Excel charting tips
In his latest series of Excel tips, AccountingWEB.com contributor David H Ringstrom highlights a few shortcuts in Excel 2007 and 2010 that make life easier when it comes to building and automating charts. Follow the headline links for more detailed explanations to carry out his instructions.
Many accountants and sales people use Excel to maintain records like the one below, to which they add new totals every month:
Adding a new figure involves the following steps:
- Add a new column of data, such as for June.
- Click once on the chart, and then choose Select Data from the Design tab of the ribbon.
- Change the Source Data range ($A$1:$G$3 on the sheet shown above) and then click OK. The June figures should then appear on the chart. Repeat this action every month
But the Table feature introduced to Excel 2007 makes it possible to by-pass this sequence. Tables automatically accept new data entered in a contiguous row or column as part of the table. And Charts will automatically adopt the dynamic nature of tables to display any new data that you add. To activate this feature, click any cell within your chart's source data, press Ctrl-T, and then press Enter.
About the author
"Either you work Excel, or it works you!" says David Ringstrom CPA, the head of Atlanta-based software and database consultancy Accounting Advisors. He presents Excel training webcasts for CPE Link and contributes articles on Excel to AccountingWEB and Microsoft Professional Accountant's Network newsletter. He can be reached by email at david[AT]acctadv.com.