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Formatting Charts in Excel

  • Difficulty Level : Medium
  • Last Updated : 01 Jun, 2021

One of the major uses of Excel is to create different types of charts for a given data set. Excel provides us with a lot of modification options to perform on these charts to make them more insightful.

In this article, we are going to see the most common “Formatting” performed on charts using a suitable example shown below.

Example: Consider the performance of a batsman in a T20 match. The data set contains the runs scored by the batsman in various matches. 

Now we will insert a bar chart using the above table. To insert a bar chart :



Select dataset -> Click on Insert -> Chart Sets Pop Down -> 2-D column

The key steps to format anything on the chart is :

  • Select the part of the chart which needs to be formatted.
  • Right-click on it and select “Format”. The format window will open.

1. Formatting the Chart Title :

Select the Title -> Right Click on it -> Format Chart Title

In the Format Chart Title window, you can change the Font color, add Borders surrounding the title and various other modifications can be done. You can also rename the title by simply selecting and retyping a new name.

2. Formatting Axis Titles: 

You can add the axis title by using the “+” button in the top right corner of the chart.

Now, rename the X-axis and Y-axis by selecting them. You can edit the appearance of the axis title by right-clicking on it and selecting “Format Axis Title”.



3. Formatting Data labels: 

You can add Data Labels by using the “+” button on the top right corner of the chart.

Now open the Format Data Labels Window and can change the Font color, size, alignment, and many other options.

4. Formatting Data Series: 

You can change the color of the bar charts by selecting them and then open the “Format Data Series” window. By default, on left-clicking once on any of the bars all the data sets bar will be selected. If you want to select only one of these bars, left-click twice on the bar which is to be formatted.

5. Formatting Axis: 

This is the most important formatting mostly used by us to change the scale of the axes according to our requirements.


Bound is used to provide the minimum value from which axis to chart and also the maxim value of the axis. The Major unit is used to provide the intervals in the axis.

6. Formatting Chart Style:

 Excel provides us with dynamic chart styles. Select the “Paint brush icon” in the top right corner of the chart and select your desired style.



7. Formatting Chart Type: 

Excel provides us with a lot of different charts along with bar charts. To change the chart type :

Right Click on the Chart -> Select Change Chart Type

Now from the Chart Type window select the desired chart type from the list of options as shown below :

8. Formatting Plot Area: 

You can also add a background color to your chart. Select the “Format Plot Area” after right-clicking.

These are some of the most frequent formatting done on Excel charts. Excel provides us with dynamic options to format a chart and it can be explored with some self-research easily.

Attention reader! Don’t stop learning now. If you are an Excel beginner (or an intermediate) and want to learn Excel, Geeksforgeeks brings the perfect course for you to start, Diving Into Excel

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