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Excel Charting Review Duke MBA Computer Preparation

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Excel Charting Review

Duke MBA Computer Preparation

The Excel Charting Review Focus

Constructing a standard, default chart is sufficient for creating simple charts. However, there are additional charting options and techniques that give a user the freedom to create customized (and often more effective) charts in Excel. This review exercise is composed of a number of charting exercises to illustrate some of the most useful of these charting options and techniques.

Skills

Manipulate “Series” and “Scale” options Create a chart with two value axes Know the three ways to chart missing data Create custom combination charts Make a chart title dynamic Understand and use the XY chart type Manage the way Excel charts date data on a category axis

The File You Need

To complete the work for this review exercise download the file named ExcelCharting.xlsx from the class “Review Files” web page.

Deliverable Complete the Excel Charting Review online quiz.

Notes

For your convenience the instructions in this review exercise are divided into these sections: Completing the Review: Summary Descriptions

Short descriptions of the review exercise requirements, useful if you are already familiar with the core skills.

Completing the Review: Detailed Descriptions More detailed descriptions of the review exercise tasks and techniques, useful if you are unfamiliar with the review exercise topics. You may find it helpful to have a good Excel reference guide on hand or to become familiar with Excel’s online help.

A Skills Summary for this Review

Page

Excel Charting Review exercise – Summary Descriptions

Task 1: Manipulate Series and Scale Options ................................................. 1 Task 2: Create a Chart with Two Value Axes................................................. 1 Task 3: Know the 3 Ways to Chart Missing Data........................................... 1 Task 4: Create a Combination Chart................................................................ 1 Task 5: Make a Chart Title Dynamic................................................................ 2 Task 6: Use the XY Chart Type ......................................................................... 2 Task 7: Manage Dates on a Chart’s Category Axis........................................ 2

Excel Charting Review exercise – Detailed Descriptions Technique Help................................................................................................... 3 Task 1: Manipulate Series and Scale Options ................................................. 7 Task 2: Create a Chart with Two Value Axes................................................. 13 Task 3: Know the 3 Ways to Chart Missing Data........................................... 14 Task 4: Create Two Combination Charts ........................................................ 15 Task 5: Make a Chart Title Dynamic................................................................ 19 Task 6: Use the XY Chart Type ......................................................................... 22 Task 7: Manage Dates on a Chart’s Category Axis........................................ 26

Excel Charting Skills Summary ................................................................................................... 28

Rev. 5-15-2009

Excel Charting 1

Excel Charting Review: Summary Descriptions

Sale

s Excel Charting Review – Summary Descriptions Task 1: Manipulate Series and Scale Options

Modify the chart on the “Task 1-Series & Scale” worksheet as follows: 1. Remove Central, NorthWest, NorthEast, SouthWest, and SouthEast data

leaving only the data series for North, South, East, and West. 2. Reverse the left-right presentation of the Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 data

markers so that the Quarter 2 sales markers are left-most. 3. Locate the legend in the upper right hand corner of the chart and change “Q1

Sales” to read “Quarter 1 (millions)”. Expand the plot area to the right into the area the legend formerly occupied.

4. Change the Y-axis scale so the “Major Unit” is in intervals of \$20 and the “Maximum” Y-axis value is \$60.

5. Add “Value” data labels to each column marker.

Task 2: Create a Chart with Two Value Axes Modify the chart on the “Task 2-2 Value Axes” worksheet as follows: 1. Add a 2nd Y axis to the right-hand side of the chart and use it to plot profit

margin values. Set the right-hand axis values to scale from 0% to 4% in 1% increments.

2. Modify the left-hand Y axis scale values to range from \$170,000 to \$3,170,000, with major units set to 500000.

3. Add “Sales” as a text label for the left-hand Y axis and align it so the label text is aligned vertically and reads bottom to top (example at left). Add “Profit Margin” as the label for the right-hand Y axis and align it so the label is aligned vertically and reads top to bottom.

4. Change the chart title to read “Data Charted with Two Value Axes”.

Task 3: Know the 3 Ways to Chart Missing Data Modify the two charts on the “Task 3-Chart Missing Data” worksheet as follows: 1. Modify the chart on the left so the two missing data values are treated as

zeros. Change the chart title to read “Temperature with Missing Data Plotted as Zeros”.

