MAKING LINE GRAPHS USING EXCEL

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1 long term research name per MAKING LINE GRAPHS USING EXCEL 2007 For earlier versions of Excel: notes: STEPS FOR MAKING A GRAPH: Drag your mouse to highlight all the data to be graphed. Click on Insert then Line Chart and the first type of graph (upper left) <--start at bottom right number here & drag to the upper left corner page 1

2 Here is the resulting preliminary graph that you must now use to follow the rules and make it professional. FIRST click on the legend and hit your <Delete> key. DELETE THIS LEGEND Now your graph looks like this. NEXT, click on the gridlines and hit <Delete> Notice the empty cells for days that you did NOT record data (holidays, absences, special bell schedules) have left gaps in your lines. YOU MUST INTERPOLATE AND FILL IN THE GAPS WITH A CONTINUOUS LINE. page 2

3 HOW TO FILL IN THE GAPS WITH A CONTINUOUS LINE. To interpolate you click the Design tab and the Select Data button. The Select Data Source box appears and you wil click the Hidden and Empty Cells button in the lower left corner, then OK. In the next box that appears, click Connect data points with line, then OK. Now your graph looks like this and you are ready to add titles. The process of adding titles is described on the next page --> page 3

4 BEFORE YOU GO ANY FURTHER! You have to use these steps to enlarge your graph and make it appear as it will be printed on paper. If you don t do this, your printed graph will look amateur (left example). If you do these things NOW, your printed graph will be professional (right example). bad good Helpful Hint #1: Always use the Print Preview option so you don t waste paper looking at your rough drafts. Step One: As soon as you have your graph displayed on the screen, and BEFORE you start to label things, click on the DESIGN tab. Step Two: Click on the MOVE CHART button. Step Three: When the Move Chart box pops up (see below) always click NEW SHEET. (You can also give your graph a title here if you want). THAT S IT! NOW YOU CAN ADD TITLES, LABEL AXES, ADD ARROWS AND EVERYTHING WILL FIT YOUR PRINTED PAGE. USE THE PRINT PREVIEW OPTION AND SEE HOW IT LOOKS. page 4

5 Click on Layout then Chart Title and Above Chart. When the Chart Title box appears on your graph, click on it and change the text to enter the correct title for your graph as shown on your list of graphs. While you re doing this, hit <Enter> to make a 2nd line of text where you will type your name. Using the Home tab at the top, change the default font size of the title to 14pt, and your name to 12pt. Now your graph has an official title and subtitle! On the next page you ll follow the steps needed to label your horizontal and vertical axes and get a graph like this one: page 5

6 Click the Layout Tab, Axes Titles then Primary Horizontal Axis Title and Title Below Axis. Enter the text Date for all graphs except Beach Profile. Click the Layout Tab, Axes Titles then Primary Vertical Axis Title and Rotated Title Enter the text for the UNIT OF MEASUREMENT (m, O C, Number Observed, o/oo, etc) for all graphs except Beach Profile. Now you will label each line on your graph using a text box following the directions on the next page so your graph will look like this: page 6

7 Add a text box to label each line. For species, be sure to cut and paste the name off the master list of species (to spell correctly). Change the font to ITALIC (for scientific names), and change the font color to match the line color. The font menu us found under the Home tab. Add your arrows by clicking the Layout tab at the top right. Then click the Shapes button. Don t forget to drop a text box with the graph number here! page 7

8 SPECIAL INFO ABOUT SCALING THE Y-AXIS On your list of required graphs, you will find a few that need to have the y-axis scaled to fit the data. In the graph below you can see that the y-axis is too big, and the lines are way up at the top. Click on the vertical axis (y-axis) then right-click to bring up the menu. Select the Format Axis option. This brings up the Format Axis box as shown on next page---> page 8

9 Mark both the Maximum and Minimum options Fixed, and type in the numbers that best fit the display of your graph s lines. <--before after--> Scale the y-axis ONLY as instructed on your list of graphs. DO NOT scale every graph you make! page 9

10 SPECIAL INFO ABOUT PRINTING YOUR GRAPHS Remove the outline frame around your graph by clicking the Format tab, then click on Shape Outline. On the pull down menu, select No Outline Now you must tell Excel 2007 what you want to print by clicking on the Selection Pane button, then click on your graph. Under Shapes on this Sheet (column to the right) it should list your chart. As a reminder, your graphs must be printed on the paper horizontally and full page in size and in color if there is more than one line displayed. page 10

11 PUNCH YOUR HOLES ABOVE THE TITLE! 12-week Report Folder: 1. Introduction (with lat and lon) 2. Materials & Methods (update digital compass) 3. Graphs (in numerical order) 4. Data Sheets (in chrono order) FOR THE FUTURE: page 11

12 SPECIAL DUAL Y-AXIS INSTRUCTIONS FOR HONORS STUDENTS: <-- SAMPLE page 12

13 page 13

14 source for dual y-axis making: page 14

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