Diagrams and graphs in Excel spreadsheet, General principles...

Diagrams and graphs in the Excel spreadsheet

General principles of charting

In order to more clearly present the characteristics of information in a spreadsheet, for example, to identify and show a trend that is traced in an array of input data, or to maximally substantiate some statement about the nature and parameters of this data during presentation with a presentation , it is useful to use graphical illustrative materials that can be easily obtained using standard tabular processor functions. For these purposes, in Excel there are means of forming diagrams. Chart is a graphical representation of numeric data. In the Excel table processor, you can get different types of diagrams, for example Histograms and Graphics. In a histogram, numeric data is displayed by bars (or areas if a pie chart is plotted), on the graph, numeric data is represented by dots (or other graphic primitives) that are connected by lines.

Graphs are usually used to display processes that change when changes occur in the data array underlying these processes, for example, some processes that evolve over time. Histograms are more convenient for visual representation of the ratio of any values. The line on the graph or the group of bars of the histogram represents a series of data that are in several adjacent cells of the table. In addition to histograms and graphs, pie charts are widely used, which are convenient for visual representation of the ratio of the quantities forming the whole.

For example, the data of the table, in which the contribution of the employees of Ivanov, Petrov and Sidorov (see Table 12.4) is reflected in the corporate holiday organization, can be represented in the diagram (Figure 12.5). Notice how the same table information is reflected in a diagram such as histogram and on the graph.

Staff Contribution Chart

Fig. 12.5. Employee contribution chart:

a is a bar graph: b is a graph.

The Chart Wizard is responsible for building charts and diagrams in Excel , which is called via the Insert menu, the Chart sub-section. Before you start building a diagram, you need to select the data range from which the diagram will be built. On a single chart, you can represent several series of data. If the diagram is based on several ranges, you must ensure that these ranges are symmetric.

The easiest way to build a chart is if the table contains data, data names and explanations to them, where the rows in which the data resides follow one after another, and the data names are at the beginning of the data line. Based on this arrangement of data, it is easy to form a range that will be processed in the Chart Wizard to construct the corresponding graph (Figure 12.6).

A table with a selected range, based on which the diagrams in Figure 12.5

Fig. 12.6. A table with a selected range, based on which the diagrams in Fig. 12.5

Drawing a Chart Using the Chart Wizard

To build a diagram based on the Excel, spreadsheet data, select the cells containing the data, their names and explanations for this data, then go to the menu Insert the Chart command or click the Chart Wizard button on the Standard toolbar. The Chart Wizard opens a context menu in which the charting process is in interactive mode (the user must select the parameters of the future chart from the options chart wizard offered by the Wizard). The diagram is drawn in four stages, at each step you can view the chart view either with the Result View button (works with the right mouse button pressed) or directly in the Timeline of the Chart Wizard.

At the first stage, the user is asked to determine the type of chart: on the Standard tab, typical types are presented (histogram, graph, line, circular, annular, etc.), more complex chart types can be selected on the Custom tab. After selecting the type of chart to continue the build process, click the Next button (it is present at each stage of the chart's construction). Note that you can also return to the previous step at each step of the diagram creation - for this, the Back button is available in the Chart Wizard's context menu.

After selecting the type and type of the chart and clicking on the Next button, the Chart Wizard proceeds to the second stage - displaying the addresses of the range cells and data series, as well as the cell addresses for generating the signature on the X . In this window, you can still correct (specify) the data array for plotting the chart. Note that the contents of the first (upper) line of the selected sheet area are used as the X axis label, and the contents of the first (left) column are used as data series names.

After clicking the Next button in the second step window, the window of the third step of the Chart Wizard appears. The tabs of this window allow you to set the general parameters of the chart (adjust the diagram) - type in its name, axis headers, refine the data labels, and also the chart legend.

After the diagram is configured, clicking the Next button proceeds to the last, fourth, step of the diagram creation using the Chart Wizard. At this stage, the user must decide where the created diagram will be placed - on one of the existing sheets of the book or on a separate sheet. If the diagram is placed on an existing sheet (by default it is a sheet on which the data table is located), then the diagram will occupy only a part of it, and both the table and the diagram will be printed on paper (Figure 12.7).

Placing a chart on a worksheet

Fig. 12.7. Placing a chart on a worksheet

If you place the chart on a separate sheet, then a label with a chart sheet label appears at the bottom of the Excel desktop; (by default, the charts are assigned sequential numbers, for example, "Chart 1" ;, Diagram 2 etc).

All elements of the constructed diagram can be changed. In order to change some element of the diagram, it must be selected. To select a chart, click the left mouse button in the diagram area (markers of selection - black squares) should appear on the border of the diagram area, then you can change the chart size or move the chart to another place (if it is inserted into an existing sheet). In the selected diagram, you can edit all its components in a similar way (including adding a frame or changing the background of the diagram, changing the legend format, creating a new text of the chart title, captions to the axes, etc.). To do this, the components are also highlighted by clicking on each of the items that you want to change, and after you right-click, make the required changes to the opened context menu for each item.

Inserting a chart into other Microsoft Office programs

The created diagram (or rather, a copy of it) can be inserted into a document created in any other program in the MS Office: in the word processor Word , PowerPoint presentations, and so on. At the same time, it keeps in touch with the data of the spreadsheet, on the basis of which it was generated, therefore the changes of this data will be reflected in the diagram.

To copy the Excel chart to other programs, you need to select it and copy it to the clipboard using the Copy command, then it is pasted in the standard way from the clipboard to the text of the document Word or on the presentation slide. The dimensions of the inserted chart can be changed in the same way as the dimensions of any inserted pattern.

Printing a Chart

After you finish working with the diagram, you can print it on the printer. The process of printing the current document is started by clicking the Print button on the command panel or by selecting the File command in the Print menu. These two options provide different possibilities for managing the printing process: in the first case, the printing process will start immediately, in the second case, the user will be able to customize the printing process according to his wishes using the Print dialog box that opens.

If the chart is on a separate sheet of the book, then in order to print it, open the chart sheet and choose Print from the File menu. Such a diagram will be printed on a separate sheet of paper. If the chart is on one sheet with a table or there are several diagrams on one sheet, then in order to print only one chart on a separate sheet of paper, it must be selected; click the left mouse button. The selected chart is marked with square markers in the diagram frame. If you need to print both a table and a chart on the same worksheet with the table on the sheet of paper, make sure that the chart is not selected (ie the outline of the diagram is not framed with markers) before activating the print. You can deactivate the chart by clicking anywhere in the worksheet outside the chart field.


The Excel spreadsheet editor is one of the four basic products of the Microsoft Office suite (along with MS Word , Access and PowerPoint ) , are the most popular in modern society for the processing of information (data) that can be presented in tabular form. The tables Excel are used to solve tasks of a very different nature and complexity - from compiling a small spreadsheet for planning the family budget to a giant corporate database containing information about all the products produced by the company , all customers and sales volumes, etc. Like all software products included in the package Microsoft Office , Excel can be used as a separate standalone data processing program, and together with all other programs of this package. The basic elements of a table processor are: a workbook, a worksheet, a row, a column, a table cell, charts and graphs. The main functionality that provides, in addition to the standard commands of the working menu and toolbar, the processing, editing and formatting of data in spreadsheets includes: the name (address) of the cell, the addresses of the ranges of cells, the shortcuts of the worksheet, the editing of the formula line, the use of the Function Wizard, mechanisms of autocomplete table cells with data and formulas, as well as a chart wizard for creating graphs and histograms. The formatting of the spreadsheet includes determining the type and type of its data, the design of headers and footers, and the data designation forms used in the table.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)