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Microsoft Excel 2010 : Editing a Chart & Moving and Resizing a Chart

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Editing a Chart

Editing a chart means altering any of its features, from data selection to formatting elements. For example, you might want to use more effective colors or patterns in a data series. To change a chart’s type or any element within it, you must select the chart or element. When a chart is selected, handles are displayed around the window’s perimeter, and chart tools become available on the Design, Layout, and Format tabs. As the figure below illustrates, you can point to any object or area on a chart to see what it is called. When you select an object, its name appears in the Chart Objects list box on the Ribbon, and you can then edit it. A chart consists of the following elements.

  • Data markers. A graphical representation of a data point in a single cell in the datasheet. Typical data markers include bars, dots, or pie slices. Related data markers constitute a data series.


  • Legend. A pattern or color that identifies each data series.

  • X-axis. A reference line for the horizontal data values.

  • Y-axis. A reference line for the vertical data values.

  • Tick marks. Marks that identify data increments.

Editing a chart has no effect on the data used to create it. You don’t need to worry about updating a chart if you change worksheet data because Excel automatically does it for you. The only chart element you might need to edit is a data range. If you decide you want to plot more or less data in a range, you can select the data series on the worksheet, as shown in the figure below, and then drag the outline to include the range you want in the chart.




Moving and Resizing a Chart

You can move or resize an embedded chart after you select it. If you’ve created a chart as a new sheet instead of an embedded object on an existing worksheet, the chart’s size and location are fixed by the sheet’s margins. You can change the margins to resize or reposition the chart. If you don’t like the location, you can move the embedded chart off the original worksheet and onto another worksheet. When resizing a chart downward, be sure to watch out for legends and axis titles.

Move an Embedded Chart

Select a chart you want to move.

Position the mouse pointer over a blank area of the chart, and then drag the pointer to move the outline of the chart to a new location.


Release the mouse button.

Resize an Embedded Chart

Select a chart you want to resize.

Position the mouse pointer over one of the handles.

Drag the handle to the new chart size.


Release the mouse button.
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