2. Modify the chart on the right so Excel interpolates data to replace the missing values. Change the chart title to read “Temperature with Missing Data Interpolated”.

Task 4: Create a Combination Chart

Modify the charts on the “Task 4-Combination Chart” worksheet as follows: 1. In the first (top) chart on the worksheet, change the Q4 Sales line data marker

into column data markers. Leave the other series as they are.

Excel Charting 2

Excel Charting Review: Summary Descriptions

2. Change the chart title of this top chart to “Column and Line Combination

Chart”. 3. In the second (bottom) chart on the worksheet, again change Q4 Sales into

column data markers. Change the Q3 Sales line data marker to an area type. 4. Change the chart title of this bottom chart to “Column, Area, and Line

Combination Chart”. Task 5: Make a Chart Title Dynamic

Modify the chart on the “Task 5-Dynamic Title” worksheet as follows: 1. In Cell B18 write an Excel concatenated formula that references the contents

of Cells B15 and B16 to create a sentence that reads “Fish Sales in the Eastern Region”.

2. Modify the contents of Cells B15 and B16 to some other text of your choice. 3. Modify the chart by replacing the fixed chart title with your concatenated

sentence. Task 6: Use the XY Chart Type

Modify the chart on the “Task 6-XY Chart” worksheet as follows: 1. Change the line chart to an XY chart so that the date and population values

are plotted against one another. 2. Change the chart title to “Population Growth: XY Chart”.

Task 7: Manage Dates on a Chart’s Category Axis Modify the chart on the “Task 7-Category Dates” worksheet to override Excel’s default treatment of dates in the chart. In your modified chart, show on the X axis only the dates associated with actual data points.

End of the Excel Charting Review Summary Task Descriptions

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Excel Charting Review – Detailed Task Descriptions Task 1: Manipulate Series and Scale Options Open the ExcelCharting.xlsx file and make the “Task 1-Series & Scale” worksheet current. The chart on that worksheet looks like the illustration below. It represents a standard column chart of regional sales data for nine sales regions and covering two quarters.

The data on which the chart is based appears in a range to the left of the chart and with the label “Chart Data”. Modify this chart as described below. An illustration of the completed chart follows the description of the modifications to make, along with detailed working notes on the modification techniques. Overview of Chart Modifications Remove the Central, NorthWest, NorthEast, SouthWest, and SouthEast data from the chart so the chart shows only data for North, South, East, and West. The chart’s X axis should correctly label each column pair as North, South, East, or West. In the original chart the column representing Quarter 1 sales appears to the left of the column representing Quarter 2 sales for each region. Reverse that order so the Quarter 2 sales columns appear left-most in each region. Move the legend to the upper right corner of the chart and change the legend for “Q1 Sales” so it instead reads “Quarter 1 (millions)”. Expand the plot area to the right into the area the legend formerly occupied. Change the Y-axis scale so the “Major Unit” is in intervals of \$20 instead of \$5 and so the “Maximum” Y-axis value is \$60 instead of \$80. Add “Value” data labels to each of the columns.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Check Having incorporated the modifications described above, your completed chart will look like the one below. Working Notes on the Task 1 Chart To Change the Data to Chart To modify the data-to-chart leaving only the data series for North, South, East, and West, right-click the edge of the Chart Area and choose the Select Data option from the context menu that displays. A “Select Data Source” dialog opens. In the “Chart data range” text box at the top of the dialog, change the range-to-chart to B9:D13, as shown below.

referencing.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

To Switch a Chart’s Data Series Order To reverse the left-right presentation of the Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 data markers so that the Quarter 2 sales markers are left-most, again right-click the chart area and choose Select Data to open the same “Select Data Source” dialog shown above. Click the “Q1 Sales” series name in the left-hand box. Then click the “Move Down” arrow.

