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Charts II: Choose the right chart type

Select the most effective chart type
Selecting the most effective chart type will make your data clearer, stronger, and more informative. Microsoft Office Excel offers a wide variety of chart types and simple methods for selecting and previewing them.

About this course

This course includes:

  • Two self-paced lessons and two practice sessions for hands-on experience.
  • A short test at the end of each lesson; tests are not scored.
  • A Quick Reference Card you can take away from the course.


After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Choose a chart type in the Chart Type dialog box.
  • Choose between a Line chart and an XY Scatter chart.
  • Create a chart that combines two chart types.
  • Create a secondary axis to make two sets of values equally visible.

Before you begin

You should know how to create charts, or you should complete the course Charts I: How to create a chart.

If what you want to know is how to customize and enhance charts, take Charts III: Create a professional-looking chart

The best chart type is the one that gets your message across most effectively. This may be rich or simple, lines or points or parts of a circle, even a combination of several types. The more types you've seen and tried, the better you'll be able to choose the right one for your purpose.

To learn more about this course, read the overview in the center of this page or the table of contents in the left column.

When you're done reading this page, click Next to start the first lesson.

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