How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

In this article, I shall discuss on how Excel handle charts, what is embedded chart and chart sheets.

Before we start creating an Excel chart, we need data. No data, no chart. The data must be stored in the cells of a worksheet.

Imagine a hypothetical company “XYZ” and it has recorded its employees in West, Mid and East zone from the year 2009 to 2013 like the following figure.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

Employee data of a hypothetical company.

This data has 3 data series. West, Mid and East columns hold these three data series. Let’s make a line chart with this data. Follow these steps:

  • Click any cell within the range of the data.
  • Choose Insert ➪ Charts ➪ Recommended Charts. Insert Chart dialog box appears.
  • Choose Line chart from the Recommended Chart tab.
  • And finally, click OK. Insert Chart dialog box vanishes and you will get a chart like the following figure.
How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

This line chart is created from the data. Green, Blue, and Red lines are representing three data series.

Read More: Sparklines in Excel (Insert, Change, & Modify to Show Data Trends)!

Different appearance of the data series

The look of the data series depends on the selected chart type. To change the style of the data series, just activate the chart, select Design Tab, and select the style you like from the Chart Styles.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

You can select different chart styles.

I have selected some different styles for my above chart.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

Four more chart styles.

Source of data to create a chart

Generally, the data you are using to create a chart resides in a worksheet. But this is not a mandatory requirement. A chart can be created with data that are stored in a different worksheet or even the data may be in another workbook.

Charts are dynamic

A very important point to keep in mind is that charts are dynamic. It means that whenever you change any part of the data, the chart is automatically updated to reflect those changes.

You can change the chart anytime

After you create a chart, you can always:

  • change the chart type
  • change the formatting of the chart
  • add new data series to the old data
  • remove data series from the data (one data series is required to make a chart)
  • add/ remove elements (such as the title, legend and many more)

Excel 2013 provides an easy way to change anything of a chart. Just activate any chart and you will find three icons to the right of the chart. Hover the mouse over any of the three icons, it will display its name with a short description.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

Using these three icons, you can change anything of the chart.

I shall discuss in details about these three icons and their uses later in this chapter.

Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

Maximum time a chart is embedded (attached) in a worksheet. But a chart also can be displayed in a separate chart sheet. Chart sheet is just like worksheet, I shall discuss about it in this article. You can easily move an embedded chart to a chart sheet and a chart sheet can be made an embedded chart.

Read More: How to Make a Control Chart with Excel VBA!

Embedded charts

So far whatever charts we have made all are embedded charts. It just floats on the top of a worksheet. There is an invisible drawing layer on a worksheet. Embedded charts are displayed on that drawing layer.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

The Invisible Drawing Layer is holding a chart.

Like Shapes objects, SmartArt objects you can:

  • Move an embedded chart
  • Resize an embedded chart
  • Adjust the borders of the chart
  • Change any properties
  • perform many other operations

To make any changes in an embedded chart, just activate the chart clicking on it. When it is activated, Excel shows the CHART TOOLS contextual tab. By default DESIGN tab is selected, but there is another tab named FORMAT. Using these two tabs, you can do any changes in the embedded chart.

A chart formatted using the FORMAT tools like Shape Styles, WordArt Styles.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

A formatted chart.

Printing an Embedded Chart

When you print a worksheet that holds an embedded chart, the chart will be printed next to data. See the print preview below:

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

Print Preview of a worksheet that holds an embedded chart.

Whenever you create a chart, it is made as an embedded chart. But if you press F11 after selecting a cell within the data, a default chart will be created on a chart sheet.

Read More: Excel Charts with Dynamic Title and Legend Labels

Chart sheets

A Chart Sheet is like a worksheet. The difference is a worksheet holds both data and chart but a chart sheet only holds a chart. Worksheets are named as Sheet1, Sheet2, and so on. Chart sheets are named as Chart1, Chart2 and so on. One chart sheet can hold only on chart.

How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

A Chart sheet is holding a chart.

How to move an Embedded chart to a chart sheet

Follow these steps to move an embedded chart to a chart sheet:

  • Click the embedded chart that you want to move to a chart sheet
  • Choose Chart Tools ➪ Design ➪ Location ➪ Move Chart
  • The Move Chart dialog box appears
  • Select New Sheet option
  • Enter a name for the chart sheet or you can keep the default name provided by Excel
  • Click OK
  • The embedded chart will be open in a new chart sheet.
How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

The Move Chart Dialog box.

How to move a chart on a chart sheet to make it an Embedded chart

The system is opposite of the previous one. Follow these steps to move a chart on a chart sheet to make it an embedded chart:

  • Click the chart on the chart sheet that you want to move to a worksheet to make it an embedded chart.
  • Choose Chart Tools ➪ Design ➪ Location ➪ Move Chart
  • The Move Chart dialog box appears
  • Select Object in option
  • There is a drop-down list on right of Object in, choose the sheet where you want to embed this chart.
  • Click OK
  • The chart will be embedded in the selected sheet and Chart sheet will be vanished.
How Excel Handle Charts, Embedded Charts and Chart Sheets

The Move Chart dialog box used to move chart from the chart sheet.

Managing is easy when charts are on the chart sheets

Moving charts to charts sheets gives us some extra benefit like these:

  • Printing a specific chart is easy as a chart occupies the whole chart sheet. You can easily then print the chart by itself.
  • Locating particular chart becomes easy as every chart sheet has its unique name to identify them.

When a chart sheet is active, Excel Ribbon shows the CHART TOOLS contextual tab like when you activate an embedded chart. You can change the chart on the chart sheet using the tools available in this tab.

Use the scroll bars to scroll the chart if the chart is too large to visualize. Or you can use zoom factor to minimize or maximize the chart.

Chart orientation(Landscape/ Portrait) can be changed choosing this command: Page Layout ➪ Page Setup ➪ Orientation.

Download File

Download the following file to practice by yourself.

Excel-Charts.xlsx

So, this was all from me on this topic. Let me know in case you face any issues while using this article. This is just starting of basic charting in Excel. I shall dig until I can make you expert on charting. Keep in touch. Thank you for reading.

Happy Excelling ☕

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Hello! Welcome to my Excel blog! It took me some time to be a fan of Excel. But now I am a die-hard fan of MS Excel. I learn new ways of doing things with Excel and share here. Not only how to guide on Excel, but you will get also topics on Finance, Statistics, Data Analysis, and BI. Stay tuned!

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