Excel Tip – Add Extra Data To Your Excel Charts

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A lot of times once you create your chart in Excel, you may want to add, change or even remove data from it. Excel makes it really easy to do this in a number of ways.

There are essentially four ways to add or change the data on your chart. You can do it directly in the source data by changing the cell range, drag the range handles, dragging data directly onto your chart or copy and paste. All are very effective and this article will explore all options.

1. Change the cell range that the chart is based on

  • Select the chart sheet or embedded chart you want to change
  • Hit Chart Menu then Source Data
  • On the Data Range Tab make sure the entire reference is selected
  • On your worksheet select the range of cells

If you need the row and column labels then ensure they are included in your selection.

2. Drag the size of the range handles (this works if you created an embedded chart from adjacent worksheet cells, the chart however does need to be on the same worksheet as the data used to create it).

  • On the worksheet, type the data and labels that you want to add to the chart in cells that are adjacent to the existing worksheet data.
  • Click the chart to display the sizing handles around the source data on the worksheet.
  • On the worksheet, do one of the following
  • To add new categories and data series to the chart, drag a blue sizing handle to include the new data and labels in the rectangle.
  • To add new data series only, drag a green sizing handle to include the new data and labels in the rectangle.
  • To add new categories and data points, drag a purple sizing handle to include the new data and categories in the rectangle

3. Add data by dragging (again this chart must be on the same worksheet as your data).

  • On the worksheet just select the adjacent cells or ranges that contain your data to add
  • Point to the border of your selection
  • Drag your selection directly onto the chart
  • Use the Paste Special option and selection the options you need to plot more information to your chart
  • If you cannot drag the selection make sure the Allow cell drag and drop box is selected on the Edit Tab of the Options dialog box

4. Copy extra data onto your chart

If you have an embedded chart that is not on the same worksheet as your data, you can actually just copy and paste extra data into your chart.

  • On the worksheet that contains your data select the data range you want to add into your chart
  • Hit Copy
  • Click the chart sheet or the embedded chart that you want to add to
  • Either Hit Paste or Paste Special to select the options you want

It is really easy to update and change your data selection for your charts. These are the four ways to update charting ranges without having to re-create charts from scratch.

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