Many people like to change the chart colors, lines, patterns, and styles of the data series for special effects. Although Excel's default colors and patterns help to distinguish one data series from another, you might find some colors and patterns more attractive than others. For example, you might want to remove all patterns and use only color .
The vertical axis in a chart is referred to as the Value axis. Excel automatically scales the value axis for your charts to best fit the minimum and maximum values being charted. The values along the vertical (Y) or horizontal (X) axis are set with minimum and maximum values, as well as a number of intermediate points along the axis. These intermediate points are called major units and minor units. You can choose from a number of axis and tick-mark formats to change the appearance of an axis.
You can change the view of a 3D chart by using the Chart, 3-D View command. The view options let you adjust the elevation and rotation of the chart.
Excel places category labels next to the horizontal axis along the bottom of the chart. If you're not satisfied with the category labels that go with your chart, you can change them. You can angle the text upward or downward.
Changing Chart Colors, Lines, Patterns, and Styles
Most of the color, line, pattern, and style options in the Format Axis dialog box are self-explanatory. But here are some highlights if you want the real lowdown on the options.
If you have a color printer, keep in mind that the patterns have two parts : the foreground and the background. Each part can be a different color. The foreground is the pattern itself, and the background is the color on which the pattern is drawn. Experiment with the foreground and background colors to see how these work. Note that the solid pattern (the first pattern in the list) provides the solid version of whichever foreground color you choose.
The Patterns tab is divided into two groups for data series ”Border options and Area options ”which may require some explanation. The Border options affect the perimeter of the selected element, including the style, color, and thickness of the border line. The Area options control the inside of the element, such as its color and pattern.
The Automatic option tells Excel to take care of choosing the colors and patterns.