Written for students, professionals, and social scientists with little or no knowledge of data visualization principles, this complete guide presents step-by-step instructions for clearly and effectively presenting data using MS Office programs. Throughout the book, the focus is on turning raw, quantitative data into attractive, well-designed charts and tables that tell an accurate narrative about underlying information. Helpful illustrations, expert tips for solving common issues, and discussions on working efficiently are included to equip readers with the tools they need to engage their audience using a visual format.

Chart Formatting

Learning Objectives

  • Identify and eliminate unnecessary and redundant information from data displays
  • Write descriptive chart titles
  • Format chart legends
  • Label axes and data points
  • Choose readable fonts
  • Select colors purposefully
  • Limit charts to two dimensions
  • Create custom chart templates

Now that you’ve practiced creating basic charts and tables using Excel, it’s time to focus on the visual appeal of the data visualizations you’ve generated. We will revisit the charts discussed earlier in the text, this time with a focus on aesthetics. The goal is to balance fundamental design principles with the need to communicate data accurately and convincingly.

Every bit of information on a chart or table should communicate an important detail. As a guiding principle, we rely on Edward Tufte’s advice to, above all else, show the data. Excel offers a ...

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