Working with Charts

Excel charts let you illustrate your workbook data graphically to see trends. Also use charts in Excel to visualize comparisons.

Identifying the parts of a chart

Have you ever read something you didn't fully understand but when you saw a chart or graph, the concept became clear and understandable? Charts are a visual representation of data in a worksheet. Charts make it easy to see comparisons, patterns, and trends in the data.

Chart Example

Source data

The range of cells that make up a chart. The chart is updated automatically whenever the information in these cells changes.


The title of the chart.


The chart key, which identifies what each color on the chart represents.


The vertical and horizontal parts of a chart. The vertical axis is often referred to as the Y axis, and the horizontal axis is referred to as the X axis.

Data series

The actual charted values, which are usually rows or columns of the source data.

Value axis

The axis that represents the values or units of the source data.

Category axis

The axis identifying each data series.