Spreadsheet Page Blog
Excel 2013 Charting Notes
Today I discovered a new feature in Excel 2013 that I hadn't seen mentioned elsewhere: When you create a chart using Excel 2013, you can specify an arbitrary range of data to be used as data labels! Users have been requesting this feature for at least 10 years -- probably longer. Currently, you need to use a utility program (such as PUP or the utility from AppsPro).
Charting in Excel 2013 is vastly improved. The Format dialog box has been replaced with a task pane. Once you get over the initial shock of not being able to find the commands you need, you'll probably find that it's a significant improvement. In addition, when you activate a chart, you see three icons on the right. These icons are the express route to making common changes to your chart.
The third icon has some new filtering options. For example, you can easily hide (not delete) a series, or hide specific data points in a series.
Another improvement is creating combination charts. In the past, creating a combination chart required several manual changes to a normal chart. Now it's all done at the time you create the chart. And you even get a live preview.
Yet another new feature is "recommended charts." When you create a chart, you can choose to let Excel give you some recommendations. I can't say that I always agree with the recommended charts, but new users will appreciate the suggestions.
All in all, I'm impressed. Excel 2013 has come a long way in making charting easier to use for the masses.