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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Friday, November 19th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Ok, so we know that Excel can graph (also known as charting) our data for us and I’m assuming you’re interested in the “how to”. So, let’s dive right in:

The first thing you need to do is to select the data range you want to chart. You need to highlight all data and along with the column and row labels.

With the data and labels highlighted we need to start the Chart Wizard. You can click the Chart Wizard button located on the Standard toolbar…


…or you can use the Insert menu, Chart choice.

Either way, step 1 of the Chart Wizard will open up.


On the left you should choose the type of graph you’re looking to create. Then, on the right (chart sub-type), select the way you want your chart to look.

You can click the “Press and Hold to View Sample” button (below the chart sub-types) to get a quick preview of what your chart will look like when it’s finished.

When you’ve made your choices click the Next button.

In step 2 of the Chart Wizard you’ll be given a better preview of your chart.


On the Data Range tab you can tell Excel if the data series are in rows or columns. Choose the choice that matches your data and displays a chart that’s appropriate.

The Series tab is where you can view and/or edit the range of cells used in creating the chart.

When you’ve verified everything click the Next button.

The third step of the Cart Wizard is where you do a lot of “fine tuning” to your graph.


The first tab will allow you to enter the titles and axis labels for your graph. Any field that is isn’t “grayed out” is available for a label. After you enter a label wait a couple of seconds and the preview will be adjusted to reflect the change.

The other tabs that come up on this step depend upon the type of graph you’ve chosen. Basically, you need to go through the tabs to see what’s available. It’s pretty self-explanatory and any changes you make are immediately reflected in the preview (making it easy to reverse changes you don’t like the moment you realize you don’t like them).

When all the “fine tuning” is done click the Next button.

The fourth and last step of the Cart Wizard will come up.


It’s here that you decide where Excel should create the chart.

You have two choices. It can be created on either a new sheet or in the sheet where the data is located. Pick one and click the Finish button.


A chart is created displaying your data beautifully as only a chart can do!

~ April

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