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Charts III: Create a professional-looking chart

The US data is partially obscured by the UK data; by changing the series order the US data is now more visible

Fig. 1  The US data is partially obscured by the UK data.
Fig. 2  The US data is now in front of the UK data.

Excel plots data series in the order in which the data appears in your worksheet. In Figure 1, just as the number of cases of Sir Rodney's Marmalade sold for the UK are shown first in the worksheet, they are shown first in this 3-D column chart. Unfortunately, the number of UK cases sold partially obscure the cases sold for the US. (By the way, this is a common problem with 3-D charts. They can be more attractive, but sometimes more difficult to read accurately.)

You can make the US data more visible, without reorganizing the worksheet data, by changing the order in which the UK and US data series are shown on the chart.

You'd click the US data series, right-click Format Data Series on the shortcut menu, and then click the Series Order tab. You'll learn the rest of the steps in the practice steps. Figure 2 shows the revised order.

Note     Keep in mind that if the US had sold more in 2007 than the UK, for example, the UK data for that year would be obscured.

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