Edit data in a chart

Which Office program are you using?


Word

You can create a chart in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. However, the chart data is entered and saved in an Excel sheet. If you insert a chart in Word or PowerPoint, a new sheet is opened in Excel. When you save a Word document or PowerPoint presentation that contains a chart, the chart's underlying Excel data is automatically saved within the Word document or PowerPoint presentation.

 Important   You must have Excel installed to create or change a chart. You can order a copy of Excel on the Microsoft Web site.

Do any of the following:

ShowEdit data included in a chart

After you create a chart, you can edit the data in the Excel sheet. The changes will be reflected in the chart.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. Click the chart.
  3. On the Charts tab, under Data, click the arrow next to Edit, and then click Edit Data in Excel.

Charts tab, Data group

Excel opens and displays the data table for the chart.

Data table for an Office chart

  1. To change the number of rows and columns that are included in the chart, rest the pointer on the lower-right corner of the selected data, and then drag to select additional data. In the following example, the table is expanded to include additional categories and data series.

Selecting more data for an Office chart

  1. To add data to or edit data in a cell, click the cell, and then make the change.
  2. To see the results of your changes, switch to Word.

ShowChange which chart axis is emphasized

After you create a chart, you might want to change the way that table rows and columns are plotted in the chart.  For example, your first version of a chart might plot the rows of data from the table on the chart's vertical (value) axis, and the columns of data on the horizontal (category) axis. In the following example, the chart emphasizes sales by instrument.

Chart showing sales by category

However, if you want the chart to emphasize the sales by month, you can reverse the way the chart is plotted.

Chart showing sales by month

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. Click the chart.
  3. On the Charts tab, under Data, click Plot series by row  Plot series by row or Plot series by column  Plot series by column.

Charts tab, Data group

ShowIf Switch Plot is not available

Switch Plot is available only when the chart's Excel data table is open and only for certain chart types.

  1. Click the chart.
  2. On the Charts tab, under Data, click the arrow next to Edit, and then click Edit Data in Excel.Charts tab, Data group

ShowChange the order of the data series

To change the order of a data series, you need to work with a chart that has more than one data series.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Chart Layout tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all the columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Current Selection, click Format Selection.

Charts tab, Current Selection group

  1. In the navigation pane, click Order, click a series name, and then click Move Up or Move Down.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

 Note   For most chart types, changing the order of the data series affects both the legend and the chart itself.

ShowRemove or add a data series

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Charts tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Data, click the arrow next to Edit, and then click Select Data in Excel.

Charts tab, Data group

  1. In the Select Data Source dialog box, do one of the following:
To Do this
Remove a series Under Series, select the data series that you want to remove, and then click Remove.
Add a series Under Series, click Add, and then in the Excel sheet, select all the data that you want to include in the chart.

ShowChange the fill color of the data series

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Format tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all the columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Chart Element Styles, click the arrow next to Fill  Fill Color button, and then click the color that you want.

 Tip   To vary the color by data point in a chart that has only one data series, click the series, and then click the Chart Layout tab. Under Current Selection, click Format Selection. In the navigation pane, click Fill, and then depending on the chart, select the Vary color by point check box or the Vary color by slice check box. Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowAdd data labels

You can add labels to show the data point values from the Excel sheet in the chart.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  3. Under Labels, click Data Labels, and then in the upper part of the list, click the data label type that you want.

Chart Layout tab, Labels group

  1. Under Labels, click Data Labels, and then in the lower part of the list, click where you want the data label to appear.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowAdd a data table

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  3. Under Labels, click Data Table, and then click the option that you want.

Chart Layout tab, Labels group

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowDisplay dates on a horizontal axis

When you create a chart from data that uses dates, and the dates are plotted along the horizontal axis in the chart, Office automatically changes the horizontal axis to a date (time-scale) axis. You can also manually change a horizontal axis to a date axis. A date axis displays dates in chronological order at set intervals or base units, such as the number of days, months, or years, even if the dates on the Excel sheet are not in sequential order or in the same base units.

By default, Office uses the smallest difference between any two dates in the data to determine the base units for the date axis. For example, if you have data for stock prices where the smallest difference between dates is seven days, Office sets the base unit to days. However, you can change the base unit to months or years if you want to see the performance of the stock over a longer time.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  3. For the axis that you want to change, make sure that the axis labels (axis labels: Labels for categories or values on the axis of a chart. Axis labels are different from an axis title, which is a single label that describes an entire axis.) show.
  4. Under Axes, click Axes, point to Horizontal Axis, and then click Axis Options.

Chart Layout tab, Axes group

  1. In the navigation pane, click Scale, and then under Horizontal axis type, click Date.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

 Note   If you follow this procedure and your chart does not display the dates as a time-scale axis, make sure that the axis labels are written in date format in the Excel table, such as 05/01/08 or May-08.

