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The "Business Week" has given us many cool examples about what are BUSINESS charts. These charts are much too professional and all of us want to create this kind of chart in our daily report. Ucmapi will start a thread to interduct how to create them in the most common used software - Microsoft Excel.
Let's begin with the above business week's example. How to alternate plot area color with different color. We have two methods to solve this issue. But here, we only interduct one. We ask an auxiliary data sequence to simulate interlaced coloring. Even though this method is a little technique, it is not too difficult. We only need 7 steps.
[Notice: The chart is created on Excel 2010]
Prerequest: Suppose we have two data sequences and one legend sequence. We add an auxiliary column D and fill with 0,1,0,1...
Step 1: Insert a blank 2D-Bar chart into your worksheet.
Step 2: Select the auxiliary data sequence and press Ctrl+C to copy data to clipboard. Then click the blank to select chart and press Ctrl+V. Two bars will display in chart like the following picture.
Step 3: [Important step] Convert the auxiliary data sequence into interlaced coloring band.
3.1 Change the order and Maximun value of “Primary Horizontal Axis”.
3.2 Change the show direction of “Primary Vertical Axis”.
Step 4: Change default gap of the auxiliary data sequence. Select auxiliary data sequence by clicking on the blue bar and click right mouse button to launch context menu. Choose "Format Data Series..." to change "Gap width" to 0
Step 5: Add real data sequence now. Select the second column and press Ctrl+C and select chart then press Ctrl+V. The second data sequence will be added into chart. But the current picture is very confuse.
Step 6: Select the new added series and right click mouse. Select "Change Series Chart Type..." and select 2D-Column. Add new series and change all new series's gap width back to 100%.
Step 7: Insert a "Rectangle" shape into your chart as title and then format the basic picture to make it professonal. Change "Chart Area" color to gray. Change "Plot Area" color to gray too. Change "Data Series" color to light gray. Great, you’ve got a professional chart now!
The finial chart looks like:
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