Quick, clean, and to the point

How to build a radar chart

In this video, we'll look at how to create a radar chart.

Radar charts can be used to plot the performance, satisfaction, or other rating data across multiple categories in a single chart.

In this worksheet we have rating information for an employee in 6 categories: Technical Skill, Experience, Accomplishments, Personality, Sense of humor, and Work ethic.

All categories are rated on the same 5-point scale, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent.

You won't find radar charts in Recommended Charts. However, you can switch to All charts and insert from there.

Alternately, you can use the small icon on the Insert tab of the ribbon. You'll find radar charts below surface charts.

The axes of a radar chart radiate out from the center of the chart, and all data points are plotted using the same common scale.

The result is a closed geometric shape that represents data in all categories at once.

Radar charts have fewer options than other charts, as you can see in the Chart Elements menu. But key elements can be added, removed, and customized.

For example, Excel will work out the axis scale for radar charts automatically, based on the data, but you are free to change these values.

I could for example, set the minimum to 1 and the maximum to 6.

And the chart is updated.

I'll reset those changes.

One curious feature of radar charts is that can't fill in the shape with a color when using the default radar chart.

With a data series selected, you'll find options for line and markers, but not shape in the format task pane.

If you want a filled shape, you'll need to select that option when you first create the chart.

Once you have a radar chart with a filled shape, you still won't find options in the format task pane.

However, you can use controls on the Home tab of the ribbon, or right-click and use the mini toolbar to set the fill color.

If you want to change transparency, select more fill options, then use the transparency control near the bottom.

Radar charts have a certain appeal that comes from being sleek and different. However, they are frequently criticized for being difficult for most people to read.


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Dave Bruns

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