Categorized | excel tips

Excel Chart Tip – Insert Chart Series in an Excel Chart

Adding new series to an Excel Chart can be a boring job. Normally you’d edit the Excel chart by right clicking the chart area and adding a new series in the Source Data box (which can take up to 7 clicks). By using this quick tip you can now insert a new chart series with just two mouse clicks. Here’s how it can be done.

excel chart

Inserting a new series by pasting data in the Excel Chart

To add a new series in a chart you can simply select the range containing the data points and simply copy it using Ctrl + C (copy). Now click anywhere in the chart are and press Ctrl + V (paste). Viola you have a new series added to your chart. If you have multiple data series in your Excel chart, this shortcut can save you a lot of time and effort.

The interesting thing here is that rather than selecting a limited range consisting of a few cells, you can add a series consisting of an entire column (or row) to your chart. Excel will update the chart to reflect the last used cell in the series. For example if you selected the entire column C and copy-pasted that on to your chart, Excel will truncate the data series to ensure that source range only extends up to the last cell used (rather than taking the entire column as the source data range). This can come in handy when you have to plot a number of large number of data ranges in an excel chart.

You can look at this worksheet and try inserting chart labels and series to an Excel Chart

Adding labels to chart axis by pasting a data in the Excel Chart

The good part is that the fun does not stop here. You can use the same trick to add labels to the X and Y axis of an Excel chart as well. Simply copy the cells containing the labels values, select an axis and paste the values using Ctrl + V. The axis will start showing the labels by picking up the values form the range you just copy-pasted on to the axis of the chart.

What is the fastest way to create a chart?

Select the entire data series (one click) and press F11. That’s it. Excel will insert a new chart sheet in the workbook displaying the data you had selected. This can be a great time saver when all you need is to quickly plot a set of data points and check if there are any exceptions in the data set. Say you have 20 worksheets each of which has a set data points. Using this method, you can generate 20 graphs in about 20 seconds. And once you’re done, you can either dismiss the charts by deleting the sheets or in case you find something useful, you can retain the chart by simply copying the chart (Ctrl + A followed by Ctrl + C) and pasting it in a new Excel worksheet. The resulting chart is as good as the one we would’ve created using the longer method of selecting the ‘Insert’ -> ‘Chart’ option from the menu. You can now add the chart title and other details as per your requirements.

What Do You Think ?

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