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Charts let you represent your data graphically,
which helps your audience see the meaning behind
We're going to look at some of the different types
and also some of the ways you can customize them to best represent your data.
In this example, I have a table of sales statistics for a bookstore,
and they're categorized by genre and by year,
but it's hard to really see any trends
without looking at all of the numbers one-by-one.
A chart will make this much easier.
To create a chart, select your data, and then, go
to the Insert tab.
And in the Charts group, you'll see all of the
and each one has its own advantages.
So let's take a look at a few of the more common
Column charts are good all-around charts, and they
work with many different types of data.
Line charts are best for showing trends over time.
Pie charts let you easily compare the proportions of different items.
Bar charts are basically just column charts, except they use horizontal bars.
And area charts are like line charts except the
areas under the lines are filled in.
And there are also some other types that are a bit
I think I'll start with a column.
Each category has a number of variations.
I think the 3-D Clustered Column looks good.
OK, this is a lot clearer.
I can see that the Romance books had the strongest sales, and they were really strong in 2007.
Now how do I know this column is 2007?
Well, over on the right there is a type of key called a Legend,
and this tells you what each color represents.
Right now the columns are grouped by genre,
but you might prefer them to be grouped by year instead.
There's an easy way to do this.
Make sure the chart is selected.
Then, from the Design tab, click the Switch Row/Column command,
and it will rearrange the chart so that the data is grouped by year.
So basically the years and the genres have switched places.
You can just experiment to see which of these options works better with your data.
If you decide you'd like to try a different chart
type, just click the Change Chart Type command.
I think I'll try a line chart.
I think this kind of chart works really well for
For example, you can instantly see that Classics had an unusually good year in 2007,
and also that Mysteries are starting to catch up to Romance novels.
There are just a few more things I want to do to
It's a good idea to have a title for the chart, as
well as a label for each axis.
You can add these by picking a layout that includes them.
And these are found in the Charts Layout group.
I'll try this one.
Once you've found one you like, you can just change the placeholder text to whatever you
You can also choose a Chart Style.
I like the colors I have, but I think I'll go with
the thicker line and darker background.
Finally, I'd like to move the chart to its own
sheet, so I'll just click Move Chart,
and then select New Sheet.
And I'll call it Book Sales Chart.
And now, it has its own sheet.
So whenever you're creating a spreadsheet that has
a lot of numbers,
consider using a chart to make it easier for your
audience to view and interpret