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Picture Fills for Chart Series in PowerPoint 2010

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010

Date Created: October 18th 2011
Last Updated: October 18th 2011


Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to stack or scale a picture as a fill for your chart series in PowerPoint 2010.






When you insert a new chart in your PowerPoint presentation, you will find that it takes the fills and border types based on the Theme of your presentation. You can change the fills and borders of charts without much effort. But, have you seen charts with picture fills? For example, imagine a chart that shows fruit exports and each column of the chart is filled with pictures of a particular fruit type rather than the conventional solid color fills or geometric patterns? Also, if you wanted to show how the export of grapes has increased over the years, your column chart would have all columns filled with pictures of grapes stacked one over the other? The good thing is that PowerPoint 2010 allows you to do just that with your charts -- as long as you know which options you need to change -- and that's explained in this tutorial!

Follow these steps to apply picture fills to chart series:

  1. To add a picture fill to chart series, you must have a chart in your presentation (we use a column chart for this tutorial, as shown in Figure 1). You can learn how to insert charts in PowerPoint 2010 here.

    Column Chart selected within PowerPoint 2010
    Figure 1: Column Chart selected within PowerPoint

  2. Click on the data series for which you want to use a picture fill, as shown in Figure 2 and make sure that the Chart Tools Layout tab (highlighted in red in Figure 2) of the Ribbon is activated.

    Selected data series
    Figure 2: Selected data series

  3. Towards the extreme left of Chart Tools Layout tab, within the Chart Elements drop-down list (highlighted in red in Figure 3), make sure that the name of the selected data series is being displayed. Then, click the Format Selection button (see Figure 3 again).

    Format Selection button to be clicked with the correct data series selected
    Figure 3: Format Selection button to be clicked with the correct data series selected

  4. This summons the Format Data Series dialog box - within this dialog box, select the Fill tab in the left pane. And in the right pane, select the Picture or texture fill radio button (see Figure 4).

    Picture or texture fill option selected within the Format Data Series dialog box
    Figure 4: Picture or texture fill option selected within the Format Data Series dialog box

  5. With the Picture or texture fill radio button selected, click the File button within Insert from section (highlighted in red in Figure 4 above).

  6. This brings up the Insert Picture window (see Figure 5) -- navigate to, and select the picture you want to use, and then click the Insert button.

    Insert Picture window
    Figure 5: Insert Picture window

    Note: The procedure to insert a picture explained above will not retain any relation between the picture in your folder and the picture on your chart. The picture on your slide is an independent copy that is contained within the presentation. If you want to link to the picture, check out our Insert and/or Link Pictures in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.


  7. As you can see in Figure 4 above, there are several other options available, as explained below:

    • Stretch: This option stretches the picture to fit within the series (see Figure 6).

      Picture inserted with Stretch option selected
      Figure 6: Picture inserted with Stretch option selected

    • Stack: Creates copies of the picture in such a way that they can be placed on top of each other, Figure 7 shows how.

      Picture inserted with Stack option selected
      Figure 7: Picture inserted with Stack option selected

    • Stack and Scale with units/picture: Here you can enter the number of units per picture (see Figure 8 where we have used 2 as the number to stack and scale).

      Picture inserted with Stack and scale option selected
      Figure 8: Picture inserted with Stack and scale option selected

  8. There are some other options also such as stretch offsets were you can set the placing of the picture, and apply Transparency. Please note that these options will be available only when Stretch option is selected.

  9. After making your choice, click Close to get back to the chart.

  10. Save your presentation.

    Note: Try and use simple pictures as far as possible with few colors and less detail -- if you choose very detailed pictures with too much color, you might lose the impact of this technique altogether.


See Also: Picture Fills for Chart Data Series for PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 for Windows | Picture Fills for Series in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows | Picture Fills for Chart Series in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

 

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