Building Bar Charts
How to create an effective bar 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.
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 a Bar chart
- Select cells A4:C24
- Go to Insert --> Charts --> Bar Charts and select the 2D Bar chart
- Expand the chart so that all rows are readable
- Select the chart title, press the equals key, click on A2, and press Enter
- Right-click the data series (bars) and choose Format Data Series
- Set the Gap width to 75%
- Select the numbers in the axis
- Click the bar chart icon in the Format Axis task pane
- Expand NUMBER and set the decimal places to 0
Re-sort the data
- Select A4:C24
- Go to Data --> Sort
- Sort by Revenue --> Smallest to Largest
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