Working with Excel charts is always fascinating. However, if you need formatting chart in Excel, you may get confused since there are a lot of formatting options available for all chart elements in Excel. In this article, you will learn how to format a chart in Excel and give it a sophisticated look.
A chart is often hard to understand for those who are new in this area. If you can format it in a nice way, it becomes easy to understand. Proper chart formatting increases the visual clarity of data. Also, we can highlight specific data points and keep emphasizing them. Not only that, the formatting chart also helps us to identify errors in the dataset.
Download Practice Workbook
You may download the following workbook to practice yourself.
How to Insert Chart from Data in Excel
Inserting charts in Excel is very simple. Just select the dataset and click any of the available charts in the Charts group under the Insert tab.
We have selected the Clustered Column in the 2-D Column group. Our output is similar to the following image.
Chart Elements in Excel
There are different types of chart elements available in Excel. The list of chart elements is given below.
- Axis titles
- Chart titles
- Data labels
- Data table
- Error bars
Formatting Chart in Excel: 8 Suitable Ways
1. Formatting X and Y Axis
In the previous section, we saw how to insert a chart in Excel. You may notice that the Y-axis scale starts at 0, which is okay because the numbering system starts at zero. But the scale expands up to 120 marks. We will change it to 100 since the highest possible mark is 100.
- To do that, we will right-click on the Y-axis of the graph and then select the Format Axis.
- Doing so, you will find that the Format Axis pane has appeared. There is a change in the value, as you can see in the following image.
Now, you will find that the highest value on the Y-Axis is 100.
- There are many other options to change the Y-Axis appearance. For example, you can add Tick Marks next to the axis. Just look at the following image to add tick marks.
Eventually, the chart will look like the following image.
- It is also possible to change the number format of the Y-Axis label. We want to change it to a Scientific number format. Look at the following image to do that.
- The last possible formatting of the axis is the Labels. We will change it to High,like in the following image.
Changing these, we get a chart similar to the image below.
2. Formatting Chart Title
In this step, we will change the chart title. Double-click on the title and write down the title that you want to give as the title. We gave “Number Obtained by Students” as the title of the chart.
- Then change the color of the text. Change the Text Fill to Solid Fill and choose the color according to your own choice.
- Also, change the Fill of the chart and choose Solid Fill. And select any color as you wish.
You will find that the chart title looks very attractive now.
3. Chart Legend Formatting
Now, it’s time to modify the chart legend. You can also change the appearance of the legend in the chart. If you need to do that, do the same as the previous method. But, at this stage, we want to see how to change the position of the legend in the chart.
- Click on the chart legend and look at the Format Legend
- Under the Legend Options group, click on Top Right. You will see that the position of the legend has changed, as shown in the following image.
4. Data Label Formatting
Adding data labels to charts is very simple. You may need to show the readers the value of any point in the chart to help them understand.
- To do that, click on the “+” button on the right corner of the chart.
- Check the Data Labels box there. You are done!
Sometimes, you may work with large numeric values. In that case, the data label will also be large and looks weird. In the following image, you can see what happens if the data label is very large.
- We want to solve the issue. To do that, open Format Data Labels
- Scroll down and find the option Number. Click to expand it.
- In the Category drop-down menu, select Custom.
- Write down the following format in the Format Code
When you apply this format to data labels, it transforms into the following image.
5. Formatting Data Series
We need to modify the data series to represent the data in a suitable way. Two different data series in our chart have two different colors. We will change the color of one data series.
- Click on any column in the desired data series.
- Right-click on that and select Format Data Series from the Context Menu.
- In the Format Data Series pane, change the color to Navy-blue or a suitable color (You can also change the border color).
You can also change the distance between two adjacent columns in the chart.
- In the same pane, click on the Series Options and change the Gap Width value to “0”.
Consequently, the chart will change. It looks similar to the following image.
6. Change Chart Style
You may change the chart style to give your chart a unique look.
- First, click on the chart, and you will find that a “Paint brush icon” appears in the top-right corner of the chart.
When you click on the icon, you will find the available charts there. Choose any of them according to your purpose.
7. Change Chart Type
Suppose you are working with a specific chart format in Excel. But you need to change it to a different chart type. Maybe you are tense, right? No problem! You can change the chart type at any point in your work.
- Right-click on any column of the chart. From the Context Menu, click on Change Series Chart Type.
- The Change Chart Type box will appear. Select the appropriate chart from there.
8. Formatting Chart Area
The default chart area color is white. However, you can change the color when you need. You will have to change this from the Format Chart Area pane.
- Change the color of the chart, as you can see in the following image.
The output chart will be similar to the following image.
Read More: How to Make Excel Graphs Look Professional
[Solved!] Excel Charts Not Showing
In some cases, it is possible that you won’t find any charts in your workbook. You may be afraid in that situation. But no worries! You will have to change one setting in your workbook.
- To solve this, go to File in the ribbon and then select Options.
- In the Excel Options box, click on Advanced and scroll down to find the option For Object, Show:
You will find that all types of charts are available in your worksheet.
Things to Remember
- You can change the border and fill option of almost all the chart elements.
- It is possible to apply different chart types to different data series in Excel.
- The best way to give the chart an artistic look is to change the chart style.
Hey! You have reached the end of the article on formatting chart in Excel. You can use these techniques to give your chart a sophisticated look. Also, you can apply some other formatting types to your chart. However, If you find this article helpful, please share it with your friends. Moreover, do let us know if you have any further queries. Finally, please visit our site for more exciting articles on Excel.
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 on the chart, and then dragging the handles.
2. How to change the chart type after creating the chart?
You can change it from “Change Series Chart Type” after right-clicking on any series.
3. Is it possible to format specific data points differently, such as changing the color of a particular bar or data marker?
Right-click on the point and use the Format Data Series option to change the point’s appearance.
4. What is the difference between Chart Style and Chart Type?
Chart Type refers to the specific graphical representation of data while chart Style refers to the visual appearance and formatting applied to the chart elements.