Excel makes it easy to plot data in charts provided the information is set up correctly. The following guidelines work for most chart types:
If you miss the familiar menus and dialogue boxes of Excel 2003, you can access many of them by right-clicking. For example, to get the traditional Format Cells dialogue box --
COMBINING TEXT: AMPERSAND OR CONCATENATE FUNCTION.
Many people use the Concatenate function to combine several text strings into one. For example, the formula
produces the result
Often, however, it is easier to use the text operator, "&" to achieve the same result. The formula would be
="Boston" & ", " & "Massachusetts"
To select an entire block of data --
The selection continues up, down, left and right from the Active Cell until it can go no further without jumping an empty cell.
Excel’s drag-and-drop editing feature lets you move the contents of one or more cells by selecting the cells to be moved, placing the tip of the mouse pointer anywhere on the border of the selection except the AutoFill handle in the lower right corner, and dragging the selection to its destination. To copy the selection instead of moving it, press the Control (Windows) or Command (Macintosh) key while dragging.
PRINTING PORTION OF WORKSHEET.
There are two ways to tell Excel to print a specified area of a worksheet --
Excel has certain commonly-used series programmed into its AutoFill feature, days of the week for example.
But you can also create a custom series by providing a sample. Here is how --
AVOIDING GAPS IN CHARTS.
A common problem in creating Excel charts is how to eliminate gaps created by rows and columns in the data worksheet that intentionally have been left empty. Excel treats them as having a value of zero and plots them accordingly.
In many cases you can avoid this problem by entering the data without the empty cells, creating the chart, and then inserting the empty rows or columns. Excel will automatically maintain the linkages between the chart and the correct data cells in the worksheet.
This technique will not work where the insertion adds a category. In those cases you will have to tell the ChartWizard exactly which cells to plot. To do so, go to Step 1 in the ChartWizard and delete the entries in the "Range" box. Then highlight the cells containing the data you wish to plot. To skip empty cells, press the Control (Windows) or Command (Macintosh) key while highlighting the cells you want to include. Be sure to highlight the row and column titles in the worksheet if you want them added to the chart. Then proceed as usual with the remaining steps in creating the chart.
ADJUSTING COLUMN WIDTH TO FIT CONTENTS.
To adjust the width of one or more columns to fit the largest cell entry in each --
Each selected column will enlarge or shrink so that it exactly fits the longest entry under it.