This accuse discusses the most typical chart types, and also sub-types, sustained by Excel. For related tutorials, watch our graph & Graph details Center. And also if you create a lot of charts, us like systematic Graphs: many information Excel Charts (affiliate link). This book is well-organized and plainly explains the principles and "how to" of great chart design.

You are watching: In a line chart, the data markers are the points connected by the line.


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The Pie Chart

A Pie Chart screens one collection of data. A data collection is a heat or tower of numbers used for charting. In the worksheet below, we have actually outlined a single data series. If we had actually selected multiple series for the Pie Chart, Excel would ignore all but the first.

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Single Data Series

Excel uses the heat heading (series identifier) because that the chart title and displays the data as proportional slices of a pie (1st image below). One deserve to customize the architecture of the pie graph so either numeric values or their percentages screen on top of the slices of pie.

The legend deserve to be relocated to the top, bottom, left, right, or height right ("corner" in enlarge versions) of the chart. Legend names deserve to be adjusted by changing the tower headings in the paper or editing the chart directly in new Excel versions.


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Popular Pie graph sub-types include Pie chart in 3-D (2nd graph above), explosive Pie graph (3rd chart above), and Exploded Pie in 3-D. Other sub-types incorporate the Pie the Pie and also Bar of Pie - whereby a second pie or bar is created from details values in the an initial pie. To customize, right-click top top the segment in the very first pie and select "Format Data Point."


The tower Chart

The shaft Chart efficiently compares a single collection of data points, yet it shines when comparing multiple series. Outlined in red, the image listed below shows the 3 data series we"re charting. An alert that we perform not include the totals in ours data series.

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Multiple Data Series

Because Excel provides a different shade for every data series, it"s straightforward to see exactly how a single series changes over time, or to compare multiple collection over a offered time period. The Clustered shaft Chart is especially popular.


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Clustered column Chart
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Stacked tower Chart

With the Stacked column Chart, data points because that each time period are "stacked" atop every other. This chart form shows every data point"s percentage of the total. Also obtainable is the 100% Stacked shaft Chart, whereby each value is displayed as a part of 100%.


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100% Stacked tower Chart

In a column Chart, the vertical axis always displays numeric values, and the horizontal axis screens time, names, or other category. By default, Excel plots whichever has the most entries, heat or pillar data, ~ above the horizontal axis. Because that example, if plotting 5 rows and two columns, heat headings would reside along the horizontal axis. This can be flipped around by personalizing the Excel chart.

All obelisk Charts have three-dimension versions—the Stacked obelisk Chart is 3-D. However the "3-D column Chart" is special due to the fact that the graph itself is three-dimensional using the X, Y, and also Z axes. The very first chart below is a 3-D shaft Chart of ours data series.


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3-D shaft Chart
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3-D Pyramid Chart

In more recent versions the Excel, cylinders, pyramids, and cones have the right to be used rather of bars for most of the column charts. The second chart above shows a 3-D Pyramid Chart.

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The line Chart

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The line Chart is especially reliable in displaying trends. The upright axis (Y-axis) constantly displays numeric values and the horizontal axis (X-axis) display screens time or other category.

The an initial image mirrors the Line v Markers chart of our solitary data series. Markers—the circles, squares, triangles, or various other shapes which note the data points—are optional, and also Excel screens a distinctive marker in shape and/or shade for every data series.

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The heat Chart is equally effective in displaying trends for multiple collection as shown in the over Line graph without markers. An alert that every line is a different color.

Though not as vivid as the other charts, that is basic to view how effective the line Chart in showing a trend for a solitary series, and comparing patterns for multiple series of data values.

Besides the line Chart, we have the Stacked heat Chart and the 100% Stacked heat Chart - v or there is no markers. A 3-D line Chart is available, yet the line Chart go not screen data well in 3 dimension.

The Bar Chart

The Bar graph is prefer a tower Chart lied on that is side. The horizontal axis of a Bar Chart has the numeric values. The first chart below is the Bar Chart because that our single series, Flowers.

When to usage a Bar chart versus a tower Chart counts on the kind of data and user preference. Occasionally it is worth the time to create both charts and compare the results. However, Bar Charts do tend come display and also compare a big number that series better than the other chart types.


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The Area Chart

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Area Charts are prefer Line Charts except that the area listed below the plot line is solid. And like heat Charts, Area Charts space used mainly to display trends in time or various other category. The chart at left is an Area Chart because that our single series.

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Also easily accessible are the stacked Area Chart and 100% stacked Area Chart. Every comes in 2-D format and also in true 3-D layout with X, Y, and also Z axes. The graph at best is ours 3-D Area Chart and also effectively displays our 3 series.

In many cases, the 2-D version of the Area Chart screens multiple series of data poorly as collection with lesser values may be completely hidden. In the an initial chart below, flowers is totally hidden, and also just a wee little bit of trees peaks through. Not an reliable chart!


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The Scatter Chart

The objective of a Scatter chart is come observe how the worths of two series compares with time or various other category. To show the Scatter Chart, we will usage the worksheet values presented below:

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According come Scatter Plots (U. The Illinois), "Scatter plots are comparable to heat graphs in the they usage horizontal and vertical axes come plot data points. However, they have actually a very certain purpose. Scatter plots show how lot one variable is impacted by another. The relationship in between two variables is dubbed their correlation."

The collection pair has a optimistic Correlation if they rise similarly, and a an unfavorable Correlation if they both to decrease in prefer manner. Otherwise, they have No Correlation.

Excel go not usage labels native the worksheet to label the horizontal axis. It number the X-axis chronologically.

The Scatter Chart come in several various formats: markers deserve to indicate the data points, and also the points have the right to be unconnected or connected with smooth or directly lines. The an initial chart below is a Scatter chart with only Markers, and the 2nd chart is a Scatter Chart with Smooth Lines.

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In general, markers work well when the variety of data point out is small, and smooth lines without markers are frequently used when the variety of data point out is large. Yet it is best to shot the various sub-types to check out which one ideal presents your data. Because that a good discussion top top Scatter Plots, watch Scatter Plots - U. That Illinois.

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Other chart Types

Excel uses other chart types, such together Stock, Surface, Doughnut, Bubble, and Radar. To situate a menu of all accessible chart species in more recent Excel versions, start to insert any kind of chart type and click All Chart species ... The image below shows the menu that displays—menu may look different on your version of Excel.

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Customizing Excel Charts

Customizing a chart can take a lengthy time unless a logical order is followed. When Microsoft modification its Office commodities for the 2007 version, that greatly intensified the charting function. In some means there are too countless options.

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We have developed a accuse that defines the customizing options for charts in newer versions of Excel, along with a recommended order in which come proceed.