Quick, clean, and to the point

How to change the pivot chart type

Once you’ve created a pivot chart, it’s simple to change the chart type.

Let’s take a look.

Whenever you have a pivot chart selected, you’ll see a new ribbon called PivotChart Tools, that contains 4 tabs: Design, Layout, Format, and Analyze. These tabs give you a full set of controls to customize your pivot chart.

Basic chart options are located on the Design Tab. You can change the chart type, alter the way data is presented in the chart, control the layout  used by the chart, apply a chart style, and move a chart to a new location. 

To use a different kind of chart, click the change chart type button. Excel will open the Change chart type window, and you can select a different option from among a wide collection of charts. For example, we can easily switch to a 3d column chart.

Or to a pie chart.

You can also right-click a chart to access Chart Types.

Let’s change back to a column chart.

You’ll find that charting will work best with a simple pivot table. As your pivot table becomes more complex, it will be hard to format the chart in a way that clearly presents the information.

The Switch Row and Column button just swaps Axis fields with Legend field area. You can accomplish the same thing manually, so this button is just for convenience.

Chart layouts control the placement of things like the chart title, the legend, gridlines, labels, and so on.  For example, we can choose a layout that puts the legend at the bottom, or a layout that adds labels that show the amount of sales in each region.

All of these elements can be further customized individually, so layouts are really just a quick starting point.

From the Design tab, you can also apply Chart Styles, which are pre-defined color schemes with a certain look and feel.

As an example of customizing elements manually, As you work with a pivot chart, you always have the option to format items in the chart directly. For example, we could change the labels from black to white, and bump up the font size.

Dave Bruns

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