To Change Legend Text To change the “Q1 Sales” legend text to read “Quarter 1 (millions)”, again open the “Select Data Source” dialog. Click the “Q1 Sales” series name in the left-hand box. Then click the Edit button at the top of that box to open the “Edit Series” dialog shown below. For “Series name:” replace the current entry with =“Quarter 1 (millions)”. Be sure to include an equals sign in front of and double quote marks around the text. To Move a Legend and Expand the Plot Area A chart legend is a graphical object floating on top of the chart space. To move the legend, select the legend, then hover the mouse pointer over the legend until the pointer shape becomes a 4-headed arrow. Hold down the left-hand mouse button and drag.

Drag the legend to the upper right-hand corner of the chart.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

A chart’s plot area is the area inside the chart that holds the data markers. Select a plot area by clicking its edge. Below, the plot area is selected: Selection circles appear at the four corners of the chart and selection boxes appear in the middle of each edge.

Expand the plot area to the right by dragging the selection box in the middle of the right-hand edge to the right. To Change a Chart’s Value (Y-Axis) Scale Change the Y-axis scale so the “Major Unit” is in intervals of \$20 and the “Maximum” Y-axis value is \$60. Right-click the Y axis and choose Format Axis… from the context menu that displays.

The “Format Axis” dialog opens. Under “Axis Options” set the maximum to fixed at 60 and the major unit to fixed at 20.

Drag the Plot Area to the right.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

To Add Labels to Chart Data Series Right-click any series marker in a series and choose Add Data Labels from the context menu that displays to add a value label to the top of each column marker. (Once you’ve added value labels to a series this option no longer appears on the context menu.)

End of the Task 1 Detailed Description/Working Notes Task 2: Create a Chart with Two Value Axes Make the “Task 2-2 Value Axes“ worksheet current. The chart on that worksheet looks like the illustration on the next page: A standard line chart of seven month’s worth of sales and profit data. The data on which the chart is based appears in a range to the left of the chart (and illustrated below) with the label “Chart Data”.

The “Sales” values in the chart data at left are large but the “Profit Margin” values are small. When charted together in a standard line chart, the benefit of including the “Profit Margin” values is effectively lost. Because the values are so small in relation to the “Sales” values, the “Profit Margin” appears as a straight line along the chart’s X axis.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

\$170,000

\$670,000

\$1,170,000

\$1,670,000

\$2,170,000

\$2,670,000

\$3,170,000

March April May June July August September

Sale

s

0.0%

1.0%

2.0%

3.0%

4.0%Profit M

argin

Sales Profit Margin

Data Charted With Two Value Axes

Working Notes on the Task 2 Chart To Add a Second Y Axis To add a second Y axis to the right-hand side of the chart to plot profit margin values, right-click the Profit Margin data series and choose Format Data Series from the context menu that displays. In the “Format Data Series” dialog, choose Series Options from the left-hand list and “Secondary Axis” from the right-hand list. Excel chooses default axis scale values based on the data you’re charting. Set the right-hand axis values to scale from 1% to 4% in 1% increments. Right-click the axis and choose Format Axis to open the “Format Axis” dialog. Change the minimum, maximum, and major units as shown below.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

The rescaled right axis looks like the illustration at left. Excel automatically selects a scale when it creates a chart, but the scale values are under your control.

To Change the X Axis Scale Values Modify the left-hand Y axis scale values to range from \$170,000 to \$3,170,000, with major units set to 500000. Use the same technique described above. The rescaled left axis looks like the illustration at right.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

To Add Axis Labels To add “Sales” as a text label for the left-hand Y axis, select the chart area and the “Layout” tab at the right of Excel’s ribbon. (This tab appears because a chart is selected.) In the “Labels” group on that tab choose the “Axis Titles” button. Choose “Primary Vertical Axis Title” and then “Rotated Title”. Excel adds a text box with prompt text and automatically moves the plot area to the right to accommodate the text box. Replace the prompt text in the text box with the word “Sales”. Repeat the same operation to add the text label “Profit Margin” to the secondary (right-hand) vertical (Y) axis. That is, select the chart and choose the “Layout” tab. In the “Labels” group choose “Axis Titles”. Choose “Secondary Vertical Axis” and “Rotated Title”. Replace the prompt text in the text box with “Profit Margin”. I found that I needed to manually resize the plot area of the chart to accommodate this text.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

