Home | Products | PowerPoint | PowerPoint Tutorials | Charts

Make 3D Columns Transparent for Charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to make 3D columns transparent for charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

Date Created: February 8th 2013
Last Updated: February 8th 2013






OK -- you read the title right! We reiterate that you should still not use 3D charts unless you must have a Z-axis. Having said that, we are talking about making your 3D columns in a chart transparent. Yes, there's a reason to do so especially when you find that some of the columns in your 3D chart may be hiding behind one or more of the other columns, just because they are not tall enough. Look at the chart shown in Figure 1 -- notice that one of the red columns is completely hidden. Agreed, that column does not represent superlative performance but it still needs to be visible.

One of the Series 3 columns is completely hidden
Figure 1: One of the Series 3 columns is completely hidden

Continuing our observation of Figure 1, we need to find a way to make the completely hidden red column visible! One easy solution for this problem is to reduce the opacity of the columns in the front. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Start by selecting one of Series in the front -- we selected the Series represented by the blue columns. Thereafter, right-click (or Ctrl+click) to bring up the contextual menu you see in Figure 2. Choose the Format Data Series option.

    Format Data Series option selected
    Figure 2: Format Data Series option selected

  2. This brings up the Format Data Series dialog box that you see in Figure 3. Make sure that the Fill option is selected within the sidebar. Then, select a tab depending upon the type of the fill used for the selected Series. In Figure 3, you can see that we have selected the Solid tab.

    Format Data Series dialog box displaying greyed out Transparency slider
    Figure 3: Format Data Series dialog box displaying greyed out Transparency slider

  3. As you can see in Figure 3 above, the Transparency slider (highlighted in red) is greyed out! This is because the fill color is set to Automatic (as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above). To change the fill transparency, you need to change the fill type from Automatic to one of the Accent colors. In Figure 4 you can see that we are changing the Data Series fill to a solid color.

    Solid color fill being selected for the Series
    Figure 4: Solid color fill being selected for the Series

  4. As soon as you change the fill to a solid color, the Transparency slider gets enabled. Now set a transparency value as required -- in Figure 5 you can see that we set the transparency to 25%.

    Data Series transparency set to 25%
    Figure 5: Data Series transparency set to 25%

    Tip: We cover transparency for solid fills in this tutorial. However if your 3D column is filled with a gradient, a picture, or some other shape fill, you can still change the transparency for that fill type. Refer to our Transparency for Shape Fills in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial. Even though that tutorial is about shape fills, the same techniques work for Data Series fills within charts.


    This makes the selected Series semi-transparent as shown in Figure 6.

    Columns of Series 1 made semi-transparent
    Figure 6: Columns of Series 1 made semi-transparent

  5. Similarly, you can change the transparency of Columns representing other Series. In Figure 7 you can see that we have changed the transparency of Series 1 and 2 so that columns behind them are also visible.

    Reducing the fill opacity of columns has made hidden chart elements visible
    Figure 7: Reducing the fill opacity of columns has made hidden chart elements visible

    Compare the charts in Figures 7 and 1. You can see that in Figure 7, the columns of Series 3 which were hidden earlier, are visible.

  6. Save your presentation often.

See Also: Make 3D Columns Transparent for Charts in 2013 for Windows

 

Office 2008 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies Office 2011 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies

If you liked this tutorial, do look at this book, authored by Geetesh Bajaj and James Gordon.

This book is the single most comprehensive content for Microsoft's latest Office suite offering for Mac users.

Check the book on Amazon.com...




comments powered by Disqus




Subscribe to Indezine
Follow Indezine

Follow Indezine on Pinterest
Share This Page
Bookmark and Share
Translate Page


Like This Page
Like This Site



Microsoft and the Office logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

Home | PowerPoint | Photoshop | PowerPoint Templates | PowerPoint Tutorials | Blog | Notes | Ezine | Advertise | Feedback | Site Map | About Us | Contact Us

Link to Us | Privacy | Testimonials

PowerPoint Backgrounds | Christian PowerPoint Backgrounds | Business PowerPoint Presentation Templates

Plagiarism will be detected by Copyscape

©2000-2016, Geetesh Bajaj. All rights reserved.

since November 02, 2000