Chart Objects in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: PowerPoint 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003
Date Created: May 18th 2007
Last Updated: August 19th 2010
Excerpt/Capsule: Learn about various chart objects in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.
A chart in PowerPoint comprises several, individual objects that we like to call "chart objects ". On this page, we will explore each individual chart object -- before that, we'll show you how you can select these objects individually.
It is important to be able to select these chart objects individually because you can only change the look of an object after you select it. For example, in a column chart you select a column series to change the fill of a column.
For the rest of this page, we are assuming you already have a chart inserted on a PowerPoint slide -- if not, check out this page that shows how you can place a new chart on a slide in PowerPoint 2003...
Selecting Chart Objects
It helps if you know the terminology or the names of individual chart objects. However, even if you are not too chart-aware, PowerPoint lets you select individual chart objects. Follow these steps to do that:
- Double click the chart to get into chart editing mode, as shown in Figure 1. Notice that the menu and toolbars are now changed from the default PowerPoint interface.
Figure 1: Chart editing mode
- You can select any individual chart object -- such as the plot
area, columns, legend, etc. However, with so many chart objects
close to each other, and sometime overlapping each other, it's
easier to use another selection process. We explain this next.
- The Standard toolbar in chart editing mode has a dropdown list
of chart objects, as you can see in Figure
2 -- this contains a listing of all chart objects
in the active chart. Selecting the individual object in this
list also selects that object within the actual chart.
Figure 2: Chart object in the dropdown list
Figure 2 shows the chart objects for a typical column chart -- if your chart type is different, you will see different chart objects.
- Select any of the objects in the dropdown list to format it. For example, if you select the Legend option in the dropdown list, you'll find a Legend option in the Format menu (see Figure 3).
Figure 3: The Format menu options change depending upon the selected chart object.
- Clicking this option in the Format menu brings up another dialog
box -- for example, if you clicked the Format | Selected Legend
option, as shown in Figure 3, you'll see the
Format Legend dialog box, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Format the legend of your chart
- Format the legend (or another chart object) as required - and then click OK to get back to your edited chart.
- Follow the same process to format other chart elements. Once done with the formatting, click anywhere outside the chart to get back to the default PowerPoint interface.
Although different charts have differing chart objects, these are the common chart objects found in almsot all chart types:
- Axes: Most of the charts has two axes:
- The X-axis (the bottom axis), and
- The Y-axis (the left axis).
- Plot Area: The area within the axes is knows as plot area. The plot area includes the series, gridlines, etc.
- Titles: There are two types of titles:
- Chart title, normally placed above the chart, and
- Axes titles, normally placed besides the axes.
- Datasheet: This sheet contains the values based on which the chart is created. Although most of the time, the datasheet is only visible in chart editing mode, it can also be made part of the actual chart and thus be visible in slideshow mode.
- Series: Every row of data within the datasheets shows up as a component of the chart is knows as series. Series look different depending upon the chart types -- for example, in a column chart, the series are represented as columns, and in pie charts, the series is represented as slices of a pie.
- Categories: A set of series can be represented as a category -- thus in Figure 1 above, the components: 1st Quarter, 2nd Quarter, etc. are the categories.
- Values: These are the individual figures that identify each series. The font and placement for these can be formatted.
- Legends: This is a box placed normally outside the plot area which provides captions (and/or color coding) to the series, and helps identifying the series. Legends are automatically created with the chart itself, although you can opt to remove the legend.
- Gridlines: These are lines representing average values placed at regular intervals on the plot area.
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.