An area chart emphasizes the magnitude of change over time. By displaying the sum of the plotted values, an area chart also shows the relationship of parts to a whole.
In this example, an area chart emphasizes increased sales in Washington and illustrates the contribution of each state to total sales.
A column chart shows data changes over a period of time or illustrates comparisons among items. To emphasize variation over time, categories are organized horizontally and values are organized vertically.
Stacked column charts show the relationship of individual items to the whole.
A bar chart illustrates comparisons between individual items. To focus on comparing values and to place less emphasis on time, categories are organized vertically and values are organized horizontally.
Stacked bar charts show the relationship of individual items to the whole.
A line chart shows trends in data at equal intervals.
A smooth line chart shows trends in data at equal intervals, smoothed to show the estimated data between intervals.
Two stock chart types are often used to illustrate stock prices: open-high-low-close and high-low-close. These charts can also be used for scientific data — for example, to indicate high-low-average temperatures. The chart in the example is a high-low-close chart.
A polar chart compares the relationship of angles and distances. The chart in this example illustrates elevation angles for two heights of a radio antenna.