To Rotate the Right Axis Label The right axis label is oriented in the same way as the left-axis label. That is, one would tilt the head to the left to read it. Change the orientation so the label is oriented like the one shown at right. To change the orientation, select the text box, right-click, and choose “Format Axis Title” from the context menu that displays. Choose the “Alignment” option and then click the drop-down to the right of “Text direction”. Choose “Rotate all text 90°”. To Modify an Existing Chart Title Finally, a chart title – no matter how it’s added to the chart – is a floating text box. To change chart title text, click the title text box to select it, click inside the text box, drag over the text to change, and enter the replacement text. For this chart change “One” to “Two” and “Axis” to “Axes”.

End of the Task 2 Detailed Description/Working Notes

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Task 3: Know the 3 Ways to Chart Missing Data Make the “Task 3-Chart Missing Data“ worksheet current. The two charts side-by-side on that worksheet currently are identical and look like the illustration below.

Both are standard line charts with time values along the X axis and temperature values along the Y axis. The charts are based on the data range in the same worksheet with the label “Chart Data”. Notice in this range that although the time values increment regularly hour by hour, two temperature values are missing from the range: The temperature value for 9:00 AM and the temperature value for 5:00 PM. Both the charts on the worksheet (and shown above) skip these missing values. This is Excel’s default treatment when charting missing data. For this exercise modify the charts so that: The first chart shows the missing data plotted as zeros and its title reads

“Temperature Missing Data Plotted as Zeros”. The second chart shows the missing data interpolated by Excel to provide a

continuous data line and its title reads “Temperature Missing Data Interpolated”.

Plotted as zeros. Plotted with interpolation.

Working notes on completing the modification tasks follow.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Working Notes on the Task 3 Chart To modify to show missing chart values as zeros or as interpolated values (instead of using the default of “gaps”):

1. Right-click a data marker on a chart and choose Select Data from the context menu that displays. The “Select Data Source” dialog opens.

2. Look in the “Legend Entries (Series) box at left. Choose the only series

listed there for this chart: the “Temperature” series.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

3. At the bottom left of the dialog find and click the Hidden and Empty Cells button.

4. The “Hidden and Empty Cell Settings” dialog

opens. Choose the setting you want from that dialog.

End of the Task 3 Detailed Description/Working Notes

Task 4: Create Two Combination Charts Go to the worksheet named “Task 4-Combination Chart“. The two identical charts on that sheet are a simple line chart depiction of the same data: “Quarterly Sales by Region”, based on the range in that worksheet with the label “Chart Data”. The identical charts plot each data series as a line. Although this is a perfectly reasonable choice of chart type, Excel has the flexibility to plot one or more of the data series as a different chart type. You might choose to combine chart types to emphasize the values in a certain series, for example, or to highlight differences between series values. To modify particular data series on the charts on this worksheet you’ll select a series marker (for the first chart, for example, select the Q4 Sales line data marker), right-click, and from the context menu that displays choose Change Series Chart Type. In the “Change Chart Type” dialog that displays, you’ll choose the different chart type for that series from the “Change Chart Type” dialog.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Overview of the Chart 1 Modifications In the first chart on the worksheet, make the Q4 Sales series a column chart type. Leave the other series as they are. Change the chart title to “Column and Line Combination Chart”. Chart 1 Check Your changed first chart should look like the illustration below. (There’s no need to add any special formatting to the bar series.)

Overview of the Chart 2 Modifications In the second chart on the worksheet, again make the Q4 Sales series a column chart type. Make the Q3 Sales series an area chart type. Leave the other series as they are. Change this chart’s title to “Column, Area, and Line Combination Chart”.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Chart 2 Check

Working notes on constructing these two custom combination charts follow. Working Notes on the Task 4 Charts To Change the Chart Type for a Particular Data Series Marker

1. Right-click the Q4 Sales line to select it and open its context menu. 2. From the context menu that displays choose Chart Type.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

3. In the “Chart Type” dialog that displays select the column chart type and click OK. Excel applies the column chart type to the selected data series only. The legend series marker for Q4 Sales changes to reflect the series marker type.

