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Excel Charting Elements
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Excel Charting Elements | Microsoft Excel XP

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Learn step-by-step how to modify all the Excel charting elements of a chart.

Excel Office Helper What's on this page...
Dealing with Chart Elements
Modify a Chart Element
Move a Chart Element
Deleting a Chart Element
Chart Basics
Adding a new Data Series to a chart
Changing the Chart's Data Series
Working with chart Legends
Changing a chart's Scale
Changing a chart's Gridlines
Rotating and Elevating a 3D Chart

See also...
Excel Charts
Excel Charting with the Chart Wizard

Dealing With Chart Elements

Working with Excel charting elements in a chart is similar to everything else you do in Excel:  First you make a selection (in this case, select a chart part), and then you issue a command to do something with the selection.

You can activate a chart element in any of three ways:

Click the chart element.
Press the up-arrow or down-arrow key to cycle through all the elements in the chart.

When a data series is selected, you can press the right-arrow or left-arrow key to select individual points in the series.
Use the Chart Objects control in the Chart toolbar.

This is a drop-down list that contains all of the elements in the chart.
  Excel Charting Elements: Chart Objects list button

No matter which method you use, the name of the selected item appears in the Name box (at the left of the formula bar).

Many of the Excel charting elements' names include a number that further describes the element.

For example, the third point of the first data series is named Series 1 Point 3.

You cannot change the names of Excel charting elements, and you cannot select more than one Excel charting elements at a time.

Excel Office Helper
When you move the mouse pointer over any of the Excel charting elements, a chart tip displays the name of the element.

If the element is a data point, the chart tip displays the value.

To control what appears in these chart tips, use the
Tools Options command and click the Chart tab.

Make your selection in the Chart tips section of the dialog box.

Modify A Chart Element

Most Excel charting elements can be modified in several ways. For example, you can change colors, line widths, fonts, and so on. Modifications are made in the Format dialog box (which varies for each type of chart element).

To modify an element in a chart, follow these steps:

1. Select the chart element.
2. Access the Format dialog box using any of the following techniques:
  Double-click the item.
  ► Choose the Format ► [item name] command.
  ► Press CTRL + 1
  Right-click the item and choose Format [item name] from the shortcut menu.
3. Click the tab that corresponds with what you want to do.
4. Make the changes.
5. Click OK.
See also...   Excel Charts  |  Excel Charting with the Chart Wizard
Add a new Data Series | Change Data Series
Legend & Scale | Gridlines | Rotate & Elevate a 3D Chart
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