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Selecting and formatting chart elements Earlier skills introduced how to create a chart and change the design style and layout. You can also modify the formatting for individual chart elements including a specific data series, the gridlines, the plot area, and the chart area. The plot area is the area of the chart where the data series are plotted. The chart area is the area that encompasses the entire chart including the plot area and optional layout elements, such as title, legend, and data table. 1. On the Chart Tools Format tab, in the Current Selection group, expand the Chart Elements list, and select the chart element you want to format. 2. Click the Format Selection button . 3. The options available in the Format dialog vary depending on the chart element you selected. Common options include border and fill colors and styles, line colors and styles, shadow and glow effects, and alignment. As you make selections in the Format dialog, Excel applies the changes to the chart automaticallythere is no OK or Apply button. 4. Click Close to close the Format dialog. To undo the formatting changes, click the Reset to Match Style button . Formatting 3-D chart elements Excel has two types of 3-D charts. Some 3-D chart types, like the 3-D clustered column, display the data series using a 3-D effect. These are not true 3-D charts. A true 3-D chart adds a third dimension showing depth. Use a 3-D chart, like the 3-D column or 3-D cylinder, to compare data across both the horizontal axis (x axis) and depth axis (z axis). 3-D charts include chart elements that other charts do not have: back wall, side wall, floor, floors (to format the back wall and side wall at the same time), and depth (series) axis. You can change the fill, border, and other formatting aspects as you would with other chart elements. From the Format Chart Area dialog, you can modify the overall 3-D appearance of the chart. 1. Use the Chart Elements drop-down list on the Ribbon to select the chart area, or right- click an empty part of the chart area and select Format Chart Area. 2. Click the 3-D Rotation category. 3. In the Rotation section, increase or decrease the angle of each individual axis to rotate the chart or modify the overall perspective. As you make selections, Excel changes the chart immediately. 4. In the Chart Scale section, use the Depth (% of base) option to control the depth of the chart. Decreasing the depth of the base shortens the chart floor; increasing the depth of base lengthens the chart floor. 5. Notice that as you make selections in the Format Data Series dialog, Excel applies them to the chart. To undo the changes, close the dialog and use the Undo command. For each data series, you can control the 3-D effects to make one series stand out from the others.... View Full Document

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