Create Compelling SmartArt Diagrams and Charts in Microsoft Word 2010

  • 10/8/2010

Entering Chart Data

When you first create a new chart, Word inserts a default set of dummy data into the datasheet and displays the datasheet in Excel. You use the datasheet to enter, arrange, and select the data you want to include in your chart. Throughout the life of your Word document, you can add to and update the information in the datasheet as needed, ensuring that your chart always stays fresh and reflects your most current data.

You will use the Data group (available on the Chart Tools Design tab) to work with your chart’s datasheet (see Figure 16-11). Here’s a quick look at the tools in that group:

  • Switch Row/Column With this tool, you can swap rows and columns to create a different display of the data in your datasheet.

  • Select Data Displays the Select Data Source dialog box, in which you can choose the data range you want to use for the chart. Additionally, you can choose the series and category items you want to include or hide from display.

  • Edit Data Displays the datasheet so that you can change, add to, or delete information on the datasheet.

    Figure 16-11

    Figure 16-11 Use the Data group on the Chart Tools Design tab to work with the data in your chart’s datasheet.

Working with the Datasheet

Figure 16-12 shows the datasheet that appears when you create a new pie chart in Word. As you can see, the series names (Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3) and the category names are all generic. The data in the datasheet doesn’t mean anything at this point—it simply provides the chart engine with something to display in the sample chart.

Figure 16-12

Figure 16-12 The datasheet displays the data values and labels used to create your chart.

The datasheet is actually an Excel worksheet, so the tools on the Ribbon might look familiar to you. Changing the data in the datasheet is a simple matter of clicking in the cell you want to change and typing the new information. You’ll find the following items on the datasheet.

  • Categories The items in the columns are the categories placed along the horizontal axis of the chart. Categories might include months, quarters, stages of a project, or some other unit by which the value can be measured.

  • Data Series The data series show the items that are being graphed, according to the categories selected.

  • Values The data entered in the cells of the datasheet are scaled against the value axis, which is the vertical axis.

Changing the Data Arrangement

By default, the new Word chart displays the categories along the horizontal axis and the values along the vertical axis, but if you choose, you can flip that configuration to display your data differently.

To change the arrangement of the data in your chart, follow these steps:

  1. Select the chart you want to change.

    The Chart Tools tabs appear.

  2. On the Design tab, in the Data group, click Switch Row/Column.

    The chart is redrawn automatically.