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Graphs That Grab Attention

Friday, September 28th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help

Graphs That Grab Attention

Ever find yourself bored with the same old graphs in MS Excel?

Looking for a new way to “jazz” them up and get your reader’s attention?

I’m sure you’ve tried all the standard stuff with color changes and by now, I’d bet you’re wondering about some other options. Am I right?

Well, though I’m positive there are more ideas out there than I could possibly imagine, I’ve got a suggestion that actually leads to multiple ideas!

Today, I’d like to take a look at the Fill Effects Excel offers.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Obviously, the first step would be to create the graph.

Once you’ve got your graph, you need to select the data display items (the bars, pie pieces, etc.) you’re looking to change.

If you want all the pieces to be the same, you can simply double click on any piece and the Format Data Series window will open.

If you want to individually change appearances of each piece, you need to select a single data item. You can do that by first clicking just once on the piece (this selects all of them). Then pause and click once again to select just the one piece. (Be sure not to double click too fast. Remember, it’s a click, a pause and a click).

With just the one piece selected, double click on it to open the Format Data Point window.

Now, it’s time for the fun!

In the Format Data Series window, you’ll immediately notice all the color choices on the right. But, we’re tired of the same old things, so what we’re looking for today is the Fill Effects button below the color palette.

The Fill Effects window will open where you’ll notice four different tabs: Gradient, Texture, Pattern and Picture.

Each tab has something different to offer when it comes to changing the appearance of the data pieces on your graph.

Take some time to cruise through them and you’ll find they’re pretty easy to figure out once you know that they exist.

With your selection made, click the OK button twice and you’ll be returned back to your new and improved graph. Yes!

~ April

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