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Apply Fills to Plot Area of Charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to apply fills to the Plot Area of a chart in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X







The Plot Area for a chart is the layer or a backdrop upon which the chart itself is placed. This layer has axes on its perimeter and also, the Data Series and Gridlines are placed above this layer. By default, the Plot Area has no fill attributes, and thus it shows the slide's background. This may look plain, and that by itself is no reason to change the fill of the Plot Area. However, there are times when the slide background itself is busy -- and adding a different fill to the Plot Area can then make the chart appear more clear.

There are various fills you can apply to the Plot Area, such as a solid color, a gradient, a picture/texture, or a pattern as shown in Figure 1, below.

Variants of the same chart with solid color, gradient, picture, and pattern fills applied to the Plot Area
Figure 1: Variants of the same chart with solid color, gradient, picture, and pattern fills applied to the Plot Area

Follow these steps to learn how to change the fill of the Plot Area in a PowerPoint chart:

  1. Select the chart that you want to format the Plot Area for. If you don't have a chart, insert a new chart.

  2. Now, carefully right-click (or Ctrl+click) the Plot Area -- from the resultant menu, select the Format Plot Area option, as shown in Figure 2.

    Format Plot Area option
    Figure 2: Format Plot Area option

  3. This summons the Format Plot Area dialog box, as shown in Figure 3. Make sure that the Fill option is selected within the sidebar, as shown in Figure 3.

    Format Plot Area dialog box
    Figure 3: Format Plot Area dialog box

    Within the Format Plot Area dialog box, you can see various Fill options for the Plot Area, highlighted in red within Figure 3. Let us explore each of them. For more information on each of these options, refer to the tutorials linked:

  4. Select the required option and format the Plot Area as required. In Figure 4, you can see that the Plot Area of our sample chart is filled with pink (compare with partially visible chart in Figure 2).

    Plot Area with a solid fill
    Figure 4: Plot Area with a solid fill

  5. Save your presentation often.

See Also: Apply Fills to Plot Area of Charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

 

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