Proceed in the same general fashion for the second chart. For this chart, again make the Q4 Sales series a column chart type. For this second chart, also make the Q3 Sales series an area chart type. Change this chart’s title to “Column, Area, and Line Combination Chart”.

End of the Task 4 Detailed Description/Working Notes

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Task 5: Make a Chart Title Dynamic Make “Task 5-Dynamic Title” the current worksheet. The chart on that worksheet looks like the illustration below: It’s a standard column chart of regional sales data for four quarters. The data on which the chart is based appears in a range with the label “Chart Data” to the left of the chart. Overview of Chart Modifications Build the concatenation sentence described below and locate it in Cell B18. Delete the existing chart title and replace it with the concatenated sentence. Whatever appears in the concatenation in the worksheet should appear as the chart title text box. Test the dynamic nature of the title by changing the values in Cells B15 and B16. The corresponding chart title values should also change. Check With the contents of Cells B15 and B16 changed, the chart title might appear like the one at right. Working notes follow.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Working Notes on the Task 5 Chart To Create a Dynamic Chart Title

1. Create a chart without a title. In this exercise—where the chart already is created and already has a title—select the existing title and delete it.

2. Locate in a worksheet cell (or cells) the values you want the title to take on. In this exercise, variable values are already entered in Cells B15 and B16. They currently contain the words “Fish” and “Eastern”.

3. Create the dynamic title for the chart in Cell B18 using Excel concatenation. Use the built-in Excel CONCATENATE function or the “short form” of concatenation. Both versions are shown below.

=CONCATENATE(B15, “ Sales in the “, B16, “ Region”)

= B15 & “ Sales in the “ & B16 & “ Region”

In the second version the ampersand symbol (&) strings together the four “chunks” that will become the dynamic chart title, that is: Chunk 1: B15 Returns the contents of the cell. Chunk 2: “ Sales in the “ Note the spaces at each end of the string. Chunk 3: B16 Returns the contents of the cell. Chunk 4: “ Region” Note the space before the word. The contents of Cells B15 and B16 become the dynamic values in the title. If the cells’ contents change the concatenated result changes as well. The text in double quotes (“ Sales in the “ and “ Region”) is fixed. Note that spaces are included within the double quoted text strings so the title text will appear properly spaced, i.e., not as

FishSales in theEasternRegion but as Fish Sales in the Eastern Region.

Now that you have prepared the dynamic concatenated text string you’re ready to make it the chart title.

4. Select the chart by clicking its outside edge. 5. Choose the “Insert” tab on Excel’s ribbon and select the “Text” group. 6. Click the “Text Box” button and draw a rectangle at the top of the chart area.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

7. In Excel’s formula bar, enter an equals sign, and enter the reference to the cell

(B18) that holds the concatenated text string you just built. Hit the enter key.1 Excel enters the result of the concatenation formula in the text box.

8. Complete the exercise by changing the contents of Cell B15 and Cell B16 to text values of your choice. The dynamic chart title should reflect the changes to these cells’ values. Be sure to widen the chart title’s text box as necessary so all the title text displays.

End of the Task 5 Detailed Description/Working Notes

1 If this technique doesn’t work for you, enter an equals sign in the formula bar, click the cell that holds your concatenated formula, and then hit the Enter key.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Level 1 Task 6: Use the XY (Scatter) Chart Type In the ExcelCharting.xlsx file open the “Task 6-XY Chart” worksheet. The line chart to modify on that worksheet is illustrated below. This chart shows human population growth from the beginning of the Common Era (CE) until the present and then projected to the year 2150. The data on which the chart is based appears in a range to the left of the chart with the label “Chart Data”. If you use any one of the standard chart types (line, area, column, etc.) for this data, the dates are arranged as category values in even intervals along the chart’s X axis. It appears that population is increasing at a relatively steady rate.

An Overview of Chart Modifications For this population data, a line, area, or column chart does show the data but in a misleading way. To get a real picture of the relationship between year and population, use the XY chart type instead. Modify the line chart to an XY chart so that the year and population values are plotted against one another. Change the chart title to “Population Growth: XY Chart”.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Check Your modified line chart should look like the illustration below. (For this exercise there’s no need to change the area or column versions of the line chart that also appear on the worksheet; you need only modify the line chart.) The data charted with the XY chart type tells a very different and more accurate story about the relationship between the passage of years and population levels.

