Customizing Area Charts: Tips and Tricks for Excel Users

Customizing Area Charts: Tips and Tricks for Excel Users Excel, a widely used and diverse tool, provides a range of functions that can simplify your data analysis operations significantly. One such function is the area chart, a multi-functional tool that allows you to create visually appealing, insightful data visualizations. In this article, we will delve into the ins and outs of customizing area charts in Excel to help you make the most out of this powerful tool. Keep reading. Mastering Excel: A Closer Look at Area Charts

Area charts are a graphical representation that helps to quantify data over a continuous interval or certain period. They are particularly useful for analyzing trends over time, highlighting total values across categories, and spotlighting the relationship between parts and a whole.

These charts use a color or pattern scheme to differentiate one data series from the next. This differentiation allows viewers to compare data series more effectively, shed light on your data’s intricacies, and make data-driven decisions easier.

Drawing area charts in Excel is a straightforward process. But to personalize these charts, one needs the right set of skills and knowledge. Customizing the visual aspects of these charts can significantly enhance data readability and absorption.

Mastering Excel’s area charts can provide an immense boost to your data visualization process.

Basic Steps: Customizing Area Charts in Excel

Excel allows a wide range of customizations for area charts. You can play around with color schemes, fill styles, transparency, and outlines to make your charts more insightful and visually appealing.

The first step is always data selection, after which you can go to the ‘Insert Chart’ dialog box, where you can find the ‘Area’ tab. Selecting this tab opens up options for simple or stacked area charts and the 3D variations for both.

Customizations start after you have inserted the chart. You can right-click on the chart area to access the ‘Format Chart Area’ dialog box that facilitates nearly all basic customizations like transparency, fill, and outline.

Improving Visuals: Color Coding and Gradient Fills in Excel Area Charts

Elevation of your area charts can happen through the intelligent application of color schemes and gradient fills. A well-executed color scheme can increase the clarity and absorption of complex data sets.

Color coding can be especially handy in stacked area charts where individual data series are superimposed. Here, using a sequential or a diverging color scheme can highlight differences between data series efficiently.

Gradient fills, as touched upon earlier, lend depth to your area chart. Excel offers a range of preset gradients, but experimenting with your custom gradient can lead to a more personalized and decorated chart.

Streamlining Your Excel Charting Experience

While Excel is a robust tool, you might encounter issues while creating and customizing area charts. These are common and can be resolved with a little know-how.

One problem can be the plot area not matching the chart area, leaving too much blank space, or cutting off some data series. For this, you can manually adjust the plot area or use the ‘Fit Plot Area to Chart Area’ function.

Another common hiccup is the apparent disappearance of a data series in stacked charts. To resolve this, you can either use a distinct color for the small data series or use a pattern fill.

Overall, Excel’s area charts are a superior tool for presenting data to your audience. With due practice, you can use the numerous customization options to transform your data into meaningful and visually impressive charts.