Bar charts in Word 2013 are good at displaying values for different groups for comparison. Let’s look at an example to illustrate how we might use a bar chart.
Yesterday I sat in my garden and counted all the different kinds of birds that came to feed on the food I’d laid out for them. I counted these results:
- sparrow – 20
- thrush – 15
- vulture – 2
- falcon – 6
Our task now is to get this data into Word and display it as a bar chart. Make sure that your Word document is not in Compatibility Mode, otherwise your chart capabilities will be severely restricted. Go to the Insert tab and click Chart in the Illustrations group. Then choose Bar from the list.
When the bar chart is inserted you will see a small Excel spreadsheet below it that contains sample data. This is where we will put our bird count. We’ll need to delete some of the columns and we can do that just like we would if we were in Excel. That is, left click and drag over the column headings (C and D in our example), right click and select delete.
Type in the data into the spreadsheet so it looks like the following, and you will notice that the bar chart changes with every piece of data you type in.
When you’ve finished typing in the data, you can close the spreadsheet down by clicking on the “X” in the top right hand corner. The bar chart is now complete.
Do you see the icons displayed to the right of the chart? These are controls we can use to manipulate our bar chart.
Let’s look at each bar chart control:
- Layout options – controls how text wraps around the chart.
- Chart elements – the check boxes control what elements are shown and what elements are hidden (like the axes and their titles).
- Chart styles – controls how the bar chart looks; its style and colours displayed.
- Chart filters – offers filter controls that you may already have seen in Excel.
An important task you are likely to perform is to amend the data. To do this, right click on the bar chart and select Edit Data > Edit Data.
Choosing this option allows you to edit the data in a smaller spreadsheet within Word 2013. The Edit Data in Excel 2013 opens up Excel 2013 and presents the data there, thus offering all the powerful features that Excel has.