Working Notes on the Task 6 XY Chart 1. To change the chart from a line chart to an XY chart select

the chart, right-click, choose Change Chart Type from the pop-up context menu.

2. The “Change Chart Type” dialog opens. Choose the XY (Scatter) type. For this exercise choose the “Scatter with data points connected by lines” sub-type.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

3. When the line chart in this task is changed to an XY chart, the horizontal X axis labels become obscured and display as a filled black line, as illustrated below.

This happens because when the chart type is changed from line to XY, Excel 2007 also changes the scale of the X axis, crowding so many values along the axis that — unless magnified like the sample below — the labels appear as a single, filled line.

To correct the XY chart’s X axis, right-click the X axis, choose “Format Axis” from the context menu that displays, and in the “Format Axis” dialog change all the “Auto” options to “Fixed”. Change the Minimum, Maximum, Major Unit, and Minor unit values to the ones shown in the illustration below.

The corrected X-axis looks like this:

End of the Task 6 Detailed Description/Working Notes

Magnified X-axis labels.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Optional Additional Notes on the XY Chart Understanding the XY chart type and when to use it is important. Key points are: The XY chart can plot two numeric data series as a single series of XY coordinates.

The Population-Year chart in this exercise is an example of this kind of single-series XY chart.

The XY chart can also be used to show the relationships among numeric values in several data series. If you have more than one Y value to chart in an XY chart, Excel requires that you locate the X values in one column (or row) and the corresponding Y values in the adjacent columns (or rows). The example below shows this kind of multi-series XY chart.

Time Actual Predicted 5:00 58 60 5:32 60 63 6:05 62 68 6:42 65 71 7:15 65 72 7:41 66 72 8:04 67 75

This sample data and chart are included at the bottom of the “T6-XY” worksheet as a more extended description of the XY chart. This data and sample chart are not a part of this task. They are an optional illustration only.

X values Y values: two series

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Task 7: Manage Dates on a Chart’s Category Axis Make the “Task 7-Category Dates” worksheet current. The bar chart you’ll modify on that worksheet looks like the illustration below and shows sales by date. There are only seven data points in the chart and the dates associated with these data points do not occur at evenly-spaced intervals. By default, Excel fills in the interval gaps in the date data to make a regular date sequence along the X (here, vertical) axis. This leaves lots of empty space between the data markers (and a potentially crowded X axis; thinned here).

Overview of Chart Modifications Override Excel’s default treatment of dates in the chart and modify the X axis so only the dates that actually have associated data points are shown. Check Your modified chart will look like the illustration at right. Here, only the seven dates with an associated data value are shown. There are no gaps in the spacing of data along this X axis despite the gaps between dates.

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Excel Charting Review: Detailed Descriptions

Working Notes on the Task 7 Chart To override Excel’s default handling of X axis dates:

1. Right-click the vertical (X) axis and choose to format the axis. The “Format Axis” dialog opens.

2. Although the X axis labels are dates, in order to make Excel show only the dates that have associated data markers, choose “Text axis” for “Axis Type”.

The resulting chart spaces the data markers evenly and shows only dates associated with those markers, even those the intervals between the dates are uneven.

End of the Task 7 Detailed Description/Working Notes

End of the Excel Charting Detailed Descriptions

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Excel 2007 Basic Charting Skills Review Summary

Excel Charting Skills Summary Excel Basic Charting

1. Select the data to chart. 2. On Excel’s ribbon choose the “Insert” tab. 3. Go to the “Charts” group. 4. Choose the chart type you want from the chart buttons that display. 5. Choose the chart subtype from the chart subtypes that display.

Review of Chart Component Names

Chart Area Plot AreaCategory Axis (X)

Legend Title

Value Axis (Y) Gridline

Data Series Marker

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Excel 2007 Basic Charting Skills Review Summary

Selecting Chart Components A chart is a graphical object that floats on top of the Excel workspace. A chart is made up of a number of graphical elements, each of which can be selected and modified. Click or right-click the edge of an element to select it.

