Add data to a chart

After you create a chart, you may make changes to the source data on the worksheet (worksheet: The primary document that you use in Excel to store and work with data. Also called a spreadsheet. A worksheet consists of cells that are organized into columns and rows; a worksheet is always stored in a workbook.) that you will want to appear in the chart. Or you may want to make data changes directly in the chart. Microsoft Excel provides various ways to incorporate changes in a chart. Whether your chart is on a chart sheet (chart sheet: A sheet in a workbook that contains only a chart. A chart sheet is beneficial when you want to view a chart or a PivotChart report separately from worksheet data or a PivotTable report.) or displayed on a worksheet as an embedded chart (embedded chart: A chart that is placed on a worksheet rather than on a separate chart sheet. Embedded charts are beneficial when you want to view or print a chart or a PivotChart report with its source data or other information in a worksheet.), you can update a chart with changed values, display different or additional data in a chart, or remove data from a chart.

What do you want to do?

Update a chart with changed values

Display different or additional data in a chart

Remove data from a chart

Update a chart with changed values

The values in a chart are linked to the worksheet data from which the chart is created. With calculation options set to automatic (Tools menu, Options command, Calculation tab), changes that you make to worksheet data automatically appear in the chart, and changes that you make to data in the chart automatically appear on the worksheet.

Change values on the worksheet

  1. Open the worksheet that contains the data that is plotted in the chart.
  2. In the cell that contains the value that you want to change, type a new value.
  3. Press ENTER.

Change formula-generated values in the chart

You can change values that are generated from worksheet formulas in 2-D column, bar, pie, doughnut, line, xy (scatter), and bubble charts by dragging the data marker (data marker: A bar, area, dot, slice, or other symbol in a chart that represents a single data point or value that originates from a worksheet cell. Related data markers in a chart constitute a data series.) in the chart and by using goal seeking (goal seek: A method to find a specific value for a cell by adjusting the value of one other cell. When goal seeking, Excel varies the value in a cell that you specify until a formula that's dependent on that cell returns the result you want.). When you change the value of a data marker by dragging, Excel also changes the underlying value on the worksheet. To change values that are generated from worksheet formulas in 3-D, surface, radar, and area charts, you can use goal seeking on the worksheet.

  1. Click the data series (data series: Related data points that are plotted in a chart. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern and is represented in the chart legend. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.) that contains the data marker that you want to change, and then click the data marker.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If the data marker is a bubble, line, or xy (scatter) data marker, drag the data marker.
    • If the data marker is a bar or column data marker, drag the top-center selection handle.
    • If the data marker is a pie or doughnut chart data marker, drag the largest selection handle on the outer edge of the data marker.

 Note   If the value of the data marker was generated from a formula, the value can be changed only by adjusting one of the values that the formula refers to. After you drag the data marker, the Goal Seek dialog box appears. Click the worksheet cell that contains the formula value that you want to adjust, and then click OK in the Goal Seek dialog box.

Top of Page Top of Page

Display different or additional data in a chart

To display different or additional data in a chart, you can change the cell range that the chart is based on, drag sizing handles of ranges to update an embedded chart, or simply drag data from the worksheet to the chart. You can also copy worksheet data into an embedded chart or onto a separate chart sheet.

Change the cell range that the chart is based on

  1. Click the chart sheet or the embedded chart for which you want to change the cell range of the source data.
  2. On the Chart menu, click Source Data.
  3. On the Data Range tab, make sure that the entire reference in the Data range box is selected.
  4. On the worksheet, select the cells that contain the data that you want to appear in the chart.

 Tip   If you want the column and row labels to appear in the chart, include the cells that contain them in the selection.

Add data to a chart by dragging the sizing handles of ranges

If you have an embedded chart that was created from adjacent worksheet cells, you can add data by dragging the sizing handles of ranges. The chart must be on the same worksheet as the data used to create it.

  1. On the worksheet, type the data and labels that you want to add to the chart in cells that are adjacent to the existing worksheet data.
  2. Select the chart area (chart area: The entire chart and all its elements.) of the chart by clicking the blank area between the border of the chart and the plot area (plot area: In a 2-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including all data series. In a 3-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including the data series, category names, tick-mark labels, and axis titles.).
  3. On the worksheet, do one of the following:

Add data to a chart by dragging

If you have an embedded chart, you can add data by dragging. The chart must be on the same worksheet as the data that is used to create it.

  1. On the worksheet, select the adjacent cells or ranges (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) that contain the data that you want to add to the chart.

 Tip   If you want the column or row label for the new data to appear in the chart, include the cell that contains the label in the selection.

  1. Point to the border of the selection.

Pointer on selection border

  1. Drag the selection to the embedded chart that you want to update.

If more information is needed to plot the data in the chart, the Paste Special dialog box appears. Select the options that you want.

 Note   If you cannot drag the selection, make sure that the Allow cell drag and drop check box is selected on the Edit tab of the Options dialog box (Tools menu, Options command).

Copy worksheet data into a chart

If an embedded chart is created from nonadjacent selections (nonadjacent selection: A selection of two or more cells or ranges that don't touch each other. When plotting nonadjacent selections in a chart, make sure that the combined selections form a rectangular shape.) or if the chart is on a separate chart sheet, you can copy additional worksheet data into the chart.

  1. On the worksheet, select the cells that contain the data that you want to add to the chart.

 Tip   If you want the column or row label for the new data to appear in the chart, include the cell that contains the label in the selection.

  1. Click Copy Button image.
  2. Click the chart sheet or the embedded chart into which you want to paste the copied data.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To paste the data in the chart, click Paste Button image.
    • To specify how the copied data should be plotted in the chart, click Paste Special on the Edit menu, and then select the options that you want.

Top of Page Top of Page

Remove data from a chart

With calculation options set to automatic (Tools menu, Options command, Calculation tab), data that is deleted from the worksheet will automatically be removed from the chart. You can also remove data from the chart without affecting the source data on the worksheet.

Delete source data on the worksheet

On the worksheet, select the cell or range of cells in the source data of the chart that you want to remove, and then press DELETE.

Remove a data series from the chart

In a chart, click the data series (data series: Related data points that are plotted in a chart. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern and is represented in the chart legend. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.) that you want to remove, and then press DELETE.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003