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Sometimes the most effective way to communicate information is with the use of a well-chosen chart. Microsoft Office has long supported creating charts and now the Office clients on iOS, Android and Windows Mobile also support customizing some elements of those charts, such as axis titles, data legends and more.

These steps will help you customize an existing chart. If you need to create a chart on your mobile device please see Create a chart with Excel on a mobile device. If you want to insert a new chart in Word or PowerPoint on mobile, you'll need to create it in Excel first and then see Insert a chart in PowerPoint on a mobile device for instructions on how to insert the chart into PowerPoint or Word on your mobile device.

Modifying chart elements

  1. Select the chart you want to modify

  2. On the ribbon the Chart tab should already be visible. If not, repeat step 1. Click the Elements button to expand the list of elements that you can change on the selected chart. Not every element is available for every chart - for example a vertical axis doesn't make sense on a pie chart - but if the element is available selecting it will show you the options you can configure.

    Click Elements on the Chart tab of the ribbon to customize chart elements in your document
    • Axes - You can turn the vertical or horizontal axes on or off.

    • Axes Titles- You can turn the titles on or off. To modify the axis title turn it on here, then tap it on the chart itself and type a new title. Tap anywhere else on the document to save your title change.

    • Chart Title - You can turn the chart title off or place it above the chart or centered inside the chart. To edit the chart title turn it on here, then tap on the chart title in the chart itself and type a new title. Tap anywhere else on the document to save your title change.

    • Data Labels - You have a few options for where to place the data labels, including turning them off entirely. This places the actual data values alongside their representations in the chart to more clearly convey the values.

    • Data Table - Let's you turn on, or off, the display of a table containing the data represented in the chart.

    • Error Bars - Error bars help you see margins of error and standard deviations in data at a glance. You can choose to show standard error amount, a percentage or a standard deviation.

    • Gridlines - You can turn major or minor gridlines on or off to make it easier to read and compare either vertical or horizontal values. (or both)

    • Legend - If you'd like a legend displayed that explains your chart values you can turn it on (and choose where it goes) with this setting.

    • Lines - This element is only available on line charts and it adds either drop or high-low lines to help you more easily spot your data points.

      Tip: Be careful with Lines. If you have a lot of data points in your chart this can get very crowded quite quickly.

    • Trendline - This adds a trend line that can help highlight or forecast the trend in your data. If you have more than one data series you can pick which series you'd like to see the trend line for.

    • Up/Down Bars - These bars can help you compare two values at the same point; for example different companies earnings at the same time period.

See also

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