IN THIS CHAPTER
Seeing how Excel handles charts
Comparing embedded charts and chart sheets
Identifying the parts of a chart
Seeing some chart examples
When most people think of Excel, they think of crunching rows and columns of numbers. But as you probably know already, Excel is no slouch when it comes to presenting data visually in the form of charts. In fact, Excel is probably the most commonly used software in the world for creating charts. This chapter presents an introductory overview of Excel’s charting ability.
A chart is a visual representation of numeric values. Charts (also known as graphs) have been an integral part of spreadsheets since the early days of Lotus 1-2-3. Charts generated by early spreadsheet products were quite crude, but they’ve improved significantly over the years. Excel provides you with the tools to create a wide variety of highly customizable professional-quality charts.
Displaying data in a well-conceived chart can make your numbers more understandable. Because a chart presents a picture, charts are particularly useful for summarizing a series of numbers and their interrelationships. Making a chart can often help you spot trends and patterns that may otherwise go unnoticed. If you’re unfamiliar with the elements of a chart, see the sidebar later in this chapter, “Parts of a Chart.”
Figure 18.1 shows a worksheet that contains a simple column chart that depicts a company’s ...