Eight Excel Chart Tutorials

February 22, 2016

Microsoft Excel offers many uses that not everyone utilizes on a daily basis. If you want to dust-off your Excel charts skills or if you are a novice, the following tutorials may prove beneficial. 


Excel spreadsheets are all about numbers. But tons of numbers are often not the most effective way to communicate. 


  1. Create a chart from start to finish. This tutorial covers all the basics, including, a) getting to know the elements of a chart, b) modifying a basic chart to meet your needs, c) applying a predefined chart layout and chart style for a professional look, d) adding eye-catching formatting to a chart, and e) reusing charts by creating chart templates.

  2. Free training: Take the next steps in growing your Excel skills. In Excel Skills Builder, you learn about how to create a chart and other ways to visualize your data. (The Excel Skills Builder is a training series of short videos (typically under 5 minutes each) that give you an overview of a task or feature in Excel.)

  3. Go beyond the basic chart type. Excel comes with lots of chart types, including column, line, pie, and so on. However, many of you asked for more information about other kinds of charts. This post covers how to work with floating column charts, Gantt charts, combination charts, and organization charts.

  4. Can’t find the Chart Wizard? No worries. It’s true that Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 didn’t include the Chart Wizard. For those of you using or upgrading to Excel 2010, this post explains where to find the chart functions on the Ribbon.

  5. Use sparklines to show data trends. A sparkline is a tiny chart in a worksheet cell that provides a visual representation of data. Use sparklines to show trends in a series of values, such as seasonal increases or decreases or to highlight maximum and minimum values. This tutorial explains a) what sparklines are, b) why you should use them, c) how to create one, and d) how to customize them.

  6. Line or scatter chart? That’s a good question! Choosing the wrong chart type for your data can easily happen when it comes to line and scatter charts. They look very similar, especially when a scatter chart is displayed with connecting lines, but there is a big difference in the way each of these chart types plots data along the horizontal and vertical axes.

  7. Format column sparkline charts using the date axis and cell merging. Sparkline charts are great, but there may be times they need to be visually enhanced to maximize their usefulness. This post shows you one way to do that.

  8. Combining Chart Types, Adding a Second Axis. Often, you’ll find it is useful to create charts which compare and analyze different types of data. For example, you might want to compare share price with trading volume. In Excel, you can make a chart easier to understand by using different chart types in the same chart, and by using a secondary vertical axis to plot values that are in a different value range. You can read this post to learn how, or you can watch this video:Combine two or more chart types in a chart. 


    Warn, Emily (2012). "Our eight best tutorials on Excel charts".  Retreived from https://blogs.office.com/2012/05/30/our-eight-best-tutorials-on-excel-charts/


The bottom line is there are many free ways to improve Excel skills with a simple internet search or class in your area.


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