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Excel Charts Quick Tutorial

Showcase Your Data Through Engaging Excel Charts

Learn about three different types of Excel charts to decide which one(s) best fits your needs. Follow our step-by-step examples to create your own engaging and creative infographic. 

Line Chart 

Create a Line chart to show continuous time-series data.

We'll use daily stock prices or daily sales as an example. 

How to Create a Line chart

  • INSERT >> Charts groups >> select icon for Line chart >> 2D Line/3D Line

Line Chart

Modify Chart

  • CHART TOOLS-DESIGN >> Chart Layout group >> Quick Layout
  • CHART TOOLS-DESIGN >> Chart Styles group >> Change Colors
  • CHART TOOLS-DESIGN >> Chart Styles group >> choose a Style

Line Chart


  • Sparklines are mini charts placed within single cells
    • INSERT >> Sparkline's group >> Line


Column Chart

Create a Column chart to display discrete time series data.

For example, data that repeats at a fixed interval of time, like weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

Create a Column chart:

  • INSERT >> Charts groups >> select icon for Column chart >> One of chart types

Revenue Chart

Modify the chart elements individually

  • CHART TOOLS DESIGN >> Chart Layouts group >> Add Chart
    • Axes: Add/remove primary horizontal axis and primary vertical axis
    • Axis Titles: Add titles to the horizontal or vertical axis
    • Chart Title: Add/remove title at the top of chart
    • Data Labels: Add/remove labels for each data point
    • Data Table: Add/remove data table from the chart object itself
    • Error Bars: Add/remove visualization for standard error, percentage error, and standard deviation
    • Gridlines: Add/remove major/minor gridlines to both the horizontal and vertical axes
    • Legend: Add/remove/move legend
    • Trendline: Apply one of several types of trendlines to the data


Trendlines are used to show the prevailing direction of data

  • Linear: creates a best fit, straight-line for linear data sets
  • Exponential: creates a curved line useful for data that rises or falls at constantly increasing rates
  • Linear Forecast: creates a linear trendline that forecasts into the future
  • Moving Average: creates a line by averaging a specific number of data points (defaults to 2)

To Apply a Trendline:

  1. Click on the chart
  2. CHART TOOLS DESIGN >> Chart Layouts group >> Add Chart Element >> Trendline

Linear vs Exponential Charts

Pie Chart

Create a Pie chart to show the relationship of parts to the whole. 

For example: to display market share or revenue by division. 

To Create a Pie chart:

  • INSERT >> Charts groups >> select icon for Pie chart

Sales Pie Chart

The type of chart can be changed at any time while preserving all pre-selected formatting

  1. Change the chart from a 2D Pie Chart to a 3D Pie Chart CHART TOOLS DESIGN >>Type group >> Change Chart Type
  2. Choose "3D Pie chart"

Tabs Pie Chart

Attention can be given to a sector of the Pie chart, by pulling away a particular "piece" of the pie

  1. Click on one portion of the Pie Chart
    • Each vertex (place where two or more lines meet) will display a small, blue circle
  2. Click again on that same section
    • This time, only those vertices pertaining to that slice will display the small, blue circles
  3. Click a third time and slightly drag the piece away from the rest of the pie

Pie Chart

Learn More About Excel

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