Customize a bar chart

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We have added our data to the bar chart. Now, let’s customize the chart, so it has the details and style we want.

Change the color of a chart

When you insert a chart, small buttons appear next to its upper-right corner. Use the Chart Styles button to quickly change the color or style of the chart.

  1. Click the chart you want to change.

  2. In the upper-right corner, next to the chart, click Chart Styles.

  3. Click Color and pick the color scheme you want, or click Style and pick the option you want.

Want more?

Change the format of data labels in a chart

Copy an Excel chart to another Office program

We have added our data to the chart.

Now, let’s customize the chart, so it has the details and style we want.

To start, I’ll zoom in a little.

Then, I’ll click the ,Chart Title, select it, and type a new title, "Annual Expenses".

Next, I’d like to include a dollar sign for the dollar amounts. To get that, I’ll apply some data formatting.

I’ll right-click the chart, point to Edit Data, and click Edit Data. This opens the data window.

Now, I’ll click the projected heading and drag to select both the columns of data.

I’ll right-click, and click Format Cells.

On the Numbertab, I’ll click Currency and make sure the dollar symbol is selected.

For Decimal places, I’ll click the down arrow, change this to zero, and click OK.

Now, all the numerical data includes a dollar symbol.

We can close the data window. I’ll click X.

Now, the chart shows incremental dollar values. But I’d like to show exact amounts for each bar.

So, I’ll click to select the chart and look for these icons.

Then I’ll click the top one, Chart Elements, and in CHART ELEMENTS, I’ll point to Data Labels.

Exact amounts appear at the end of each bar.

I’ll check the Data Labels box to display these.

When I click the arrow next to Data Labels, I get more options for placing the labels.

I’ll point to Center to see a preview of the numbers centered.

Inside End puts them inside the end of the bar.

I like that, so I’ll click Inside End.

I also want a label near the dollar amounts at the bottom. So, in CHART ELEMENTS, I’ll check Axis Titles.

Two text boxes appear. I’ll click in the text box for the horizontal axis and type “In thousands.”

And I’ll drag the four-pointed arrow cursor to move the box over.

We don’t need a title on the vertical axis, so I’ll click that box and press Delete.

Last, to work with styles, click Chart Styles. Point to a style for a preview and scroll to see more.

This one really brings out the chart elements. Let’s click it.

Then, click Slide Show. There is the finished chart.

Up next: Insert a linked Excel bar chart.

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