Problem
You've created a chart and would like to alter its appearance.
Solution
Adjust the formats for your chart using Excel's chart formatting capabilities.
Discussion
You can select any chart element, including the chart itself, by clicking on it with the mouse. Also, once a chart is selected, you can cycle through, selecting each element using the arrow keys. You can select and format the chart itself, the plot area, the axes, labels, data series, and the legend, as well as any other element that may appear in a chart.

You can change the formatting of any chart element by selecting the element and pressing Ctrl1 to open a format dialog box specific to the selected chart element. Or you can rightclick on any element and select the Format option from the popup menu. Alternatively, you can use the various format tool buttons in Excel's main window to format various aspects of the chart element. Also, when a chart element is selected you can select Format from the main menu bar to access a contextspecific format dialog box just as if you had pressed Ctrl1.
Some of the most common format options available for chart elements include colors, line style and thickness, fill pattern (including gradients, patterns, textures, and pictures), and font styles. Specific chart elements, such as chart axes, have other options that allow you to format things such as axes scales, labels, position, and whether an axis is in linear or log scale. (See Recipe 4.4 for more information.)
The bottom line is that pretty much everything on a chart can be customized. Simply select it and press Ctrl1 to see what options are available. The recipes throughout this chapter provide specific examples and tips for formatting charts.
Using Excel
Getting Acquainted with Visual Basic for Applications
Collecting and Cleaning Up Data
Charting
Statistical Analysis
Time Series Analysis
Mathematical Functions
Curve Fitting and Regression
Solving Equations
Numerical Integration and Differentiation
Solving Ordinary Differential Equations
Solving Partial Differential Equations
Performing Optimization Analyses in Excel
Introduction to Financial Calculations
Index