L9:N14. The chart to the right is what we're about to create. Try formatting the data as shown to practice what has already discussed, and remember to input "plain" numbers and format using Excel's formatting tools. (TIP: 16 = 1600%, .16 = 16%)
  2. One you have completed the data entry, select the range L9:N14 by clicking cell L9, holding the mouse button and dragging down and to the right until you reach cell N14.
  3. With the cell range highlighted, click the Insert tab on the Ribbon at the top of the Excel screen, and in the Charts group click Line. You will notice an option box appear presenting various line chart style options. Select the top left 2-D Line style. When you click this option, the line chart is inserted onto the worksheet.
Microsoft Excel

Once you've inserted the chart, notice that the tab on the Ribbon at the top of the screen has switched from the Insert tab to the Chart Tools Design tab. Within Chart Tools, you have an assortment of options including chart style, layout, and format. However, for our purposes, the default styling of the inserted chart works well.

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