How to Format the Pivot Chart Area in Excel

By Stephen L. Nelson, E. C. Nelson

If you right-click a chart sheet or object outside of the plot area and choose the Format Chart Area command from the shortcuts menu, Excel displays the Format Chart Area pane. From here, you can set chart area fill patterns, line specifications and styles, shadowing effects, and 3-D effects for your charts.

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Chart fill patterns

The Fill options of the Format Chart Area pane look and work like the Fill options of the Format Plot area pane. To choose a fill pattern, select the Solid Fill, Gradient Fill, or Picture or Texture Fill options. Use the Color drop-down list to select the fill color and the Transparency slider button or spin box to select the color transparency.

Note: Different fill pattern options have different buttons and boxes.

Chart area fonts

To format chart text, right-click the text. When you do, Excel displays the formatting menu — which means you have access to its buttons and boxes for changing the font, adding boldfacing and italics, resizing the font, coloring the font, and so forth.

If you have questions about which formatting buttons and boxes do what, don’t worry. As you make your changes, Excel updates the chart text.