Excel Tutorial: How To Modify Chart In Excel


Modifying charts in Excel is an essential skill for anyone looking to create visually appealing and informative data presentations. Whether you want to customize the colors, add labels, or change the chart type, knowing how to modify charts will help you effectively communicate your data to others. In this tutorial, we will cover the importance of modifying charts in Excel and provide a brief overview of the topics that will be covered to help you enhance your data visualization skills.

Key Takeaways

  • Modifying charts in Excel is crucial for creating visually appealing and informative data presentations.
  • Understanding the chart elements and tools available for formatting is essential for effective chart modification.
  • Choosing the right chart type and customizing the layout and design can greatly enhance data visualization.
  • Adding and formatting data series, using trendlines, and annotations can help highlight key points in the data.
  • Practicing and exploring the various chart modification options in Excel is encouraged for improving data visualization skills.

Understanding the chart elements

When working with charts in Excel, it is important to understand the various elements that make up the chart. This includes the chart itself, the plot area, the axes, and the legend. By understanding these elements, you can effectively modify the chart to best represent your data.

A. How to select and resize the chart
  • Selecting the chart:

    To select the chart, simply click on it. You will know the chart is selected when you see a border around it and small boxes at the corners and sides.
  • Resizing the chart:

    To resize the chart, click and drag any of the small boxes at the corners or sides. This will allow you to make the chart larger or smaller as needed.

B. Exploring the chart tools and formatting options
  • Chart tools:

    Excel provides a range of chart tools that allow you to modify the chart in various ways. These tools can be found in the "Chart Tools" tab that appears whenever you have a chart selected.
  • Formatting options:

    Within the chart tools, you will find formatting options that allow you to change the chart type, add or remove chart elements, adjust the colors and styles, and much more.

Modifying chart types

Charts are a powerful tool in Excel for visually representing data. By modifying the chart type, you can effectively communicate your data to your audience in the most impactful way possible. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to change the chart type in Excel, as well as some tips for choosing the most suitable chart type for your data.

A. Step-by-step guide on changing the chart type

1. Select the chart you want to modify by clicking on it. 2. Go to the "Chart Tools" tab at the top of the Excel window. 3. In the "Type" group, click on "Change Chart Type." 4. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to choose a new chart type for your data. 5. Select the desired chart type from the list on the left side of the dialog box. 6. Click "OK" to apply the changes to your chart.

B. Tips for choosing the most suitable chart type for your data

When choosing a chart type for your data, it's important to consider the type of information you want to convey and the best way to represent it visually. Here are some tips to help you choose the most suitable chart type:

  • Bar charts: Ideal for comparing values across different categories.
  • Line charts: Useful for showing trends over time or for illustrating changes in data points.
  • Pie charts: Effective for displaying the proportions of a whole, such as market share or budget allocations.
  • Scatter plots: Great for visualizing the relationship between two variables or for identifying correlations in data.

Adjusting Chart Layout and Design

When working with charts in Excel, it's important to be able to customize the layout and design to best fit your data and presentation needs. Here are some key ways to modify the appearance of your charts:

A. Customizing Chart Titles and Axis Labels

One of the first things you may want to adjust on a chart is the title and axis labels. This can help to provide clarity and context for your data.

  • Adding or Modifying Chart Titles: To add a title to your chart, simply click on the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab, then select "Chart Title" and choose from the available options. To modify an existing title, click directly on the title and make your changes.
  • Updating Axis Labels: You can customize the labels for the x and y axes by clicking on the axis labels and choosing "Format Axis" from the menu. Here, you can adjust the font, size, and orientation of the labels to better suit your needs.

B. Changing the Color Scheme and Style of the Chart

Another way to modify the appearance of a chart is by changing its color scheme and style. This can help to make the chart more visually appealing and easier to interpret.

  • Adjusting Chart Colors: To change the colors used in the chart, click on the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab, then select "Change Colors" and choose from the available color palettes. You can also customize individual colors by selecting specific chart elements and choosing new colors from the menu.
  • Applying Chart Styles: Excel offers a variety of pre-designed chart styles that you can apply to your chart with just a few clicks. To access these, click on the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab, then select "Chart Styles" and choose from the available options.

Adding and formatting data series

Charts in Excel are a great way to visually represent data, and modifying the data series within a chart can help to enhance its overall effectiveness. In this tutorial, we will explore how to add and format data series within an Excel chart.

How to add and remove data series from the chart

  • Adding a data series: To add a new data series to an existing chart, simply select the chart and go to the "Chart Tools" tab. Then, click on "Select Data" and choose the data series you want to add.
  • Removing a data series: Removing a data series from a chart is just as simple. Again, go to the "Chart Tools" tab, click on "Select Data," and then choose the data series you want to remove. Click "Remove" and the data series will be deleted from the chart.

Formatting individual data series for better visualization

  • Changing the color and style: To format the appearance of a specific data series, select the series within the chart and right-click to access the formatting options. Here, you can change the color, line style, and marker style to differentiate the series visually.
  • Adjusting the axis: Sometimes, it may be necessary to adjust the axis for a specific data series to better fit the chart. By selecting the series and accessing the "Format Data Series" options, you can modify the axis and scale for that particular series.

Using trendlines and annotations

When modifying a chart in Excel, you can use trendlines and annotations to enhance the visual representation of your data. Both of these tools allow you to highlight patterns and specific data points within your chart, making it easier for your audience to interpret the information you are presenting.

  • Adding trendlines to show patterns in the data
  • Trendlines are a great way to show patterns or trends within your data. They can help you identify whether your data is following a certain trajectory, such as a linear, exponential, or logarithmic trend. To add a trendline to your chart in Excel, simply right-click on the data series you want to analyze, select "Add Trendline," and choose the type of trendline that best fits your data.

  • Utilizing annotations to highlight specific data points
  • Annotations are a useful tool for drawing attention to specific data points within your chart. Whether you want to highlight a particular peak or valley in your data, point out an outlier, or mark a significant event, annotations allow you to add text boxes, shapes, or arrows directly onto your chart. To add an annotation in Excel, simply click on the "Insert" tab, select the type of annotation you want to use, and position it on your chart to draw attention to the relevant data point.


In conclusion, this tutorial has covered the basics of modifying charts in Excel, including changing chart type, editing data, and customizing chart elements. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can create visually appealing and informative charts that effectively communicate your data.

We encourage you to practice and explore the various chart modification options in Excel. The more you familiarize yourself with these tools, the more confident and skilled you will become in creating impactful charts for your reports and presentations.

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