How to create charts and graphs with Excel in Microsoft Office 365

As part of our series of helping customers with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use different software programs. Here is our instructional video on using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. 

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel

Excel lets you easily create charts from the data in a worksheet. Charts are useful for times when you want to create visual representations of the worksheet data for meetings, presentations, or reports. To insert a chart, select the cell range that contains the data for the chart. Be sure to also select the data’s adjacent row and column labels to automatically apply them to the chart, saving you the step of selecting them later. You can adjust your data selection later, if needed, but selecting the data first lets you see chart previews more clearly. Next, click the “Insert” tab in the Ribbon. In the “Charts” button group are the types of charts you can insert. Starting in Excel 2019, two new chart types appear in this button group. You can access the new “Funnel” and “Map” chart types by clicking them within their respective chart type drop-down buttons in the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon. Alternatively, you can select them after clicking the “Recommended Charts” button in the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon.

One way to insert a chart is to click the “Recommended Charts” button in the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon to open the “Insert Chart” dialog box and display the “Recommended Charts” tab. This tab shows the types of charts Excel thinks would best illustrate your selected data. You can click the choices at the left side of the tab to see a preview of the chart appear to the right. To insert one of the chart choices into the worksheet, click it to select it in the listing at the left side of the tab. Then click the “OK” button at the bottom of the “Insert Chart” dialog box. Another way to insert a chart based on your currently-selected data is to click the button that represents the general chart type to insert within the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon. Then click the specific chart subtype to insert in the button’s drop-down menu. To view all the chart type choices and then insert a selected chart type, click the “See All Charts” button in the lower-right corner of the “Charts” button group to open the “Insert Chart” dialog box. To show all the available chart choices, click the “All Charts” tab. On this tab, you can select a major chart type from the listing at the left side of the dialog box. You can then select the specific subtype to insert by clicking the desired subtype in the list at the right side of the dialog box. To then insert the chart of the selected subtype, click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box. Using any of these chart insertion methods inserts a chart of the selected subtype as an embedded chart object in the current worksheet. The next thing to note is that when a chart object is selected, a new contextual tab then appears in the Ribbon.

This is the “Chart Tools” contextual tab and it consists of two tabs, “Design” and “Format.” You use the buttons in the various button groups on these two tabs within the “Chart Tools” contextual tab to change the selected chart objects. When a chart is selected in Excel, a two-button or three-button grouping of chart options appears at the right side of the selected chart, depending on the chart type you inserted. The buttons are, from top to bottom, “Chart Elements,” “Chart Styles,” and, optionally, “Chart Filters.” You can also use these buttons to change your selected chart. When you insert a new chart into a worksheet, the entire chart is initially selected. The “Chart Tools” contextual tabs then appear in the Ribbon. Two or three drop-down buttons then also appear at the right side of the chart. When editing charts, the first task with which to familiarize yourself is selecting chart elements. Note that a chart is not a single object, but rather, is a complex object comprised of many smaller, selectable objects. You must know exactly which chart element is selected before starting any procedure, like formatting or editing the chart. One way to select chart objects is by using your mouse. You can click the individual chart elements to select them. To select the entire chart, click into the “Chart Area.” The Chart Area is the blank area surrounding most of the actual chart elements. For Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Using Excel.

How to Create and Use Tables with Excel in Microsoft 365 and Office 365

As part of our series of helping customers with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use different software programs. Here is our instructional video on using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. 

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel

Excel can store information in tables. An Excel table is information saved in a table format and explicitly defined as a table in Excel. When you store information in a table format, you place the different types of information to collect in columns, called “fields” in database terminology. Each “field” contains a separate type of information. Examples could be: “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Title,” “Address,” “City,” “State,” and so on. Each row in the table is called a “record.” A record is a single entry in which you record each type of field information about a single instance of the subject of your table. For example, within a “Customers” table that contains the fields in the previous example, a record in that table might contain the information: “John,” “Doe,” “Mr.,” “111 Nowhere Ln.,” “Anytown,” “MI.” When entering data into a table, avoid creating entirely blank columns or rows! Having entirely blank columns and rows in a table can often lead to problems with sorting and filtering table data. Before you create a table in Excel, consider the information you must collect. Sometimes, it is easier to think of the fields to create after thinking of the subject of the table, first. For example, to create a table to record customer data, you must think about what information you want to collect about your customers.

The types of information you decide to track become the “fields,” or columns, in your table. For the purpose of the example, assume you decided to record your customer’s name, address, city, state, and zip code. When thinking of the table’s field structure, you need to consider how detailed to be with the customer’s information. Poor decisions in the planning phase can be problematic later. For example, do you want to record the customer’s name in one field or more than one field? If you ever want to sort the database by the last name of the customer, you will probably want to store the customer’s name in at least two fields: “firstname” and “lastname.” Noting little things like this during the creation process can save time in editing the table structure later on, after it becomes a problem. After deciding what information to record in which field, enter the titles of these fields as the top row of the table.

The top row in a table is a special row and is often called the “header row.” It is always the top row in a table and it displays the names of the fields for which you are collecting data. After creating the header row, you can then define it as a “table” in Excel to enable the table management features. To do this, select the cells within the header row. Then click the “Table” button in the “Tables” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon. In the “Create Table” dialog box that appears, the reference to the selected cells appears in the “Where is the data for your table:” field. Check the “My table has headers” checkbox and then click the “OK” button. Doing this then creates the table area within the worksheet and adds a new row into which you can enter your first table record.

Another way to create a table in Excel is to create the header row of your table and then enter as many records as you want to initially record. Then click and drag over the entire table, including the header row and all the table’s records, to select it. After selecting it, click the “Format as Table” button in the “Styles” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon. Then select the table style to apply from the dropdown menu that appears. At this point, the “Format As Table” dialog box then appears. The range of selected cells also appears in the “Where is the data for your table?” field. If your table has a header row at the top of the table, be sure to check the “My table has headers” checkbox. Then click the “OK” button to apply the selected style, and also define the range of cells as a table. Note that each field within the header row of a table has a drop-down button in it. These are “AutoFilters,” which you use to filter data in the table. We will look at using those in a later lesson. Also notice that the table has a different formatting than the rest of the worksheet area in Excel.

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New versions of Song Director released in 2018

There have been some new versions of Song Director released in 2018.

To know which version you are using go the pull down help menu and choose “about”

To get the latest version, simply download Song Director again from the website and install it into the same location as before, just like the first time.  The setup program will not overwrite any of your existing data.   Here are the changes:

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