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.
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
- 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
- Sparklines are mini charts placed within single cells
- INSERT >> Sparkline's group >> Line
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
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:
- Click on the chart
- CHART TOOLS DESIGN >> Chart Layouts group >> Add Chart Element >> Trendline
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
The type of chart can be changed at any time while preserving all pre-selected formatting
- Change the chart from a 2D Pie Chart to a 3D Pie Chart CHART TOOLS DESIGN >>Type group >> Change Chart Type
- Choose "3D Pie chart"
Attention can be given to a sector of the Pie chart, by pulling away a particular "piece" of the pie
- Click on one portion of the Pie Chart
- Each vertex (place where two or more lines meet) will display a small, blue circle
- Click again on that same section
- This time, only those vertices pertaining to that slice will display the small, blue circles
- Click a third time and slightly drag the piece away from the rest of the pie
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