In the illustration at left, the plot area is selected. Unfilled circles appear at each corner. Unfilled squares

appear in the middle of each edge.

Chart “Scale” Options

Excel automatically sets a chart scale for the value axis (Y-axis values) based on the data you’re charting. However, the scale is modifiable. For example, right-click the Y axis, choose Format Axis, and a “Format Axis” dialog opens. Choose “Axis Options”. Then, use the options in this dialog box to control the scale and look of the axis.

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Excel 2007 Basic Charting Skills Review Summary

Modify a Chart to Have Two Y Axes When charting data where values differ widely in scale, a chart with two Y (value) axes can be useful. One Y axis describes one data series and the other Y axis describes the other. To create a chart with two Y axes: 1. Right-click the data series marker you want plotted on a second axis. 2. Choose Format Data Series from the context menu that displays. 3. In the “Format Data Series” dialog choose “Series Options”. 4. Click “Secondary Axis” to add a right-hand Y axis with its own scale, based on the

data series value you selected above.

Options for Charting Missing Data

Excel provides three ways to chart missing data. Choose the option you want by: 1) Right-clicking the data series to modify. 2) Choosing “Select Data…” from the context menu that displays. 3) Choosing the “Hidden and Empty Cells” button from the “Select Data Source”

dialog.

4) Choosing “Zero” or “Connect data points with line” from the “Hidden and Empty Cell Settings” dialog that displays.

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Excel 2007 Basic Charting Skills Review Summary

Creating a Custom Combination Chart

Excel offers several combination chart types in the Chart Wizard Step 1 on the “Custom Types” tab. For example, Column-Area, Line-Column, Line-Column on 2 Axes, etc. If none of the built-in combinations suit you, create a combination chart yourself by: 1. Right-clicking a data series marker on your chart and choosing “Change Series Chart

Type…” from the context menu that displays. 2. Selecting different a chart type from the “Change Chart Type” dialog. For example, if

the three data series in your chart are displayed as lines you might select the area chart type for one of the selected data series and the bar chart type for another, resulting in a Line-Column-Bar chart.

Creating a Dynamic Chart Title

A normal Excel chart title is fixed although it can be edited through the Chart Wizard or by directly editing the text box that contains it. If you want your chart title to be dynamic, base it on dynamic values in the worksheet by following these steps: 1. Create the chart without a title or delete a title if it already exists. 2. In the worksheet locate the dynamic values you want to use in the title. 3. In another cell use Excel concatenation to string together a dynamic chart title. For

example, if you had dynamic values in Cells A1 and A2 your concatenation formula might look like this: =A1, “ Sales in the “, A2, “ Region”

4. Select the chart by clicking its outside edge. 5. In Excel’s formula bar type an equals sign and enter the reference to the cell that

holds the concatenation formula you built. 6. Hit the enter key to generate a dynamic title (text box) in the chart. Format, resize,

and reposition the text box title as necessary. If the values in Cells A1 or A2 change, the first and fifth words in the chart will also change automatically.

The XY Chart Type

The XY Chart or Scatter Plot is a very special chart type that can be useful for accurately displaying relationships between certain data series. Use an XY Chart when you want to plot series values against one another, not against a Y axis. That is, two (or more) numeric data series are plotted as a series of XY (or XYY...) coordinates. Create an XY Chart by: 1. Locating X axis values in one column. 2. Locating Y axis values in the column to the right of the X axis values. If you have

more than one data series, locate each in a column to the right of the previous series. 3. Select the data, choose the “Insert” tab, and from the “Charts” group choose the “XY

(Scatter)” chart type. Managing Date Data on the Category Axis

If you chart data where the values for the X axis are dates, by default Excel establishes a regular date sequence based on the dates available, whether you have data for each date or not. Depending on your data, this can result in a chart with many X-axis date labels and few actual data markers. To override Excel’s default date handling: 1. Right-click the X axis and choose the “Format Axis” option. 2. In the “Format Axis” dialog that displays choose the first entry: “Axis Options”. 3. From the “Axis Type” section, choose “Text axis”.

End of the Excel Chart Skills Review Summary

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