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How to Make an Excel Chart in Office 2011 for Mac

Charts are a strongpoint in Excel for Mac 2011. Students, businesses, scientists, news organizations, economists, and many other groups use charts. When you make charts in Office 2011 for Mac, you find a brand-new set of Chart tabs on the Ribbon that guide you with the latest Microsoft charting technology.

If you have some data to chart, by all means use it as you go through these examples. Typing in the data was the hard part. Now for the easy part: making the chart!

  1. Select a cell in the data range.

  2. On the Ribbon’s Charts tab, go to the Insert Chart group and then choose a chart type.

    A palette displays, showing various subtypes of charts. Choose one you think will display your data well. Excel figures out the boundaries of the data range and instantly displays your chart. To follow with the example, choose Line→2-D Line→Marked Line.

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If the chart looks wrong, chances are Excel's guess about which rows and columns to use for the axis was wrong. It's a 50-50 proposition. To fix this problem, on the Ribbon’s Charts tab, locate the Data group and choose whichever Switch Plot button is not selected to switch row and column data source.

When you select a chart, the Chart menu activates, the data range is highlighted, and you have three extra tabs on the Ribbon to enjoy: Charts, Chart Layout, and Chart Format. You can right-click individual chart elements like series, plot area, legend, and so on to display pop-up menus that lead to more formatting options. If you're into designing great-looking stuff, welcome home!

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