Monday, October 11, 2004

Using Pictures in Excel Charts Part 1

You can make charts look a little more visually appealing by using images in place of the normal columns.

Click on a series on a chart to select. Right-click and click Format Data Series. Add an image by choosing the Patterns tab and Fill Effects - Picture - Select Picture.
Once you've selected a picture, click on Insert and set the option for image scaling. The best options are Stack or Stack and Scale to. If you use the latter option, set the number of units that equal one image.
Don't worry if your picture looks "squished" in the Format Data Series dialog box, it will show up correctly in the chart.

There is a shortcut to the process that lets you use a clip-art image rather than an image from a file.
Select the data series and choose Insert - Picture - Clip Art. Once you've added the image, use the Fill Effects - Picture tab dialog to scale the clip-art image as you would if you had used an image from a file.

If the width of the column in the chart is too small for your image then you can alter it as folows.
Right-click on a series, choose Format Data Series - Options. Decrease the Gap Width to make the bars wider and if necessary add an overlap to widen the bars or columns even more.

Source PC MAgazine.