Excel Tutorial: How To Change Chart Type In Excel


Changing the chart type in Excel can greatly enhance the visual representation of your data, making it easier for your audience to interpret and understand. Whether you are looking to switch from a bar chart to a pie chart, or from a line chart to a scatter plot, understanding how to change chart types in Excel is a valuable skill for anyone working with data. In this tutorial, we will provide a brief overview of the steps involved in changing chart types, empowering you to create more impactful and visually appealing charts.

Key Takeaways

  • Changing chart types in Excel can greatly enhance the visual representation of data, making it easier for the audience to interpret and understand.
  • Understanding the different chart types available in Excel and when to use each type is essential for effective data visualization.
  • Accessing the chart in Excel and navigating to the "Chart Tools" tab are important steps in the process of changing chart types.
  • Customizing the chart and exploring additional customization options can further enhance the visual appeal and clarity of the chart.
  • Best practices for choosing chart types include considering the most appropriate type for the data and avoiding common mistakes in selection.

Understanding Chart Types

When working with data in Excel, it is important to choose the right chart type to effectively visualize and communicate your data. Excel offers various chart types, each with its own strengths and suitable use cases.

A. Explanation of different chart types available in Excel

  • Bar Chart: A bar chart is used to compare values across different categories. It consists of horizontal or vertical bars representing the data.
  • Line Chart: A line chart is ideal for displaying trends over time or continuous data. It uses lines to connect data points.
  • Pie Chart: A pie chart is useful for showing the proportion of parts to a whole. It displays data as slices of a pie, with each slice representing a category.
  • Scatter Plot: A scatter plot is used to show the relationship between two sets of data points. It plots points on a graph to represent the correlation between variables.
  • Area Chart: An area chart is similar to a line chart but with the area below the line filled in, making it suitable for displaying cumulative totals over time.

B. Examples of when to use each chart type for effective data visualization

  • Bar Chart: Use a bar chart to compare sales figures for different products in a given period.
  • Line Chart: Use a line chart to visualize the trend of temperature changes over the course of a year.
  • Pie Chart: Use a pie chart to represent the market share of different product categories in a business.
  • Scatter Plot: Use a scatter plot to show the relationship between advertising expenditure and sales revenue.
  • Area Chart: Use an area chart to display the cumulative revenue generated by a company over several quarters.

Accessing the Chart in Excel

When working on an Excel spreadsheet, you may need to change the chart type for better visualization of your data. Here's how you can access and modify the chart type in Excel:

A. How to select the chart in an Excel spreadsheet
  • Locate the chart within the spreadsheet by clicking on it with your mouse.
  • The chart will be highlighted with a border and selection handles, indicating that it has been selected.

B. Navigating to the "Chart Tools" tab in the Excel ribbon
  • Once the chart is selected, the "Chart Tools" tab will appear at the top of the Excel window.
  • Click on the "Chart Tools" tab to reveal the "Design", "Layout", and "Format" tabs, which contain various options for modifying the chart.

By following these simple steps, you can easily access the chart in Excel and navigate to the appropriate tools for changing the chart type.

Changing the Chart Type

Excel provides various options for changing the chart type to best represent your data. Whether you want to switch from a bar chart to a line chart or a pie chart, Excel makes it easy to customize your charts. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to change the chart type in Excel and demonstrate different options for customizing the chart type.

Step-by-step guide on how to change the chart type in Excel

To change the chart type in Excel, follow these simple steps:

  • Select the chart: Click on the chart that you want to modify. This will display Chart Tools in the ribbon.
  • Navigate to the Design tab: Once the Chart Tools are visible, go to the Design tab in the ribbon.
  • Choose a new chart type: In the Type group, click on the "Change Chart Type" button. This will open a dialog box with various chart types to choose from.
  • Select the desired chart type: From the list of chart types, choose the one that best fits your data. You can preview the changes before finalizing.
  • Click OK: Once you've selected the new chart type, click OK to apply the changes to your chart.

