Chart Styles and Chart Layouts

You can easily change the Style of your chart. If you can't see the Styles, click anywhere on your chart to select it, and you should see the Ribbon change. The Styles will look like this in Excel 2007:

Chart Styles

In newer versions of Excel, your Chart Styles will look like this:

The Chart Styles panel in Excel 2013

Click on any chart style, and your chart will change. To see more styles, click the arrows to the right of the Chart Styles panel:

Click the Styles arrow

You'll then see a drop down sheet of new styles (Excel 2007):

Chart Styles in Excel 2007

And here's the Styles in Excel 2013 to 2016:

Chart Styles in Excel 2013

Work your way through the Styles, and click on each one in turn. Watch what happens to your chart when you select a style.


Chart Layouts

You can also change the layout of your chart in the same way. Locate the Chart Layout panel on the Design tab of the Excel Ribbon bar. It looks like this in Excel 2007:

Chart Layouts

In newer versions of Excel, you may have to click the Quick Layout option on the Chart Layouts panel:

Click the down arrow to the right of the Chart Layouts panel to see the available layouts you can choose from:

Available Chart Layouts

Again, click on each one in turn and see what happens to your chart. In the image below, we've gone for Layout 10:

A different chart Layout


Changing the Chart Type - 2D Bar Charts

You can change the type of chart, as well. Instead of having a 2D column chart, as above, you can have a 2D bar chart. To change the chart type, locate the Type panel on the Excel Ribbon bar (you need to have your chart selected to see it):

The chart Type panel        

Then click Change Chart Type. You'll see a dialogue box appear. This one is from Excel 2007:

Change Chart Type

The dialogue box looks slightly different in Excel 2013:

Excel 2016 has some new chart types:

Chart types in Excel 2016

In the image above, Microsoft have added six new charts: Treemap, Sunburst, Histogram, Box and Whisker, Waterfall, and Funnel. If you have this version of Excel, click each one in turn to see what they look like. For example, here's the what the Funnel chart looks like:

A Funnel chart in Excel 2016

But select Bar from the list on the left of the dialogue box, and click on the first Bar chart (Clustered Bar). Click OK to see your chart change:

A 2D Bar Chart

You can experiment with the types of chart in the dialogue box. But reset it to Bar chart, as above.


In the next part, you'll see how to format a chart, so that you can change the Series 1 and Chart Title headings.