Make your Excel charts look more professional (and less like Excel)

The default settings in Excel spit out pretty terrible looking charts. But it’s not too difficult to turn something like this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.07.54 PM

Into something more like this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 4.08.03 PM

Note the specific steps for the transformation:

  • The move from a legend to direct labeling
  • The reduction of excessive axes lines and tick mark labels to reduce visual clutter
  • Highlighting the data of interest and de-emphasizing the others
  • Adding the headline, text, and source

Follow this tutorial from Storytelling with Data to see the step-by-step guide that took the default graph style to its more refined, and ultimately more effective, finished state.

 

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