When I created a chart, I selected the totals row and didn't get the results I wanted. How can I fix this?


When you create a chart, make sure the range you select includes the labels, but not the totals. If you are charting the totals, be sure to select only the total rows, and not the data that created them.


My chart is plotted in rows and looks different from what I expected. What should I do next?


Sometimes when Excel produces a chart from a highlighted range, the chart is backward. The data series appears where categories should be, and vice versa. Excel makes a guess based on your selected data. If you have more columns than rows, the columns become the categories on the x-axis. If you have more rows than columns, the rows become categories along the x-axis. To change the chart so that it is plotted in columns, select the chart and click the By Column button on the Chart toolbar.


How can I make the plot area larger so that I can easily see the data series in the chart?


Simply click the chart to select it, point to a corner selection handle, and drag the chart's corner border diagonally until you see the plot area better.


The Chart toolbar doesn't display with my chart. What should I do?


If you don't see the Chart toolbar, select View, Toolbars, Chart. If the Chart toolbar is docked next to the Standard or Formatting toolbar, point to the Chart toolbar (not on a button) and drag it into the worksheet area so that it's near the chart.


Do I need a legend for my pie chart?


No. A pie chart does not need a legend, but by default Excel inserts one anyway. A legend describes the data series and data points; it provides a "key" to the chart (bar chart, column chart, line chart, and so on). To remove the legend, click the Legend button on the Chart toolbar.


Is there a way to change a chart on a chart sheet to an object so that it's next to my worksheet data?


Certainly. Click the chart sheet tab, and click the Chart Wizard button on the Standard toolbar. In the final Chart Wizard dialog box, choose As Object In. This option enables you to insert the chart as an object in the worksheet that contains the data you're charting. Click the Finish button. Excel removes the chart sheet and displays the chart object on the worksheet.

    Part I: Excel Basics
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