When creating an Excel graph for a presentation or packet, we are often asked to “jazz” up the chart. Typically this means using different colors, fonts and rarely used chart types. An easy way to “jazz” up your chart is to use images rather than bars. You probably do not want to create an image chart for a very professional presentation, but if it is more light hearted, images in charts can make a chart much easier on the eyes.

Create a bar chart as below. My fictitious chart shows tire sales over the prior 12 months.

Excel Bar Chart

Right click one of the bars and choose “format data series”. Next, choose “fill effects” underneath the available colors on the right side. Choose the picture tab along the top. Click “select picture” and find the picture on your system. Once you have selected the image you would like to use, you have several options for how the image will be displayed, you can stretch the image or you can stack it within the bars. Stretching does not turn out well unless the bars are close in size, below is an example of the image being stacked.


Excel Bar Chart with picture

As you can see, this is an effective, attention grabbing way of displaying your data. I would encourage including images whenever appropriate.


Joseph Harris
Excel Resources
Excel Help

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This entry was posted on Monday, January 5th, 2009 at 12:13 pm and is filed under Business Analyst, Excel Hints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

One Response to “Images and Pictures in Charts – Excel Graphs”

  1. Çiçek on January 9th, 2009 at 3:08 am

    very thanks for infos

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