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# Excel For Noobs Tutorial: Understanding Excel Charts, Chart Data and Parts of Excel Charts

To create a chart in Excel you must first have numbers (data) inserted into cells. This is because charts in Excel are dynamic and refer to selected cells. Usually charts refer to cells located in a single Excel worksheet but Excel charts can refer to cells in multiple worksheets and even multiple workbooks if they are located on the same hard drive or the same computer network.

Charts are usually only created upon request. The look of the chart depends on the type of chart you create. For example, below we have two charts side by side. Both charts are derived from the same cells however one chart type is a clustered column chart and the other chart type is a line chart.

Clustered Column Chart Line Chart

As mentioned, to create a chart in Excel you must first have cells that contain numbers (data). For example, in our image below you can see that we have a table that contains two columns of data. The “Months” column which contains our qualitative data,months of the year, and the “Views” column which contains our quantitative data, number of views received each month. The “views” is our only column of numeric values therefore it is the only data series that will be charted.

In our chart the months are considered our categories and lie on the horizontal axis (category axis). The vertical axis (value axis) is a scale which is derived from all the values in our series of data which are the monthly views in this case.

The columns in this chart are dependent on our only series of data, the views. Each row of data is associated with each other, so the number of views listed in row 2 under “Views” is associated with the month located in row 2 under Months. There were 28000 views in January as you can see in the table and by looking at the chart. The point where chart columns stop along the value axis is dependent on the values in the cells in the value series.

One of the most important things that you need to understand about charts is that they are dynamic. In other words, charts are dependent on select cells and will change if the data in the cells change.

Examine the worksheet and the chart for a better understanding.

Find the next tutorial in the links below.