Formatting the Elements in a Chart’s Data Series
You can use a variety of visual effects to enhance the appearance of data series
elements, such as bars (in column and bar charts), data point shapes (in line and
scatter charts), and area shapes.
Pie wedges also represent a data series, but these have special formatting
considerations. See “Customizing the Look of Pie Charts” on page 237 to learn more.
For bar, column, and area charts, you can make formatting selections to change the
look and style of data series shapes and symbols in the Series pane of the Chart
inspector. To learn about the Inspector window, see “The Inspector Window” on
Many series formatting options are also available in the format bar. When you select
a series element in a chart, the items in the format bar change to provide appropriate
options for formatting chart series elements. To learn about the format bar, see “The
Format Bar” on page 23.
To make changes to series elements, first select an element in the series you
want to change. Most changes are made using the controls in the Series pane of the
To fill selected series elements with specially designed colors or textures:
Click Inspector in the toolbar, click the Chart button, and then click Chart Colors.
Choose a fill type (for example, 3D Texture Fills) from the first pop-up menu.
Choose a fill collection (for example, Marble or Wood) from the second pop-up menu.
Do one of the following:
To fill all the elements in all the data series, click Apply All. The first fill is applied to
elements in the first series, the second fill to elements in the second series, and so on.
To fill elements in a single data series, drag the fill to an element (bar, column, and
so on) in the series.
Note that these fills can’t be used for line and scatter charts. To learn about formatting
series elements in these chart types, see “Customizing Data Point Symbols and Lines in
Line Charts” on page 242 and “Using Scatter Charts” on page 243.
To adjust the opacity, stroke, shadow, or fill of selected series elements:
Select the element you want to change, click the Graphic inspector button, and then
make the adjustments you want.
When adjusting the opacity and fill, note that dragging the Opacity pager at the
bottom of the Graphic inspector changes the opacity of the chart as a whole. To affect
only a selected series, select it, and then adjust the opacity of the color fill, gradient fill,
or tinted image fill, as needed. For more details, see “Adjusting Opacity” on page 170
and “Filling an Object with a Solid Color” on page 171.
To learn about using one of your own images as a fill, see “Filling an Object with an
Image” on page 173.
To learn about changing the look of the line around an element, see “Changing the
Style of Borders” on page 166.
To learn about changing shadows, see “Adding Shadows” on page 168.
To show and format data point labels for the selected series:
Click Series in the Chart inspector, and then choose Value Labels. Then do any of
To position the labels, choose a label location from the Position buttons (for
example, Middle or Below Right).
Creating Charts from Data
Creating Charts from Data
To specify the display format for the data values, choose an item from the Format
pop-up menu. Choose Custom if you want to use a custom number format you’ve
previously set up, or if you want to create one; see “Creating a Custom Number
Format” on page 207 for more information.
To show negative numbers preceded by a minus sign or in parentheses, choose
(–100) from the adjacent pop-up menu.
To specify the number of decimal places shown, type a number in the Decimals field.
To change the text attributes of the data point labels, see “
Formatting Text Size and
Appearance” on page 82.
To change the color and texture of series elements, or format data point symbols and
value labels, use the Series pane of the Chart inspector. See “Formatting the Elements
in a Chart’s Data Series” on page 233.
To learn about formatting options that are unique to a given chart type, see
“Formatting Specific Chart Types” on page 237.