O'Reilly logo

Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Formatting Chart Elements

Often, you don't select a chart element to delete or move it, but rather to format it with a different border, font, or color. In this case, simply right-click the element, and then choose the format option from the pop-up menu (or, select it, and then choose Chart Tools | Format→Current Selection→Format Selection from the ribbon). The following sections get you started.

Coloring the Background

Now you're ready to start creating spiffy-looking, customized charts. The background color is a good starting point. Initially, this color is a plain white, but it's easy enough to change if you want to add a personal touch. Just follow these steps:

  1. Select the plot area.

    To select the plot area, click the empty space between gridlines, or choose Chart Tools | Format→Current Selection→Plot Area.

  2. Right-click the plot area, and then choose Format Plot Area, or choose Chart Tools | Format→Current Selection→Format Selection.

    A Format Plot Area dialog box appears (Figure 18-13). Here you can set the background color (Fill), add a border around it (Border Color and Border Styles), and use advanced Shadow and three-dimensional effects (Shadow and 3-D Format). For now, focus on the Fill tab.

    It's worth getting familiar with all the formatting options in the Format Plot Area dialog box, because you'll see many of the same options again when you format other chart elements, like columns, gridlines, and just about everything else.

    Figure 18-13. It's worth getting familiar with all the formatting options in the Format Plot Area dialog box, because you'll see many of the same options again when you format other chart elements, ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required