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How to add and remove data series

In this video, we'll look at how to add and remove data series in a chart.

Once you have a chart, you may want to add or remove data series. If all data series are in contiguous cells, it's easy to just select the chart, and drag the data range selectors to include or exclude cells as needed.

However, if the data series are not in contiguous cells, you'll need to use another approach.

For example, here if we want to plot all 3 test results, but ignore the two quiz results, we can't use the data range selector.

If you haven't put much time into a chart, it's probably easiest to create a new chart, holding down the control key to select the data you want to include.

But, if you have an existing chart you want to build on, you can do that too.

Right click on the chart and choose Select Data.

Data series are listed on the left. Click the Add button, then make a selection for the series name, and the series values.

When you click OK, the new series will be added to the chart.

Notice when you've added data series in non-contiguous cells, you won't see the data range selectors on the worksheet when the chart is selected.

However, if I remove the second data series, the data range selector are again visible.

Finally, if you're using Excel 2013 or later, you can also add data series with the chart filter.

The trick here is to first include all data, then use the chart filter to remove the series you don't want.

For example, here I can select the chart, then drag the data selector to include all 3 tests and the 2 quizzes.

I don't want to include the quizzes in the chart, but I can easily remove with the chart filter.

Just click the filter icon, and uncheck quiz 1 and quiz 2.

Now when the chart is selected, the data range selector will still show that all data is included.

But if I check the source data, both quiz 1 and quiz 2 appear as disabled data series.

In other words, the list of data series shown in the source data window will stay in synch with the chart filter. You can work with either to include or exclude data series in an Excel chart.


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Dave Bruns

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