Excel Tutorial: How To Position A Chart In Excel


Positioning a chart in Excel is a crucial step in creating professional and visually appealing data presentations. Whether you are creating a report for work or a presentation for school, the placement of your chart can greatly impact its effectiveness in conveying information. In this tutorial, we will cover the various options for positioning a chart in Excel, allowing you to create polished and organized data visualizations.

Key Takeaways

  • Proper chart positioning in Excel is crucial for creating professional and visually appealing data presentations.
  • Understanding the different positioning options and how they can affect the overall presentation of data is important.
  • Steps to positioning a chart include selecting the chart, accessing Format Chart Area options, choosing positioning options, and making necessary adjustments.
  • Utilizing alignment guides and the snap to grid feature can help achieve precise chart positioning.
  • Maintaining consistency with other elements, using appropriate spacing, and considering overall aesthetics are important for professional-looking chart positioning.

Understanding Chart Positioning

When working with charts in Excel, it's important to understand the different positioning options available and how they can impact the overall presentation of your data.

A. Explanation of the different positioning options in Excel
  • 1. Default Position

    By default, Excel will position a chart on the same worksheet as the data it represents. This can be convenient for quick visualization, but may not always be the best option for presentation purposes.

  • 2. New Sheet

    Another option is to have Excel place the chart on a new sheet within the workbook. This can help to keep the data and the chart separate, providing a clean and organized layout.

  • 3. Floating

    Excel also allows you to position a chart as a floating object within a worksheet. This gives you the flexibility to move the chart around and place it wherever it works best within the layout of your data.

B. How chart positioning can affect the overall presentation of data

The positioning of a chart in Excel can have a significant impact on the overall presentation of your data.

  • 1. Visual Clutter

    If a chart is positioned directly on the same worksheet as the data, it can create visual clutter and make it harder for viewers to focus on the key information.

  • 2. Organization

    Positioning a chart on a separate sheet or as a floating object can help to keep the layout of your data organized and easy to follow.

  • 3. Emphasis

    The positioning of a chart can also be used to emphasize certain data points or trends, by placing it in a strategic location within the worksheet.

Steps to Positioning a Chart

A. Selecting the chart to be positioned.

  • B1. Open the Excel workbook and navigate to the worksheet containing the chart you want to position.
  • B2. Click on the chart to select it.

B. Accessing the Format Chart Area options.

  • B1. Right-click on the selected chart to open the context menu.
  • B2. From the menu, choose "Format Chart Area" to open the formatting options.

C. Choosing the desired positioning option.

  • B1. In the Format Chart Area pane, navigate to the "Size & Properties" tab.
  • B2. Select the "Properties" section, and then choose the desired positioning option, such as "Move and Size with Cells" or "Move but Don't Size with Cells".

D. Making any necessary adjustments to fine-tune the positioning.

  • B1. After selecting the positioning option, you can further adjust the chart's position by dragging it to the desired location within the worksheet.
  • B2. You can also fine-tune the positioning by adjusting the chart's size and alignment as needed.

Using Alignment Guides and Snap to Grid for Precise Chart Positioning

When working with charts in Excel, it's important to ensure that they are positioned accurately to effectively convey the data they represent. Alignment guides and the snap to grid feature are two tools that can help you achieve precise chart positioning.

A. How alignment guides can help achieve precise chart positioning.

  • What are alignment guides? Alignment guides in Excel are visual cues that appear when you move a chart, helping you align it with other objects on the worksheet.
  • How to use alignment guides: Simply drag the chart to the desired position, and alignment guides will appear to help you align it with other elements on the worksheet, such as cells, charts, or images.
  • Benefits of alignment guides: They allow for precise positioning of charts, ensuring that they are aligned with other elements on the worksheet and maintaining a professional and organized appearance.

B. Utilizing the snap to grid feature for accurate placement.

  • What is snap to grid? The snap to grid feature in Excel allows you to align objects, including charts, to the gridlines on the worksheet, ensuring that they are positioned accurately.
  • Enabling snap to grid: To enable snap to grid, go to the View tab, click on the checkbox for Gridlines, and then drag the chart to align it with the gridlines on the worksheet.
  • Advantages of snap to grid: Snap to grid ensures that charts are positioned accurately, maintaining a consistent and organized layout on the worksheet.

Tips for Professional-looking Chart Positioning

When positioning a chart in Excel, it is important to consider several factors to ensure that it looks professional and contributes to the overall aesthetics of the worksheet. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

A. Maintaining consistency with other elements on the worksheet

  • Align with other data: Ensure that the chart is aligned with other data on the worksheet, such as tables or text, to maintain a consistent look.
  • Use consistent fonts and colors: Choose fonts and colors for the chart that match those used for other elements on the worksheet to create a cohesive and professional appearance.

B. Using appropriate spacing around the chart

  • Provide adequate white space: Leave enough space around the chart to prevent it from appearing cramped or crowded, which can detract from its professional look.
  • Avoid overlapping with other elements: Make sure that the chart does not overlap with any other data or objects on the worksheet, as this can make it appear cluttered and unprofessional.

C. Considering the overall aesthetics of the worksheet

  • Choose a suitable location: Position the chart in a location that enhances the overall visual appeal of the worksheet and complements the layout.
  • Consider the size of the chart: Ensure that the size of the chart is appropriate for the worksheet and does not overpower or underwhelm the other elements on the page.

Troubleshooting Chart Positioning Issues

When working with charts in Excel, it is not uncommon to encounter positioning issues that can be frustrating to deal with. Understanding the common problems and how to address them can help you create professional-looking charts with ease.

A. Common problems with chart positioning and how to address them
  • Overlap with other elements

    One common issue is when the chart overlaps with other elements on the worksheet, such as text or other charts. To address this problem, you can simply click on the chart and use the arrow keys to nudge it into the desired position.

  • Off-center positioning

    Charts may also appear off-center on the worksheet, making it look unprofessional. To fix this, you can use the alignment tools in the Excel ribbon to horizontally and vertically center the chart on the worksheet.

  • Unexpected resizing

    Charts may resize unexpectedly when moving or adjusting other elements on the worksheet. To prevent this, you can lock the chart's aspect ratio and size by right-clicking on the chart and selecting "Format Chart Area" and then adjusting the size and properties.

B. Utilizing the help resources within Excel for further assistance
  • If you encounter chart positioning issues that you are unable to resolve on your own, Excel offers a range of helpful resources within the program itself. You can access the "Help" feature by clicking on the question mark icon in the top right corner of the Excel window and searching for specific chart positioning problems.

  • Additionally, Microsoft's official website and community forums provide a wealth of tutorials, articles, and user-generated content that can guide you through troubleshooting chart positioning issues in Excel.


Positioning a chart in Excel is crucial for effective data visualization. It allows you to clearly convey the message you want to communicate and make your data more accessible to your audience. By experimenting with different positioning options, you can find the best way to present your data and make a greater impact. Practice will only enhance your skills in chart positioning and help you to become a more proficient Excel user.

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