Building Column Charts
How to create an effective column chart by reducing ink and noise that distract from the story.
When to use
Use to remove distracting elements from your data whenever you are charting. Doing this will help you convey your message to your readers as quickly as possible.
- 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 a Column chart
- Select cells A5:B9
- Go to Insert --> Charts --> Recommended Charts and select the Clustered Column chart
- Right-click the data series (columns) and choose Add Data Labels
- Select the data labels, right click and choose Format Data Labels
- Set the Label Position to Inside Base
- Change the font (Home tab) to bold and white
- Select the chart title, press the equals key, click on A3, and press Enter
- Right-click the columns, choose Format Data Series, and set the Gap Width to 60%
- Select the horizontal gridlines and press Delete
- Select the vertical axis and press Delete
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