In our introduction to charts, we created one with standing rectangular boxes. This is called a column chart and is only one of the types of charts available. Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel provide many other flavors you can use, depending on the type of analysis you want to perform.
The Chart Wizard in Microsoft Access is equipped with various types of charts. In each category, different sub-types are used to accomplish a unique purpose. In Microsoft Access, to change a chart, after displaying its parent form or report in Design View, you can double-click it. This would open the Microsoft Graph application. From there, you can right-click any part of the chart to make the necessary changes. Any area you right-click presents a particular menu.
In Microsoft Access, to change the type of chart, right-click an area of the chart and click Chart Type. This would open the Chart Type dialog box. It presents the various available types of charts and you can click one of them. If none of the available types suits you, you can click the Custom Type tab for more options.
The Types of Values of a Chart
When you select the values of a table or a query and ask Microsoft Graph to use them to create a chart, by default, the application counts the number of occurrences of each value, especially if you select a string-based field. Depending on the type of chart as we will see in the next few sections, some charts can use regular numbers while some others are better with percentage values. Fortunately, instead of trying to figure out how to perform the calculations yourself, Microsoft Graph can do it for you.
As done for the column chart, when specifying the values of a bar chart, use a column that has frequent occurrences of the same values.
Practical Learning: Changing a Chart Type
The classic column chart is made of flat bars that simply illustrate maximal, minimal, and in-between values. One of the options allows you to create a 3-dimensional look of the chart and further accentuate the colors and/or other graphic effects. To enhance an effective analysis, you can create a real 3-D chart that shows data and graphics in perspective.
Another variance of the column chart is to show two columns for each sample value.
Practical Learning: Creating a Double-Column Chart
The default appearance of a pie chart is a circle with each category taking a pie in the whole. One of the variances of the chart displays in three dimensions that use two ellipses. The top ellipse is the most visible and shows the format of each chart. Only part of the bottom ellipse is shown.
Practical Learning: Creating a Pie Chart
3-D Column Charts
When creating the chart, there are many aspects you can change for it. For example, you may have a chart where the figures in the front seem to hide those in the back. Here is an example:
Or there is too much room on one side. You can rotate the chart. To do this, click one of the borders of the walls of the chart to select its frame. Then click one of the handles on the frame and hold the mouse down. The actual frame of the chart would appear:
You can then rotate the chart in the direction of your choice. You can keep doing this, releasing the mouse to preview, then rotating again, until you get the desired orientation.
If you created the chart as one shape (cylinder, cone, or pyramid) but want to use another shape, you can change it. To do this, in Microsoft Graph, right-click the chart and click Format Data Series. In the Format Data Series dialog box, click the Shape tab and select a different shape:
The cylinder chart creates long circular boxes of the same base on both ends. It can be enhanced with good formatted Fill Effects. This chart is suitable for industry, manufacturing analysis, and predictions.
Practical Learning: Creating a Cylindric Chart
The cone chart is made of a circular base topped by a higher point. When used with various data, the higher value will have the complete cone while the lower values will share portions of the geometric figure. The cone chart should be used with values that can take advantage of its graphing dimensions.
Practical Learning: Creating a Conic Chart
The pyramid chart resembles the cone chart with a difference on their respective bases. Both are constructed the same and can be used in similar scenarios.
Practical Learning: Creating a Pyramid Chart
Practical Learning: Creating a Line Chart
A trend line is a line added to a chart created as a column or else. It can be used to show the high points of the various values on a chart. A trend line is not a type of chart. It is only a line added to an existing chart to accentuate its tendencies.
To add a trend line to a chart, after opening Microsoft Graph, right-click one of the column categories and click Add Trendline...
This would open the Add Trendline dialog box. In the Type property page, you can select the type of line you want:
If your chart is using more than one category, you can select each in the Based On Series list box and specify its trend line. The Options property page allows you to specify more options. Once you have finished, click OK:
After creating a trend line, you can change its characteristics. To do this, right-click the trend line and click Format Trendline... This would open the Format Trendline dialog box that you can use for various reasons, including specifying the color of the line. You can also access its Type and its Options property pages and change the original settings. Once you click OK and close Microsoft Graph, the trend line or its new changes would apply to the chart. In the same way, you can add a trend line for each category of the column or bar chart.
Practical Learning: Ending the Lessons