Charts

In Word charts are ideal for presenting information graphically. Use charts in Word to highlight comparisons and trends in data.

Modifying charts with chart tools

There are many ways to customize and organize your charts. For example, Word allows you to change the chart type, rearrange a chart's data, and even change the layout and style.

To change the chart type:

If you find that your data isn't well suited to a certain chart, it's easy to switch to a new chart type. In our example, we'll change our chart from a line chart to a column chart.

  1. Select the chart you want to change. The Design tab will appear on the right side of the Ribbon.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a chart to change
  2. From the Design tab, click the Change Chart Type command.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Change Chart Type command
  3. A dialog box will appear. Select the desired chart type, then click OK.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a new chart type
  4. The chart will change in the document.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new chart type

To switch row and column data:

Sometimes you may want to change the way charts group your data. For example, in the chart below the book sales data is grouped by genre, with columns for each year. However, we could switch the rows and columns so the chart will group the data by year, with columns for each genre. In both cases, the chart contains the same data; it's just organized differently.

Screenshot of Word 2013The data grouped by genre, with columns for each year
  1. Select the chart you want to modify. The Design tab will appear.
  2. From the Design tab, select the Edit Data command in the Data group.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Edit Data command
  3. Click the chart again, then select the Switch Row/Column command in the Data group.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The Switch Row/Column command
  4. The rows and columns will be switched. In our example, the data is now grouped by year, with columns for each genre.
    Screenshot of Word 2013The switched row and column data

We've noticed that when numeric data has been entered in the first column of the spreadsheet, switching rows and columns may cause unexpected results. One solution is to type an apostrophe before each number, which tells the spreadsheet to format it as text (instead of a numeric value). For example, the year 2013 would be entered as '2013.

Screenshot of Word 2013Adding an apostrophe before numeric data

To change the chart layout:

Word's predefined chart layouts allow you to modify chart elements—including chart titles, legends, and data labels—to make your chart easier to read.

  1. Select the chart you want to modify. The Design tab will appear.
  2. From the Design tab, click the Quick Layout command.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the Quick Layout command
  3. Select the desired predefined layout from the menu that appears.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Selecting a layout
  4. The chart will update to reflect the new layout.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new chart layout

To change a chart element (such as the chart title), click the element and begin typing.

Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the chart title

To change the chart style:

Chart styles allow you to quickly modify the look and feel of your chart.

  1. Select the chart you want to modify. The Design tab will appear.
  2. From the Design tab, click the More drop-down arrow in the Chart Styles group.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Clicking the More drop-down arrow
  3. A drop-down menu of styles will appear. Select the style you want to use.


    Screenshot of Word 2013Changing the chart style
  4. The chart will appear in the selected style.


    Screenshot of Word 2013The new chart style

You can also use the chart formatting shortcut buttons to quickly add chart elements, change the chart style, and filter the chart data.

Screenshot of Word 2013Chart formatting shortcuts