Thursday, October 10, 2013

Picture Charts Revisited…

This is a topic that is So Cool, it deserves another look! As we all know, Excel provides a great many Chart Types to choose from. But is that all there is? What if I want to make my chart really Stand Out?

Picture Charts to the rescue! You can Add a Lot of Zing to your charts with a very little used, (but Uber-Cool), trick. You can accomplish this cure to apathetic charts is by Replacing the Series Element (use Columns or Bars as your base chart, as they tend to work the best) with your own Graphic.

You can easily Add Vitality to your charts, and once again establish yourself as The Excel Guru, by doing the following:

1. Create a simple, no-background graphic

2. Copy the Graphic to your clipboard

3. Create your Chart using columns or bars (recommended)

4. Select the Chart Column or Bar Series

5. Go to your Home Tab and Paste your custom image

6. For Extra Impact, Format the Data Series by going to Series Options and choosing 0% Gap Width

Living in Southern California now, I chose to illustrate this technique with a Surfboard Graphic for the illustration above. To further demonstrate the difference this can make, I did a Side-by-Side illustration below. I chose a Bag of Money to replace the Boring, Boring, Boring column to depict the sales by month.

Picture Charts are another Cool Trick that can make your work get noticed. Another way to Add Interest and Inspiration to your Excel worksheets.

Try it out once and I think you will be hooked!

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