Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Understanding Custom Chart Templates.

Creating Custom Chart Formats

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 4, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


There may be times when the built-in chart formats just don't meet your needs. In these instances, you can always make any changes desired to your chart and then save all the chart settings as a user-defined format. You can then apply these settings to other charts, and you won't have to go through the long or tedious steps necessary to do all the formatting over again.

To create your own chart format, follow these steps:

  1. Use whatever formatting commands are necessary to define your chart just the way you want it.
  2. Choose Chart Type from the Chart menu. Excel displays the Chart Type dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Custom Types tab is displayed.
  4. Make sure the User-defined option button is selected at the bottom of the dialog box.
  5. Click on the Add button. Excel displays the Add Custom Chart Type dialog box.
  6. Enter the name and description that you want assigned to this chart format.
  7. Click on OK. The format is saved and is available from the Custom tab of the Chart Types dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3211) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Understanding Custom Chart Templates.

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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