Change fills and lines in charts

You can specify a fill effect, change the line width or border style, or change colors for the chart area (chart area: The entire chart and all its elements.), 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.), data markers (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.), gridlines (gridlines in charts: Lines you can add to a chart that make it easier to view and evaluate data. Gridlines extend from the tick marks on an axis across the plot area.), axes (axis: A line bordering the chart plot area used as a frame of reference for measurement. The y axis is usually the vertical axis and contains data. The x-axis is usually the horizontal axis and contains categories.), and tick marks (tick marks and tick-mark labels: Tick marks are small lines of measurement, similar to divisions on a ruler, that intersect an axis. Tick-mark labels identify the categories, values, or series in the chart.) in 2-D and 3-D charts, trendlines (trendline: A graphic representation of trends in data series, such as a line sloping upward to represent increased sales over a period of months. Trendlines are used for the study of problems of prediction, also called regression analysis.) and error bars (error bars: Usually used in statistical or scientific data, error bars show potential error or degree of uncertainty relative to each data marker in a series.) in 2-D charts, and the walls and floor (3-D walls and floor: The areas surrounding many 3-D chart types that give dimension and boundaries to the chart. Two walls and one floor are displayed within the plot area.) in 3-D charts.

  1. 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 in 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.), double-click the chart element that you want to change.
  2. On the Patterns tab, do any of the following:
    • To specify a fill effect, click Fill Effects, and then select the options that you want on the Gradient, Texture, or Pattern tabs.

 Tip   You can also fill a chart element with a picture. On the Picture tab, click Select Picture, double-click the picture that you want, and then click Insert.

To clear a fill effect or picture and return the chart element to the default formatting, click Automatic under Area.

  • To change border and line styles, select the options that you want under Border.

To clear all border formatting, click None.

 Note   Different chart elements have different options available under Border. For the chart area, for example, there are Shadow and Round corners check boxes that you can select.

  • To change colors, select the color that you want under Area.

To clear all color formatting, click None.

 Note   Formatting applied to an axis is also applied to the tick marks on that axis. Gridlines are formatted independently of axes.

Applies to:
Excel 2003