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Excel® 2010 Workbook for Dummies® by Greg Harvey

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Chapter 15. Charting Spreadsheet Data

In This Chapter

  • Understanding how Excel charts spreadsheet data

  • Creating a chart from the Insert tab of the Ribbon

  • Creating a chart on a separate chart sheet

  • Formatting the basic chart

  • Editing a chart

Besides the actual data entry and building the formulas for a spreadsheet, charting the data may well be one of the most essential tasks you perform in Excel. By presenting spreadsheet data in a visual form, relationships between the data that were not apparent in numerical form often become quite obvious. Fortunately, Excel offers you a wealth of different types of charts with which to depict these relationships. Half the fun of charting is selecting the most appropriate chart type and customizing it to your needs.

In this chapter, you get a chance to practice charting spreadsheet data, both in the worksheet and on separate chart sheets. You also get practice with customizing the various parts of the basic chart so that they present the data in the clearest possible way.

Understanding Excel Charts

Excel charts are directly tied to the spreadsheet data they represent in the worksheet. As a result, the editing changes you make to the underlying data have a direct and immediate effect on their contents (somewhat analogous to the way that changes you make to data entries referred to in a formula immediately affect the calculated result when Automatic Recalculation is in effect).

Figure 15-1 shows you a typical clustered column chart created as part of a worksheet ...

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