See also

Create a chart

Change a chart

PowerPoint

You can create a chart in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. However, the chart data is entered and saved in an Excel sheet. If you insert a chart in Word or PowerPoint, a new sheet is opened in Excel. When you save a Word document or PowerPoint presentation that contains a chart, the chart's underlying Excel data is automatically saved within the Word document or PowerPoint presentation.

 Important   You must have Excel installed to create or change a chart. You can order a copy of Excel on the Microsoft Web site.

Do any of the following:

ShowEdit data included in a chart

After you create a chart, you can edit the data in the Excel sheet. The changes will be reflected in the chart.

  1. Click the chart.
  2. On the Charts tab, under Data, click the arrow next to Edit, and then click Edit Data in Excel.

Charts tab, Data group

Excel opens and displays the data table for the chart.

Data table for an Office chart

  1. To change the number of rows and columns that are included in the chart, rest the pointer on the lower-right corner of the selected data, and then drag to select additional data. In the following example, the table is expanded to include additional categories and data series.

Selecting more data for an Office chart

  1. To add data to or edit data in a cell, click the cell, and then make the change.
  2. To see your changes, switch to PowerPoint.

ShowChange which chart axis is emphasized

After you create a chart, you might want to change the way that table rows and columns are plotted in the chart.  For example, your first version of a chart might plot the rows of data from the table on the chart's vertical (value) axis, and the columns of data on the horizontal (category) axis. In the following example, the chart emphasizes sales by instrument.

Chart showing sales by category

However, if you want the chart to emphasize the sales by month, you can reverse the way the chart is plotted.

Chart showing sales by month

  1. Click the chart.
  2. On the Charts tab, under Data, click Plot series by row  Plot series by row or Plot series by column  Plot series by column.

Charts tab, Data group

ShowIf Switch Plot is not available

Switch Plot is available only when the chart's Excel data table is open and only for certain chart types.

  1. Click the chart.
  2. On the Charts tab, under Data, click the arrow next to Edit, and then click Edit Data in Excel.Charts tab, Data group

ShowChange the order of the data series

To change the order of a data series, you need to work with a chart that has more than one data series.

  1. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Chart Layout tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all the columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Current Selection, click Format Selection.

Charts tab, Current Selection group

  1. In the navigation pane, click Order, click a series name, and then click Move Up or Move Down.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

 Note   For most chart types, changing the order of the data series affects both the legend and the chart itself.

ShowRemove or add a data series

  1. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Charts tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Data, click the arrow next to Edit, and then click Select Data in Excel.

Charts tab, Data group

  1. In the Select Data Source dialog box, do one of the following:
To Do this
Remove a series Under Series, select the data series that you want to remove, and then click Remove.
Add a series Under Series, click Add, and then in the Excel sheet, select all the data that you want to include in the chart.

ShowChange the fill color of the data series

  1. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Format tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all the columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Chart Element Styles, click the arrow next to Fill  Fill Color button, and then click the color that you want.

 Tip   To vary the color by data point in a chart that has only one data series, click the series, and then click the Chart Layout tab. Under Current Selection, click Format Selection. In the navigation pane, click Fill, and then depending on the chart, select the Vary color by point check box or the Vary color by slice check box. Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowAdd data labels

You can add labels to show the data point values from the Excel sheet in the chart.

  1. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  2. Under Labels, click Data Labels, and then in the upper part of the list, click the data label type that you want.

Chart Layout tab, Labels group

  1. Under Labels, click Data Labels, and then in the lower part of the list, click where you want the data label to appear.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowAdd a data table

  1. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  2. Under Labels, click Data Table, and then click the option that you want.

Chart Layout tab, Labels group

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowDisplay dates on a horizontal axis

When you create a chart from data that uses dates, and the dates are plotted along the horizontal axis in the chart, Office automatically changes the horizontal axis to a date (time-scale) axis. You can also manually change a horizontal axis to a date axis. A date axis displays dates in chronological order at set intervals or base units, such as the number of days, months, or years, even if the dates on the Excel sheet are not in sequential order or in the same base units.

By default, Office uses the smallest difference between any two dates in the data to determine the base units for the date axis. For example, if you have data for stock prices where the smallest difference between dates is seven days, Office sets the base unit to days. However, you can change the base unit to months or years if you want to see the performance of the stock over a longer time.

  1. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  2. For the axis that you want to change, make sure that the axis labels (axis labels: Labels for categories or values on the axis of a chart. Axis labels are different from an axis title, which is a single label that describes an entire axis.) show.
  3. Under Axes, click Axes, point to Horizontal Axis, and then click Axis Options.

Chart Layout tab, Axes group

  1. In the navigation pane, click Scale, and then under Horizontal axis type, click Date.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

 Note   If you follow this procedure and your chart does not display the dates as a time-scale axis, make sure that the axis labels are written in date format in the Excel table, such as 05/01/08 or May-08.

