MS Excel Charts Done Your Way

Okay, so you’ve made an absolutely beautiful Excel chart, but after some consideration, you’re seeing a few things that you’d like to change.

Maybe you’d prefer a different font for the text.

Maybe you need a smaller font on some of the labeling so Excel will display all of the category names.

Maybe you have money amounts graphed and all of the “.00” on the end are just too much. I bet you’d just love to find a way to format the numbers to have zero decimal places!

Or, what about some angled text? That usually looks great and will help Excel to display all of the category names in a “space crunch.”

And what about the default colors? Did you have something else in mind?

Maybe change this:

Into this:

For all those things and more, you can find your solution in a double click.

Once you have your chart completed, editing is a snap.

To begin, simply move the mouse pointer to the area to be changed and double click.

A window will open with tabs for whatever options you have regarding that item.

You’ll need to take a moment and “flip” through the tabs to find out what’s available for each item. (You’ll find that some things have more options than others).

When you’re done making changes, simply click OK.

Instantly, you’re returned to the chart with the changes complete.

Don’t like your changes?

Never fear! The Undo button can change them back.

If changing colors is your thing, you might be interested in this little tid bit.

When you click on the bars, pie wedges or points, you may notice that all of the pieces become highlighted.

If you double click, you get all of the pieces highlighted and the window to make changes (including color) opens.

Keep in mind here: they are all changed the same since they were all selected when you entered the window. (Not too great for pie graphs. Different colors are a common format for those).

So, is there a way to get just one bar, pie wedge or point?

Yes, of course!

This is another one of those “click, wait a second and click again” scenarios.

If you do that, you’ll find that you have just one piece selected. Double click on that one piece (or one of the others) to make changes to each piece separately.

Another little item I’ve run into is that it sometimes seems that I just can’t get Excel to select the part of the chart I need to change. It thinks I’m trying to select one thing when I really need another.

In situations like this, I find that if I click completely outside the chart and then try again, it works instantly.

Well, I could probably go on with the changing of the charts all day. There’s so many things that can be changed. It’s really just a matter of you exploring.

Want to change a chart element?

Click it to fix it!

~ April