Chart Trends Effortlessly: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

You don't have to be a spreadsheet wizard to create eye-catching "trend charts" in MS Word. If you can create a Word table, you can use Microsoft Graph Chart to create a visually appealing chart based on that table.

First, you need a table with at least two rows. In the first row, enter descriptive labels for your data. In the rest of the rows, enter the data you want to chart. If you prefer, you can enter row-level text labels in the leftmost column of your table. If you do, the charting tool will ignore the first cell in the top-level corner of the table.

Once you have a table, it takes only a few mouse clicks to create a chart. To do so:

  1. Click anywhere in the table, then go to Table | Select | Table.
  2. Go to Insert | Object, click the Create New tab, and select Microsoft Graph Chart. Click OK.
  3. Two new objects will appear: the chart itself and a Datasheet window. At this point, you're free of the constraints of the Word table.
  4. In the datasheet, you can add columns, change column and row labels, and update the values you want to chart. Your chart will automatically reflect the changes you make.
  5. When you finish fine-tuning the data, click the Datasheet's close box. You are now free to delete the original Word table.
  6. To edit the values on which the chart is based, right-click on the chart, choose Chart Object from the context menu, and choose Edit.

If you would like to create a chart without creating a table first, begin with Step 2 above and create a chart from scratch.

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