Excel Graphs & Charts
Formatting changes the appearance of the workbook. As with document formatting, a well formatted workbook makes it easier for your audience to read. It appears more professional, and helps to keep your audience’s attention focused on the important elements. The Font group contains the font formatting commands, the Alignment group contains alignment commands, and the Cells group contains commands to insert and delete cells, rows, columns, and worksheets.
After the chart is created, the Chart Tools are displayed. Formatting a chart can be done using the Chart Tools tabs: Design, Layout, and Format. The commands are found on these tabs.
The Design tab is used for changes to the chart type, chart row/column structure, chart style, or chart location, while the Layout tab is used to change chart labels, and to insert graphics. The Format tab is used to change chart fill colors and chart line styles.
Using charts in a spreadsheet greatly enhances its appeal. Charts can quickly and intuitively describe the data in a spreadsheet. You know the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Two of the most popular charts are pie charts and column charts.
A pie chart looks like a pie. The chart will slice the whole pie up into parts that represent percentages of the whole pie. A good example would be perhaps the ethnic breakdown of people living in a city. The pie would represent the whole city’s population and the slices would be the population percentage of each ethnic group. Another example would be the percentage of students who get an A, B, C, D, or F in a class.
A column chart will break down data into categories and show perhaps a dollar amount for each column; the higher the column, the higher the dollar amount. For instance, a corporation in its financial reports may want to show its profits year to year. Each year will be represented by a column and the height of the column will represent the amount of profits. A quick glance at such a chart would immediately show a shareholder how the corporation has been doing through the span of years depicted in the chart. There are also variations of a column chart. There is the stacked column chart which is in a sense something like a pie chart. Each column will be broken down into segments that represent some part of the whole column. But again, just like a column chart, we would be comparing several columns to each other perhaps on a yearly basis.
Another very popular financial chart is the line chart. You will see this chart when analyzing the price trend of a stock in the stock market. You can see, for instance, how a stock’s price has trended over a certain period of time. The line may climb which means the price of the stock has appreciated or it may decline which means the opposite. These charts do speed up the comprehensive of text data by depicting it graphically. If you click on the Financial section of your browser, and then enter a stock symbol, you will be able to see the line chart for that stock.
Embed Charts in Excel
When embedding your chart, you’ll have to choose a location for it. You have the option to create a new sheet for the chart (so it will be on its own sheet and separated from the data), or you can embed the chart on the existing worksheet. If you choose a new sheet, it will be inserted into the workbook automatically, and you’ll see an additional tab at the bottom of your worksheet that will contain the new chart.
Link or Embed Charts Outside Excel
Sometimes you may want to include an Excel chart in a Word document report. When you embed an Excel chart into, let’s say, a Word document, you are adding that chart physically to the Word document. If the original chart changes in the Excel document, the chart in the Word document will not change.
There is no link between the two. In other words, the chart in the Word document will be static. When you link an Excel chart into a Word document, you are only providing a link between the source Excel spreadsheet and the Word document. The chart will display in the Word document but it will not exist in the Word document. The chart link in the Word document will also be dynamic. A change made in the chart in the Excel spreadsheet, will automatically change the linked chart in the Word document. So if Word document file size is a consideration, you may want to link the chart instead of embed it. If you don’t want the chart to change, then you will want to embed it.
Data can be linked or embedded between different types of applications by copying a chart from an Excel spreadsheet and pasting it into the other application document. For instance, you would simply copy and then paste the chart into a Word document. But instead of clicking the Paste icon in the Clipboard group when you are in your Word document, you would instead click on the down arrow just below it. You would then see the “Paste Special” option. Click on that, and then you would see the Paste Special Dialog Box. You have one of two choices in order to dynamically link your object. You can select the “Paste” option radio button and select “Microsoft Office Graphic Object” in the “As” list or you can select the “Paste Link” radio button and then select “Microsoft Excel Chart Object.”
Then click the OK button and you will see your Excel chart pasted into your Word document. Then when you change the numbers in the Excel spreadsheet, the chart that is now in the Word document will dynamically change and reflect those new numbers. If you want to only embed the chart in the Word document which means that you don’t want the chart to dynamically change when a change is made in the data in the Excel spreadsheet, then click on the “Paste” radio button and select “Microsoft Excel Chart Object.”