Weekly Computer Tip # 331
11 February 2011

What to do if you need a chart in a hurry
(Excel 97-2007)

Anybody who has ever done an Excel training course with me will no doubt use the F11 shortcut to quickly create a chart. Or perhaps you have a memory like an elephant and remember the tip I wrote on 16 June 2003 (see tip_18.php)? Simply select the data that you want to use for the chart and press F11 to quickly create a default column chart on a separate chart sheet.

But did you know that in Excel 2007 you can also display the chart on the worksheet itself, using a keyboard shortcut?

Here's how:

  1. Select the range containing the data that is to appear in the chart.
  2. Press ALT + F1.

If you are using Excel 2007 the chart will be displayed on the same worksheet as the data but can be repositioned, resized and modified as normal. (In previous versions of Excel the chart will appear on a separate sheet, similar to what happens if you press F11.)

Bonus tip: If you use a specific chart type frequently you may want to set that chart type as your standard chart type. Simply right-click the modified chart, select the Change Chart Type option and click the Set as Default Chart button.

Finally, if you are inspired by today's tip and want to learn more about Excel or any other Microsoft Office package, why not sign up for one of our courses and benefit from our celebratory 10% discount throughout February. See course_schedule.php for our current training schedule.