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Picture Fills for Chart Series in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Stack or scale a picture as a fill for your chart series within PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






When a new chart is inserted 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 as required. Other than that, you can always use pictures as 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? In PowerPoint 2011, you can always do just that with your charts as 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). Learn how to insert charts in PowerPoint 2011.

    Column Chart selected in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Column Chart selected in PowerPoint
  2. Select the data series by clicking on it (see Figure 2). Alternatively you can select the data series from the Chart elements drop-down list.

    Selected data series
    Figure 2: Selected data series
  3. With the data series selected, select either the Chart Layout or the Format tab of the Ribbon that you can see in Figure 3. Within any of these tabs, you will find the Current Selection group towards the extreme left as you can see in Figure 3. Within this group, make sure that the Chart Elements drop-down list (highlighted in red within Figure 3) is displaying the name of the selected data series. Then, click the Format Selection button below it (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

    Format Selection button to be clicked with the data series selected
    Figure 3: Format Selection button to be clicked with the data series selected
  4. This summons the Format Data Series dialog box, make sure that the Fill option in the sidebar is selected -- then, select the Picture or Texture tab as shown in Figure 4 (highlighted in red).

    Picture or Texture tab selected within the Format Data Series dialog box
    Figure 4: Picture or Texture tab selected within the Format Data Series dialog box
  5. Within the Picture or Texture tab, click the Choose Picture button (highlighted in blue within Figure 4).
  6. This brings up the Choose a Picture dialog box as shown in Figure 5 -- navigate to, and select the picture you want to use as the fill for your data series, and then click the Insert button (highlighted in red within Figure 5).

    Choose a Picture dialog box
    Figure 5: Choose a Picture dialog box
  7. This will take you back to the Format Data Series dialog box, where you can now see the selected picture in the preview area, as shown in Figure 6.

    Stretch and Stack options within Format Data Series dialog box
    Figure 6: Stretch and Stack options within Format Data Series dialog box

    As you can see in Figure 6, there are several options available for stretching and stacking the filled picture (highlighted in red within Figure 6), as explained below:

    • Stretch: This option (selected by default) stretches the picture to fit within the series as shown in Figure 7.

      Picture inserted with Stretch option selected
      Figure 7: 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 8 provides a better idea.

      Picture inserted with Stack option selected
      Figure 8: Picture inserted with Stack option selected
    • Stack and Scale with 'n' units/picture: Here you can enter the number of units (denoted by 'n') per picture. See Figure 9 where we have used 2 as the number to stack and scale.

      Picture inserted with Stack and scale option selected
      Figure 9: Picture inserted with Stack and scale option selected
  8. You can also apply transparency to the Picture (or Texture) fill using the Transparency slider within the Format Data Series dialog box.
  9. After making your choice, click the OK button (highlighted in blue within Figure 6 , above) 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 or even too many elements, you might lose the impact of this technique altogether.

See Also:

Picture Fills for Chart Series in PowerPoint 2010
Picture Fills for Series in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Picture Fills for Chart Data Series for PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 for Windows

Feature List 01 (Layout with Tabs)

The Feature List Layout comprises three sample PowerPoint presentations: one each to create a visual list for 4 features, 5 features, and 6 features. These work great when you have too much information to fit within one slide. This solution lets you use multiple slides, but the visual result is still that of one single slide!

Buy and Download Feature List 01 (Layout with Tabs) for $4.99+ (671 kb)


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