Weekly Computer Tip # 353
29 October 2011

Pimp your chart
(Office 2003-2010)

When you create a column or bar chart its elements are filled with solid colours. Sometimes it could be appropriate to draw attention to the information that is presented by using a picture. For example, you could use a photo of a badger to demonstrate the badger population. (With thanks to Ruth and Christina for the inspiration!)

Here's how:

  1. Right-click the vertical or horizontal bar you want to change and select "Format Data Series".
  2. In the left pane click on Fill and select the "Picture or texture fill" radio button. (In Office 2003 you will need to click on the "Fill Effects" button.)
  3. Click on the File button, navigate to the picture you want to insert and double-click it.
  4. If preferred, select the Stack radio button.
  5. Click Close.

By the way, don't forget that in Excel you can create a chart in a hurry by selecting the range containing the data that is to appear in the chart and pressing F11.