Demonstrating different options for customizing the chart type

After changing the chart type, you can further customize it by exploring different options:

  • Adjusting chart elements: You can add or remove chart elements such as title, data labels, legend, and gridlines to enhance the visual appeal of the chart.
  • Formatting the chart: Excel offers a range of formatting options to change the color, style, and layout of the chart to match your preferences or the overall theme of your document.
  • Changing chart layout: You can modify the layout of the chart, including its placement and size, to optimize its presentation in your worksheet or dashboard.

Customizing the Chart

When it comes to creating effective charts in Excel, it's important to not only choose the right chart type, but also to customize it to fit your specific needs. Excel offers a variety of customization options that can help you enhance the visual appeal and clarity of your chart.

Exploring additional chart customization options in Excel

  • Data Series: Excel allows you to customize individual data series within a chart. You can change the color, style, and thickness of the lines or bars to make each series stand out.
  • Axis Options: You can modify the scale, units, and formatting of the chart axes to better represent your data.
  • Chart Title and Labels: Excel enables you to add and format titles, axis labels, and data labels to provide context and clarity to the chart.
  • Chart Elements: Excel also allows you to add or remove specific chart elements such as gridlines, legends, and trendlines to customize the appearance of the chart.

Tips for enhancing the visual appeal and clarity of the chart

  • Choose the Right Chart Type: Before customizing your chart, ensure that you have selected the most appropriate chart type for your data. Consider factors such as the data structure and the message you want to convey.
  • Use Colors Thoughtfully: When customizing the colors in your chart, make sure to use a color palette that is visually appealing and accessible to all audiences. Avoid using too many colors that might distract from the main message of the chart.
  • Keep it Simple: While customization options in Excel are powerful, it's important to avoid overloading your chart with unnecessary elements. Keep the design clean and focused on the key insights you want to communicate.
  • Label Clearly: Ensure that all elements of your chart, including data points, axes, and titles, are clearly labeled. This will help your audience understand the information you are presenting.

Best Practices for Choosing Chart Types

When it comes to visualizing data in Excel, choosing the right chart type is crucial for effectively conveying information to your audience. Here are some best practices to consider when selecting a chart type:

A. Considerations for selecting the most appropriate chart type for your data
  • Understand your data:

    Before choosing a chart type, it's important to thoroughly understand the underlying data. Consider the type of data you have, such as numerical, categorical, or time-series data, as well as any trends or patterns you want to highlight.
  • Identify the message:

    Determine the key message or insights you want to convey with your data. Whether it's comparing values, showing trends over time, or visualizing proportions, identifying the message will help guide your choice of chart type.
  • Match the chart to the data:

    Different chart types are suited for different types of data and messaging. For example, bar charts are great for comparing individual values, while line charts are ideal for showing trends over time.
  • Consider the audience:

    Think about who will be viewing the chart and their level of familiarity with different chart types. Choose a chart type that will be easy for your audience to interpret and understand.

B. Common mistakes to avoid when choosing a chart type
  • Using the wrong chart type:

    One common mistake is using a chart type that does not effectively represent the data or message. For example, using a pie chart for data that does not add up to 100% can be misleading.
  • Overcomplicating the chart:

    Avoid adding unnecessary elements or using overly complex chart types that can make the visualization difficult to interpret. Keep the chart simple and focused on the key message.
  • Ignoring best practices:

    Failing to consider best practices, such as choosing the right chart type for the data and message, can result in a chart that does not effectively communicate the intended information.


In conclusion, this tutorial covered the key steps to change chart types in Excel, including selecting the chart, accessing the chart tools, and choosing a new chart type. By following these steps, users can easily transform their data visualization to better suit their needs.

  • Recap: We discussed the process of changing chart types in Excel, including selecting the chart, accessing the chart tools, and choosing a new chart type.
  • Encouragement: We encourage readers to practice changing chart types in Excel to improve their data visualization skills and learn the ins and outs of creating impactful visuals for their data.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles