Changing the Pattern Used in a Data Series

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 9, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. ...

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