Line and area charts are constructed to show changes over time. Line charts demonstrate changes in a specific trend for a single data group.
Customize Lines and Markers
Measurements in line and area charts are indicated by markers and joined with straight line segments. Lines can be displayed with varying styles and colors. Marker size, shape, fill colors and borders are highly customizable.
To customize lines:
- Right-click on your chart and choose Chart Properties .
- Use the Line toggle under the Series section of the Chart Properties panel to show lines.
- Click on a line to select or use the drop down to select the appropriate line series.
- Use the color picker to choose the color for your line.
- Use additional options in the Chart Properties panel to change the Line Width, the Dash Style, or create a Rounded Line.
To customize markers:
- Open Chart Properties .
- Show markers using the slider in the Series section.
- Click on a marker to select all of the markers for a particular series. Click again to select a single marker.
- Adjust the color, shape and size of the marker in the Chart Properties panel.
To learn more about chart formatting, see Customize Chart Appearance.
Modify Data Labels
To format data labels:
- Use the slider in the Chart Properties panel to show labels.
Click to select a series of labels in the chart. Click again if you'd like to work with a single label.
- Use formatting options in the Edit toolbar for size, font and color.
- Use the Chart Properties panel to control the positioning of the labels: Left , Right , Center or Justified .
To adjust numerical formatting for data points:
- Click the Chart Data icon in the Edit toolbar to open the chart data table.
- Select the data you’d like adjust.
- Right-click and choose Cell Properties.
- Use the Formats panel to work with the Format, Entered In, Shown In, Formulas, Decimals and Leader dots options.
Format Chart Axes and Labels
Basic formatting for chart axis labels such as font size and color can be controlled from the Edit toolbar. Click on the axis labels and use the appropriate Edit icons.
Adjusting the step size, grid lines and tick marks for a line or area chart can significantly clarify the data presented. When information is clustered too closely, the spacing of the lines or fill areas can be altered by adjusting the Min Value and Max Value for the left axis:
To adjust the spacing for the left axis:
- Select the chart, right-click and choose Chart Properties.
- Use the drop-down to adjust the Min Value to change the starting point for the data.
- Change the Max Value to adjust the uppermost value of the left axis.
- Adjust the Step Size to change the interval and scale of values displayed on the left axis.
If you don’t want the settings in the data table associated with your chart to affect the display in your chart, go to the Chart Properties panel and click the Override link in the Left Axis settings section. Now you can set the value formatting separately for the chart display.
There are additional settings for each axis. For the left axis, you can also choose to Show Zero Line. For the bottom axis, you can expand the line to Expand to Edge.
The Rotation setting in the Chart Properties panel gives you the option to change the rotation of the labels for either axis. For example, you can shift the labels on the bottom axis to a vertical position.
You can use the data table for the chart to set additional options for the values of the measurement axis labels.
To work with a chart data table:
- Select the chart.
- Click the Data icon in the Edit toolbar.
- In the data table that opens, select the appropriate labels such as a series of dates.
- Right-click and choose Cell Properties.
- In the Formats panel that opens to the right, adjust the settings as desired.
For more information on formatting, see Value Formats for Chart Labels.
For more information on display options, see Axis and Series Display for Charts.
Format Area Charts
Area charts are similar to line charts but emphasize changes in values by using color fills to compare quantities. The depiction of solid areas helps to emphasize the magnitude of a trend.
Two or more quantities can be compared with an area chart. Because of the overlapping nature of the data, area charts are generally useful for comparing a small number of categories. The areas in a chart are stacked on top of one another, making the choice of color and opacity for each area critical for data visibility.
To customize the plot fill area:
- Click the area on the chart to select.
- Right-click and choose Chart Properties.
- Click the square for Area Color.
- Adjust the area color using the color picker.
- Adjust the opacity using the Area Opacity setting.
To further customize your line or area chart: