This tutorial discusses the most common chart types, and sub-types, supported by Excel. For associated tutorials, watch our chart & Graph details Center. And if you produce a many charts, us like meaningful Graphs: many information Excel Charts (affiliate link). This book is well-organized and plainly explains the principles and also "how to" of good chart design.

You are watching: The area along the bottom of a chart that identifies the categories of data is the


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The Pie Chart

A Pie Chart display screens one series of data. A data series is a heat or shaft of numbers provided for charting. In the worksheet below, we have outlined a single data series. If we had selected multiple collection for the Pie Chart, Excel would neglect all but the first.

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Single Data Series

Excel supplies the row heading (series identifier) for the chart title and displays the data as proportional slices of a pie (1st picture below). One can customize the architecture of the pie graph so one of two people numeric values or their percentages screen on optimal of the slices that pie.

The legend can be relocated to the top, bottom, left, right, or optimal right ("corner" in enlarge versions) the the chart. Legend names can be readjusted by changing the obelisk headings in the sheet or modifying the chart straight in brand-new Excel versions.


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Popular Pie graph sub-types include Pie graph in 3-D (2nd chart above), exploded Pie graph (3rd chart above), and Exploded Pie in 3-D. Various other sub-types encompass the Pie the Pie and Bar the Pie - whereby a second pie or bar is created from particular values in the very first pie. Come customize, right-click top top the segment in the first pie and also select "Format Data Point."


The tower Chart

The pillar Chart properly compares a single collection of data points, but it shines once comparing lot of series. Outlined in red, the image listed below shows the 3 data collection we"re charting. Notice that we perform not include the totals in our data series.

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Multiple Data Series

Because Excel uses a different color for every data series, it"s straightforward to see just how a single series changes end time, or to compare multiple series over a offered time period. The Clustered pillar Chart is specifically popular.


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Clustered shaft Chart
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Stacked tower Chart

With the Stacked obelisk Chart, data points because that each time period are "stacked" atop each other. This chart kind shows each data point"s percentage that the total. Also obtainable is the 100% Stacked pillar Chart, wherein each value is displayed as a portion of 100%.


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100% Stacked tower Chart

In a obelisk Chart, the vertical axis always displays numeric values, and the horizontal axis screens time, names, or various other category. By default, Excel plots whichever has actually the many entries, row or shaft data, top top the horizontal axis. For example, if plotting five rows and two columns, row headings would reside along the horizontal axis. This have the right to be flipped approximately by customizing the Excel chart.

All shaft Charts have actually three-dimension versions—the Stacked shaft Chart is 3-D. Yet the "3-D shaft Chart" is special because the graph itself is three-dimensional utilizing the X, Y, and Z axes. The very first chart listed below is a 3-D shaft Chart of our data series.


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3-D column Chart
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3-D Pyramid Chart

In newer versions the Excel, cylinders, pyramids, and also cones deserve to be used instead of bars for most of the tower charts. The second chart above shows a 3-D Pyramid Chart.

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The line Chart

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The heat Chart is especially effective in displaying trends. The vertical axis (Y-axis) constantly displays numeric values and also the horizontal axis (X-axis) screens time or various other category.

The first image mirrors the Line v Markers graph of our solitary data series. Markers—the circles, squares, triangles, or various other shapes which note the data points—are optional, and Excel screens a unique marker in shape and/or shade for each data series.

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The line Chart is equally effective in displaying trends for multiple collection as displayed in the above Line chart without markers. An alert that each line is a different color.

Though not as vivid as the other charts, the is basic to see how effective the heat Chart in showing a tendency for a solitary series, and also comparing fads for multiple collection of data values.

Besides the heat Chart, we have actually the Stacked line Chart and also the 100% Stacked heat Chart - through or without markers. A 3-D heat Chart is available, but the heat Chart go not display data well in 3 dimension.

The Bar Chart

The Bar graph is choose a column Chart lying on that side. The horizontal axis the a Bar Chart contains the numeric values. The an initial chart listed below is the Bar Chart because that our solitary series, Flowers.

When to use a Bar graph versus a column Chart depends on the kind of data and also user preference. Periodically it is worth the moment to develop both charts and also compare the results. However, Bar Charts do tend to display and compare a big number that series far better than the various other chart types.


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The Area Chart

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Area Charts are like Line Charts other than that the area below the plot line is solid. And also like line Charts, Area Charts room used mainly to display trends over time or various other category. The graph at left is one Area Chart for our single series.

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Also obtainable are the stacked Area Chart and also 100% stacked Area Chart. Each comes in 2-D format and also in true 3-D layout with X, Y, and also Z axes. The chart at best is our 3-D Area Chart and also effectively display screens our three series.

In numerous cases, the 2-D version of the Area Chart displays multiple collection of data poorly as series with lesser values might be totally hidden. In the first chart below, flowers is entirely hidden, and just a wee bit of trees peaks through. No an efficient chart!


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The Scatter Chart

The objective of a Scatter graph is come observe just how the values of two collection compares gradually or various other category. To illustrate the Scatter Chart, us will use the worksheet values presented below:

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According to Scatter Plots (U. That Illinois), "Scatter plots are similar to heat graphs in the they use horizontal and also vertical axes come plot data points. However, they have actually a very specific purpose. Scatter plots present how lot one variable is influenced by another. The relationship between two variables is dubbed their correlation."

The series pair has a positive Correlation if they increase similarly, and also a an unfavorable Correlation if they both decrease in favor manner. Otherwise, they have No Correlation.

Excel go not use labels indigenous the worksheet to brand the horizontal axis. It numbers the X-axis chronologically.

The Scatter Chart comes in several various formats: markers can indicate the data points, and the points have the right to be unconnected or connected with smooth or straight lines. The first chart listed below is a Scatter chart with just Markers, and also the 2nd chart is a Scatter Chart with Smooth Lines.

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In general, markers work well when the variety of data points is small, and also smooth lines there is no markers are regularly used as soon as the number of data point out is large. Yet it is best to shot the different sub-types to watch which one best presents your data. For a good discussion top top Scatter Plots, see Scatter Plots - U. That Illinois.

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Other graph Types

Excel supplies other graph types, such together Stock, Surface, Doughnut, Bubble, and Radar. To locate a food selection of all available chart varieties in more recent Excel versions, start to insert any kind of chart type and click All Chart species ... The image below shows the food selection that displays—menu might look various on your version of Excel.

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Customizing Excel Charts

Customizing a chart can take a lengthy time uneven a reasonable order is followed. As soon as Microsoft modification its Office commodities for the 2007 version, that greatly intensified the charting function. In some ways there room too plenty of options.

See more: When I Was 4 Years Old My Sister Was Half My Age I Am 70 Now?

We have created a accuse that explains the customizing options for charts in newer versions that Excel, along with a recommended order in which come proceed.