Changing the Pattern Used in a Data Series

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 29, 2016)

When you create a chart with Excel, you typically use the Chart Wizard to create the basic chart, and then make changes to prepare the final chart exactly as you want it. One of the things that Excel allows you to control is the pattern used to fill the graphic representation of a data series.

Normally, series are presented as appropriate for the type of chart you are creating, and then filled with varying colors. For most charts this may be more than adequate. However, you may want to change the pattern used in a data series, instead of using the solid color used by default. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Create your chart as you normally would.
  2. Click on the data series that you want to customize. There should be selection handles that appear around the data series elements.
  3. Choose Selected Data Series from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Data Series dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Patterns tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Patterns tab of the Format Data Series dialog box.

  6. Click on the Fill Effects button. Excel displays the Fill Effects dialog box.
  7. Make sure the Pattern tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  8. Figure 2. The Pattern tab of the Fill Effects dialog box.

  9. From the selections in the dialog box, choose the pattern you want applied to the data series.
  10. Click on OK to close the Fill Effects dialog box.
  11. Click on OK to close the Format Data Series dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3022) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding Automatic Lines

Want an easy way to add lines in your document? You can do it by making sure Word is using one of its AutoFormat features.

Discover More

Summing Only the Largest Portion of a Range

Given a range of cells, you may at some time want to calculate the sum of only the largest values in that range. Here is an ...

Discover More

Changing Behavior for Audio CDs

When you place an audio CD in you PC, Windows attempts to play the CD, by default. If you don't want Windows to behave in ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

ScreenTip for an Image

You can configure images in Excel so that if someone clicks on them, a macro is executed. You cannot, however, have a macro ...

Discover More

Drawing Simple Objects

Want to draw a few simple shapes or lines on your worksheet? It really is simple; here's how to do it.

Discover More

Filling a Drawing Object

Want to add some spice to the graphics in your worksheets? There are many colors and effects in Excel that allow you take the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.