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3 a.m. Tips
Simply Flashing

Christopher B. Contois



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3 a.m.

Christopher B. Contois

Tip 8. Is Your Bar Too Crowded? Shrink It!
Download chart.ppt - 160k

It's Friday 2pm, only a few more hours until happy hour and you cannot stop thinking about how crowded your bars are…PowerPoint bars that is. Thankfully it will not take you hours to expand or shrink the bars of your latest chart.

There are basically two types of width adjustments. The "Gap Width" and the "Overlap". The Gap Width is the distance between each free segment of data. For example, in a quarterly chart it would be the distance between all of the data shown in 1st Qtr to all of the data shown in the 2nd Qtr.

The Overlap, however is the distance between the bars of an individual segment (1st Qtr). Therefore, the distance between the bars above the 1st Qtrt, and the distance between the bars above 2nd Qtr, but not the distance between the bars of the 1st and 2nd Qtrs. Therefore this feature only works when there is two or more types one data on one chart (the sales of cars and trains for the 1st Qtr, 2nd Qtr, ...)

Expanding the space is very easy to do let's get to work…. If you do not have a chart already, place one onto your slide (Insert - Chart). Open up your chart edit mode and select any data series by clicking on it once.

You will see a small box appear in the center of all of the bars of that series (See diagram above). On your main menu go to Format- Selected Data Series,

and finally select the Options tab.

You should see the screen above and a two text fields with numbers in them. One for the Gap Width and the other for the Overlap. Place in different positive and negative numbers and watch the results. You will soon see that your options are numerous. With a little extra space here or there a chart can really take on a whole new look and dimension!

Here are a few of my samples…

Chart Normal

Chart Gap Width 50%

Chart Overlap -10

Chart Overlap +75

I have included these charts on a file for you to have and I urge for you to experiment and send in your unique creations!

Next time your in need of some charting help, do join me at the bar.




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