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Using Microsoft Excel

Explains the basics of common features in Microsoft Excel for PC.

Creating a Chart

To insert a chart, select the data you wish to appear in the chart, and then go to the Insert ribbon (if the data is noncontiguous, you can select one set, and hold down the Control key on the keyboard to select the second set). In the Charts group, choose the desired type of chart. Click on the arrow below the type icon to see the sub-types. Excel 2013 also includes an option to browse Recommended Charts, which shows you the chart types that best fit your data.

By default, the chart will appear directly on the spreadsheet where your data is; when the chart is selected, you will see additional ribbons. In Excel 2010, you have the Design, Layout, and Format Ribbons. In Excel 2013, you have Design and Format. The 'Layout' options have been consolidated into the Design ribbon.

Modifying Charts

Once your chart appears in Excel, there are many ways to modify the way it looks and its location. A few ways are described below, but explore to find more! In all cases, you have to select the chart first to access Chart Tools.

  • To add any labels (for example, the title or axes), under the Design ribbon, click Add Chart Element in the Chart Layouts group and select the desired label.
  • To change the chart type, data, or location, use the Chart Tools Design ribbon.


From the Chart Tools Format ribbon, you can select an element on the chart (for example, a series), then choose the Format Selection icon in the Current Selection group. With the Formatting Task pane, you can change the shape, style and color.