Formatting a Chart in Excel – 8 Examples


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Download the following workbook.

How to Insert a Chart from Data in Excel

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Select a chart in Charts.

Inserting Chart in Excel

Here, Clustered Column in the 2-D Column:

Clustered Column in Excel

Chart Elements in Excel

Chart elements available in Excel:

  • Axes
  • Axis titles
  • Chart titles
  • Data labels
  • Data table
  • Error bars
  • Gridlines
  • Legend
  • Trendline

Chart Elements in Excel

Example 1 – Formatting X and Y Axis

In the chart below the Y-axis scale starts at 0, and the scale expands up to 120 marks. To change it to 100 (the highest possible mark):

  • Right-click the Y-axis and then select Format Axis.

Formatting Y-Axis

  • In the Format Axis pane, change the value.

Changing Axis Maximum Value

The highest value on the Y-Axis is 100.

Changing Highest Y-Axis Value

  • Format the Y-Axis by adding Tick Marks next to the axis:

Adding Tick Marks to Axis

This is the output.

Effect of Adding Tick Marks

  • Change the number format of the Y-Axis label to a Scientific number format.

Changing Number Format Y-Axis Label

  • Change the Label Position. Select High.

Changing the Position of Labels

This is the output.

Scientific Number Format of Y-Axis Label

Example 2 – Formatting the Chart Title

  • Double-click the title and enter a new title. Here, “Number Obtained by Students”.
  • Change the color of the text. In Text Fill, choose Solid Fill and choose a color.

Choosing Color for Text

  • Change the Fill of the chart to Solid Fill and select a color.

Giving Color for Title Fill

This is the output.

Final Look of Chart Title

Example 3 – Format the Chart Legend 

  • Click the chart legend to display Format Legend
  • In Legend Options, click Top Right.

This is the output.

Changing Legend Position

Example 4 – Format Data Labels 

Add data labels:

  • Click  “+” 
  • Check  Data Labels.

This is the output.

Adding Data Labels

If you have large numeric values, the data label may be too large:

Large Data Labels

  • Open Format Data Labels
  • Click Number.
  • In Category, select Custom.
  • Enter the following format in the Format Code

This is the output.

Using Different Format for Data Label

Example 5 – Formatting Data Series

  • Click any column.
  • Right-click and select Format Data Series.

Selecting Format Data Series from Context Menu

  • In the Format Data Series pane, change the color to Navy-blue. You can also change the border color.

Modify Data Series Color

Change the distance between two adjacent columns in the chart:

  • Click Series Options and change the Gap Width to “0”.

Change Gap Width of Series

This is the output.

Output of Changing Gap Width in Chart

Read More: How to Change Chart Color Based on Value in Excel

Example 6 – Change the Chart Style

  • Click the chart, and you will find a “Paint brush icon” at the top-right corner.

Chart Style Changing Icon

Click the icon to see the available charts. Choose one.

Changing Chart Style

Example 7 – Change the Chart Type

  • Right-click any column in the chart. Click Change Series Chart Type.

Changing Series Chart Type

  • In the Change Chart Type box, select a chart.

Selecting Exact Chart Type

Example 8 – Formatting the Chart Area

The default chart area color is white. Change it in the Format Chart Area pane.

  • Change the color of the chart.

Changing Color of Chart Area

This is the output.

Output of Changing Chart Area Color

Read More: How to Make Excel Graphs Look Professional

Excel Charts Not Showing – Solution


Charts Disabled in Excel

  • Go to File and then select Options.
  • In the Excel Options, click Advanced and select For Object, Show:

Enabling Charts in Excel

All types of charts are available in your worksheet.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is it possible to resize and move the chart to fit my worksheet better?

Yes, you can resize and move the chart by clicking it, and then dragging the handles.

2. Is it possible to format specific data points differently, like changing the color of a particular bar or data marker?

Right-click and use the Format Data Series option.

3. What is the difference between Chart Style and Chart Type?

Chart Type refers to the specific graphical representation of data whereas chart Style refers to the visual appearance and formatting applied to the chart elements.

Formatting Chart in Excel: Knowledge Hub

<< Go Back to Excel Charts | Learn Excel

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Md Junaed-Ar-Rahman, a Biomedical Engineering graduate from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, has contributed to the ExcelDemy project for one year. As a technical content developer, he has authored 15+ unique articles and actively addressed user problems. He participated in 2 specialized training programs on VBA and Chart & Dashboard design in Excel. His passion lies in solving problems uniquely and exploring new functions and formulas. Eager for future exploration, he aims to gain proficiency in applications... Read Full Bio

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