Change the appearance of a chart in PowerPoint 2010

After you create a chart, you can change its look. To avoid a lot of manual formatting, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2010 provides a variety of useful predefined quick layouts and styles that you may want apply to your chart. You can then customize the chart further by manually changing the layout and formatting style of its individual chart elements.

Although you cannot save a custom layout or format, you can use the custom layout or format again by saving the chart as a chart template.

 Important   

What do you want to do?


Apply a predefined chart layout

  1. Select the chart that you want to format.
  2. Under Chart Tools, on the Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, click More Button image, and then select the chart layout that you want to use.

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If you don’t see Chart Tools or the Design tab, make sure that you have selected a chart.

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Apply a predefined chart style

  1. Select the chart that you want to format.
  2. Under Chart Tools, on the Design tab, in the Chart Styles group, click More Button image, and then select the chart layout that you want to use.

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If you don’t see Chart Tools or the Design tab, make sure that you have selected a chart.

 Tip    Chart styles use the colors of the current document theme that is applied to the workbook. You can change the colors by switching to a different theme. You can also customize a document them to display a chart in the exact colors that you want.

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Customize the layout of a chart

  1. Select anywhere in the chart or select the chart element that you want to change.
  2. Under Chart Tools, on the Layout tab, do the one or more of the following:

If you do not see Chart Tools or the Layout tab, make sure that you have selected a chart.

  • In the Labels group, click a layout option for the chart label that you want to change.

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  • In the Axes group, click a layout option for the axis or gridlines that you want to change.

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  • In the Background group, click a layout option for the background that you want to change.

Options for chart walls, floors, and 3-D rotation are available on 3-D charts only.

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  • In the Analysis group, click a layout option for any lines or bars that you want to add or change.

Depending on the chart kind of your chart, some analysis options may be available.

 Notes 

  • The layout options that you select are applied to the element that you have selected. For example if you have the whole chart selected, data labels will be applied to all data series. If you have a single data point selected, data labels will only be applied to the selected data series or data point.
  • On the Layout tab, you can also find options to add pictures, shapes, or text boxes (Insert group), and you can change the name of your chart (Properties group).
  • To change the format of a specific chart element, you can right-click that chart element, and then click Format <Chart element>.

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Customize the formatting of a chart

  1. Select the chart element that you want to change, or do the following to select the chart element that you want from a list:
    1. Select the chart.
    2. Under Chart Tools, on the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the arrow in the Chart Elements box, and then click the chart element that you want to change.

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If you do not see Chart Tools or the Format tab, make sure that you have selected a chart.

  1. Under Chart Tools, on the Format tab, do the following:
  • In the Current Selection group, click Format Selection, and then in the Format <Chart element> dialog box, select the formatting options that you want.
  • In the Shape Styles group, click More Button image, and then select the style that you want.

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  • In the Shape Styles group, click Shape File, Shape Outline, or Shape Effects and then select the formatting options that you want.
  • In the WordArt Styles group, click a WordArt Style option, or click Text Fill, Text Outline, or Text Effects, and then select the text formatting options that you want.

 Tip    To change the format of a specific chart element, you can right-click that chart element, and then click Format <Chart element>.

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Save a chart as a chart template

If you want to create another chart such as the one that you previously created, you can save the chart as a template that you can use as the basis for other similar charts.

  1. Select the chart that you want to save as a template
  2. Under Chart Tools, on the Design tab, in the Type group, click Save As Template.

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If you do not see Chart Tools, make sure that you have selected a chart.

  1. In the File name box, type the name that you want to use for the template.

 Notes 

  • Unless you specify a different folder, the template file (.crtx) will be saved in the Charts folder, and the template becomes available under Templates in both the Insert Chart dialog box (on the Insert tab, in the Charts group, the Dialog Box Launcher Button Image ) and the Change Chart Type dialog box (on the Design tab, in the Type group, Change Chart Type).
  • A chart template contains the chart format and stores the colors that are being used when you save the chart as a template. When you use a chart template to create a chart in another workbook, the new chart uses the colors of the chart template — not the colors of the document theme that is currently applied to the workbook. To use the document theme colors instead of the chart template colors, right-click the chart area, and then click Reset to Match Style.

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2010