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Create Beautiful Excel Chart Templates – Free Download

When it comes to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, charts can certainly make a huge difference. After all, the same information presented in reams of tabular text will be visually and aesthetically much more appealing when presented in graphical form.

That is exactly the aim of this article – to familiarize you with the very concept of excel chart templates.

You see what happens is that while charts look really great they are not the easiest to create. Novices in Excel would particularly find the going very tough when it comes to topnotch charts. Further, while many may be adept at creating basic charts in Excel from the ground up, they flounder when it comes to coming out with superlative charts that simply “wow” their audience – maybe the color chosen is not up to the mark, or the graph doesn’t quite look all that appealing, or simply, the “awesome” factor has gone missing!

That is where templates can really make a world of difference; by proffering up easy to setup and essentially ready to use chart offerings, they make the whole job of chart creators a whole lot easier.

Accordingly, in this article, let us look at a particular Microsoft excel chart template you can deploy to have images as backgrounds for plot areas in charts.

The first step would be to arrange all your data…


Say like above…

Then you need to create a column chart, ideally a stacked column one.

Using the data above, the stacked column chart you create should look like the one below.


Now is the time to liven up your chart with a suitable, cool image as the background for its plot area. Using the “fill” option, choose ‘Picture or Texture Fill’ as showcased below, AFTER you have selected the chart’s plot area.


This is the way ‘fill’ options should present themselves in front of you.

Next, set an arbitrary axis maximum value from which you would ascertain the difference for each quarter. In this case, we have set the axis maximum as 500. The difference each time would be as follows:


With the axis maximum difference set as 500, the difference each time should look like the third column above.

Adding this column to the chart, and with a suitable image – say for houses, assuming that the quarterly data is for houses put on rent or sold by a brokerage company and the receipts thereof, incorporated into the chart as already indicated above, things should look like as shown below.

At this stage, we are almost done and all we need to do is to format the chart. Initiatives you can take would include:

  1. Remove grid lines
  2. Minimize the gap width in the data series
  3. Choose a background color for the arbitrary axis maximum value series and then, use the same color for borders of the data series
  4. You can continue to use percentage as shown or the actual maximum value we affixed.

Ultimately, the beautiful chart should look as below:


Undoubtedly a far more attractive presentation than the drab figures given in the spreadsheet!


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jon Peltier September 16, 2013, 12:37 pm

    Why can I only type all caps into your comment form?

    dO you seriously think the last two charts are any better than the one you started with? The colors in the picture you’ve used are gaudy and distracting. I can’t easily see the bars in the next to last chart because the background is so vivid. the different colors in each bar of the last chart make me think I’m looking at multiple bars (e.g., a pink and green bar in the third actual bar). All I can see is the picture, not the bars.

    If you’re going for clarity and readability, you should use a plain white background, no textures or pictures to detract from the data.

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