See also

Create a chart

Change a chart

Excel

Do any of the following:

ShowEdit data included in a chart

After you create a chart, you can edit the data in the Excel sheet. The changes will be reflected in the chart.

  1. Click the chart.

Excel highlights the data table that is used for the chart. A purple outline indicates a row or column used for the category axis. A green outline indicates a row or column that contains data series labels. A blue outline indicates data points plotted in the chart.

Excel data table for a chart

Callout 1 Data series labels

Callout 2 Values for the category axis

Callout 3 Data points plotted in the chart

  1. To change the number of rows and columns that are included in the chart, rest the pointer on the lower-right corner of the selected data, and then drag to select additional data. In the following example, the table is expanded to include additional categories and data series.

Selecting more data for an Excel chart

 Tip   To prevent that data from being displayed in the chart, you can hide rows and columns in the table.

  1. To add data to or edit data in a cell, click the cell, and then make the change.

ShowChange which chart axis is emphasized

After you create a chart, you might want to change the way that table rows and columns are plotted in the chart.  For example, your first version of a chart might plot the rows of data from the table on the chart's vertical (value) axis, and the columns of data on the horizontal (category) axis. In the following example, the chart emphasizes sales by instrument.

Chart showing sales by category

However, if you want the chart to emphasize the sales by month, you can reverse the way the chart is plotted.

Chart showing sales by month

  1. Click the chart.
  2. On the Charts tab, under Data, click Plot series by row  Plot series by row or Plot series by column  Plot series by column.

Excel Charts tab, Data group

ShowChange the order of the data series

To change the order of a data series, you need to work with a chart that has more than one data series.

  1. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Chart Layout tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all the columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Current Selection, click Format Selection.

Charts tab, Current Selection group

  1. In the navigation pane, click Order, click a series name, and then click Move Up or Move Down.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

 Note   For most chart types, changing the order of the data series affects both the legend and the chart itself.

ShowRemove or add a data series

  1. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Charts tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Data, click Select.

Excel Charts tab, Data group

  1. In the Select Data Source dialog box, do one of the following:
To Do this
Remove a series Under Series, select the data series that you want to remove, and then click Remove.
Add a series Under Series, click Add, and then in the Excel sheet, select all the data that you want to include in the chart.

ShowChange the fill color of the data series

  1. In the chart, select a data series (data series: A group of related data points plotted in a chart that originate from rows or columns on a single sheet. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), and then click the Format tab.

For example, in a column chart, click a column, and all the columns of that data series become selected.

  1. Under Chart Element Styles, click the arrow next to Fill  Fill Color button, and then click the color that you want.

 Tip   To vary the color by data point in a chart that has only one data series, click the series, and then click the Chart Layout tab. Under Current Selection, click Format Selection. In the navigation pane, click Fill, and then depending on the chart, select the Vary color by point check box or the Vary color by slice check box. Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowAdd data labels

You can add labels to show the data point values from the Excel sheet in the chart.

  1. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  2. Under Labels, click Data Labels, and then in the upper part of the list, click the data label type that you want.

Chart Layout tab, Labels group

  1. Under Labels, click Data Labels, and then in the lower part of the list, click where you want the data label to appear.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowAdd a data table

  1. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  2. Under Labels, click Data Table, and then click the option that you want.

Chart Layout tab, Labels group

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

ShowDisplay dates on a horizontal axis

When you create a chart from data that uses dates, and the dates are plotted along the horizontal axis in the chart, Office automatically changes the horizontal axis to a date (time-scale) axis. You can also manually change a horizontal axis to a date axis. A date axis displays dates in chronological order at set intervals or base units, such as the number of days, months, or years, even if the dates on the Excel sheet are not in sequential order or in the same base units.

By default, Office uses the smallest difference between any two dates in the data to determine the base units for the date axis. For example, if you have data for stock prices where the smallest difference between dates is seven days, Office sets the base unit to days. However, you can change the base unit to months or years if you want to see the performance of the stock over a longer time.

  1. Click the chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab.
  2. For the axis that you want to change, make sure that the axis labels (axis labels: Labels for categories or values on the axis of a chart. Axis labels are different from an axis title, which is a single label that describes an entire axis.) show.
  3. Under Axes, click Axes, point to Horizontal Axis, and then click Axis Options.

Chart Layout tab, Axes group

  1. In the navigation pane, click Scale, and then under Horizontal axis type, click Date.

Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

 Note   If you follow this procedure and your chart does not display the dates as a time-scale axis, make sure that the axis labels are written in date format in the Excel table, such as 05/01/08 or May-08. To learn more about how to format cells as dates, see Display dates, times, currency, fractions, or percentages.

See also

Create a chart

Change a chart

 
 
Applies to:
Excel for Mac 2011, PowerPoint for Mac 2011, Word for Mac 2011