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Changing Fonts and Other Text Options for Charts in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2002 and 2003

Date Created: April 9th 2010
Last Updated: April 9th 2010

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn the basics of formatting fonts within charts in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

You can create the most amazing charts without any text since the main purpose of any chart is to show a trend. Having said that, text plays a very important role in charting -- and although I do recommend you keep text at a minimum, you'll end up with some text in the form of legend, some data labels, axis titles, or elsewhere. Nothing looks as bad as text that is too small or too huge on a chart, and balance plays a key role in the aesthetics of text in a chart. Yet many people don't know how you can format text in a chart -- this tutorial will get you started. On this page, I'll explore techniques for working with text within charts in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 -- and a similar page will be available for those who work with PowerPoint 2007 and 2010.

I already showed you how you can change chart types, and how you can change fills and outlines for chart data series. The next thing you should do with your chart is fine-tune any text -- and that's what I show you now. Before you proceed, you need to have a chart in your presentation -- you can learn how you can insert chart in PowerPoint 2002 or 2003.

Follow these steps to change font and other text options in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

  1. Double click your chart to be in PowerPoint's chart editing mode, as shown in Figure 1.

    Chart editing mode
    Figure 1: Chart editing mode

  2. You'll see a herringbone patterned border around your chart as shown in Figure 2 -- this indicates you are in the chart editing mode. You can now individually select any chart objects that contains text.

    Select chart
    Figure 2: Select chart

  3. From the menu, choose the Format | Selected Data Series option, as shown in Figure 3.

    Selected Data Series
    Figure 3: Selected Data Series

  4. This summons a Format dialog box (as shown in see Figure 4). Select the Font tab in the resultant dialog box -- your dialog box may look at little different than what you see in Figure 4 depending upon which text you selected in your chart.

    Format Chart Area
    Figure 4: Format Chart Area

    Within the Font tab of the dialog box, you'll find tons of options:

    • Auto Scale: The Auto scale check box is checked by default and in my opinion, this is the biggest culprit for any jagged fonts that you see in your charts -- disable this option before you do anything else in this dialog box! So what does this do? It auto-scales your font sizes -- if you reduce the size of your chart, it might reduce the size of your font from 12 points to 7.67 points or some other strange number.
    • Fonts: Here you get all the font types that are installed in your system -- you can change the type of font you want to use. Make sure that the font you use is the same as what you are using for other chart elements and also the same as the one you use for all other text in your presentation.
    • Font Style: Here you can choose font styles such as bold, italics, bold italics, etc.
    • Size: You can set the font size by its number in points.
    • Underline: You can enable underlining for the selected text, choose from single or double underlines.
    • Color: Click the downward pointing arrow to bring up a color gallery from were you can choose any color you want -- by default, the text in your chart is set to Automatic color -- this is the default text color in your presentation.
    • Background: This provides three options: Automatic, Transparent, and Opaque -- the Transparent option shows the slide background whereas the Opaque option shows a colored background -- and the color may be white.
    • Effects: You can choose from font effects such as Strikethrough, Superscript and Subscript.
    • Preview: Here you can see a small preview of the text with the changes applied.

  5. When done, click OK to get back to the chart.

  6. You can exit the chart editing mode by clicking anywhere outside the chart area or the datasheet.

  7. Save your presentation.

The techniques explained on this page apply to any text in your charts within PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

See Also:

Changing Fonts and Other Text Options for Charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Changing Fonts and Other Text Options for Charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Changing Fonts and Other Text Options for Charts in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Changing Fonts and Other Text Options for Charts in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

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.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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