When you have a well-organized worksheet in place, you're ready to create a chart. In the following examples, we'll use the 1999 Sales Summary workbook (SalesSum.xls) shown in Figure 21-1, to create a pie chart and a column chart. Because charting often involves experimenting with different chart types, feel free to follow your own impulses as you complete the instructions.
ON THE WEB
The SalesSum.xls example is on the Running Office 2000 Reader's Corner page. For information about connecting to this Web site, read the Introduction.
To create a pie chart in a new sheet in the workbook, follow these steps:
If you select labels along with the data for your chart before you create the chart, Excel will add the labels automatically.
In Excel terminology, a category is called a data series. The following screen shows how you would select numbers in the 1st Quarter column for a pie chart, including text that you want to use as chart labels:
If you organized your worksheet well, and if you selected the proper data, your chart should now contain the correct information (although the labels might be too small to see). If your chart doesn't look right, use the option buttons and list boxes in this dialog box to change the cells used for the data series, labels, and chart title.
The Chart Wizard displays a dialog box asking you for the location of your new chart. You can either create a new workbook tab for the chart, or place it as an object in one of your existing worksheets.
Excel completes the pie chart and displays it in a new sheet named Summary Chart in the workbook. Excel adjusts the Zoom control on the Standard toolbar so that the entire chart is visible. The Charting toolbar also appears; we'll cover it in the section "Formatting a Chart"
To get a better look at the title, labels, and data in your new chart, click the Zoom control on the Standard toolbar, and select a higher viewing percentage. You'll find that 75% or 100% usually works well for reading the text in your chart and for formatting labels.
Excel also allows you to create an in-place, or embedded, chart in an existing worksheet. This technique allows you to closely associate graphical images with the data in your worksheet. For example, you could create an area chart depicting bagel production in a bakery worksheet containing inventory and sales data. In the following example, we'll show you how to add a column sales chart to a sales-summary worksheet.
To create an embedded chart in a worksheet, follow these steps:
Working with Embedded Charts
When you embed an Excel chart in a worksheet, you create an object that can be resized, formatted, moved, and deleted like clip art or any other object. You can use the following editing techniques on embedded charts:
- To resize an embedded chart, move the mouse pointer to the edge of the chart, and drag one of the selection handles.
- To format an embedded chart, double-click the chart, and the Format Chart Area dialog box appears. Add borders to the chart from the Patterns tab, or choose other commands from the Font or Properties tabs. (See "Formatting a Chart".)
- To move an embedded chart from one location to another in the worksheet, click within the object, and drag it to a new location. To move the chart to a new worksheet, click the chart, and then choose Location from the Chart menu. To move the chart to another workbook or Microsoft Office application, click the chart, choose Cut from the Edit menu, open or switch to the destination document, and then choose Paste from the Edit menu.
- To delete an embedded chart, select the chart and press the Delete key.
Excel creates embedded charts small to make them easy to move and format. However, your chart will usually look better if you enlarge it.
ON THE WEB
The Charts.xls example is on the Running Office 2000 Reader's Corner page.
Figure 21-2. A completed column chart embedded in the worksheet.