All the steps you need to create great charts in Excel. Including; setting up a spreadsheet to contain your data, how to choose the right data to build your chart, using the Chart Wizard, quick charts and Sparklines (Office 2010) and options for getting the chart into other applications like Word and PowerPoint,

Introduction

This is a collection of links to take you from the theory on why to create charts and what kind to use, through to the technical aspects of creating them and beyond into extra features to enhance your data interpretation.

Preparation for creating your chart in Excel

Excel - Worksheet Design Strategy -Begin with this article from Microsoft with tips on how to design a spreadsheet so that it is easy to use and to read.  It is quite detailed but worth a read for anyone who would like to design a spreadsheet from scratch.

Charts in Excel - Design Process and Choosing The Right Chart Type - An explanation of the process to create the right chart to represent your data accurately.  The process covers; deciding what your message is, laying out your data, creating and formatting the chart.

Selecting the right chart type for your data - A very clear article explaining which kind of chart to choose, with real examples and reasons why you should choose particular chart types to illustrate your data. 

Creating your chart 

 If you use Excel 2000, 2002 or 2003

Excel Charts Tutorial 2000 - 2003  - A clear step-by-step guide to creating charts in Excel using the Chart Wizard.  Useful images to illustrate the steps.  Useful for anyone who would like to create charts from scratch in Excel 2000 - 2003. 

Excel Charts Video - Creating a pie chart -  A video that shows how to create a pie chart from data in Excel 2003 using the Chart Wizard.  Includes how to select the correct data for a pie chart where the headings and the data are not in adjacent columns.   It is a speedy walk through so it is useful for people who have tried the chart wizard before but would like to make more sophisticated charts.

 

If you use Excel 2007 or 2010

Column Charts in Excel 2007 - Step-by-step guide to creating a column (or bar) chart in Excel 2007 using the new style chart tools.  Useful for anyone who would like to represent their data in a visual format.

Pie Charts in Excel 2007 - Clear step-by-step guide to creating a Pie Chart in Excel 2007 with a good explanation of why you might choose a Pie Chart.  Useful images to illustrate points.  .

Excel 2007 Line Graph Tutorial - A clear step-by-step guide to creating a Line Graph using the Chart tools in Excel 2007.  Useful illustrations and an explanation of why you might choose a line chart.

 

Getting your chart into other types of document

Copy a chart to a PowerPoint presentation - Microsoft article on how to copy a chart into a PowerPoint document.  Details the different paste options and is useful for anyone who would like to know either how to link their chart (so when it updates in Excel it does in PowerPoint too) or for people who would like to make sure their pasted chart doesn't take up too much space (paste as static picture).

 

Extra features

How to use Sparklines in Excel 2010 - One of the cool features of Excel 2010;  A Sparkline is a little chart displayed in a cell representing your selected data set that allows you to quickly and easily spot trends at a glance. This is a step-by-step explanation of how to use them.

Excel Charts - Add a Trendline - A step-by-step guide on how to add a trendline to your excel chart.

Excel Waterfall Chart - A tutorial and downloadable template that helps you create a waterfall chart - to show how you have progressed to the current situation, month by month or quarter by quarter.  Good for representing sales figures or progress towards a target.

 

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