About this lesson
This lesson shows a trick to include an extra data series in your chart that fades in and out of view as it's needed.
Download this lesson’s related exercise files.Combination Charts - Area and Line.xlsx
53.5 KB Combination Charts - Area and Line - Completed.xlsx
Combination Charts - Area And Line
Combining line charts and area charts into a single chart.
When to use
When you want to graph 3 line series, but only want 2 in focus most of the time.
Reminder of Charting Goals
- Every chart should tell a story, quickly and effectively
- Extra chart elements create noise, and get in the way of the story
- It is a best practice to remove as much excess ink (noise) as you can
Creating the Combination Chart
- Select your data
- Go to Insert --> Charts -->Line Charts and select the 2D Line Chart
- Right click the line you wish to see as a Column --> Change Series Chart Type
- Change the series chart type for each series you wish to change
Make the Area “softer”
- Right click the Area chart’s background fill
- Via the Toolbar or Format Data Series, soften the fill color
- Make sure to also set a lighter outline to act as the “line” of the area chart
- Expand the chart so that all rows are readable
- To link a title to a cell, select the chart title, press the equals key, click on a cell and press Enter
- Other modifications can be made as with any normal chart
Hints & tips
- Remove items and elements that you don’t need by selecting them and pressing the Delete key
- Change font sizes by selecting an element and formatting it from the Home tab
- When removing gridlines, make sure you are selecting the gridlines and not the entire chart
- Adding markers to the lines is a great way to show how they compare to the column values
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