Bar Chart in PowerPoint – Formatting Tips

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Discover useful formatting tips for bar charts in PowerPoint. Add more visual interest to your data slides and convey your message more effectively.

New: 3 Tips You Didn’t Know About Improving Bar Charts

Know more about Visual PowerPoint Graphs Pack

Tip 1: Adjust gap width for your bar chart in PowerPoint:

There are times when you want to adjust the gap width for your bar or column charts in a data presentation. The objective could be to add visual interest to your charts. Here is an example where we have used this technique in a bar chart template:

Bar Chart in PowerPoint

Source: Step Chart Templates from Visual Graphs Pack

Or you may want to show your data from a fresh perspective like in the following quilt chart template:

Quilt Chart template in PowerPoint

Source: Performance Comparison Across Products

How do you vary the gap width of your charts? Here is how you do it in a simple step by step way.

Draw your basic bar chart:

Regular Bar Chart in PowerPoint

 Right click on the Chart-> go to Format Data Series -> Series Options -> Gap width.

 When you move the handle to the left, the columns widen. The result will be as follows:

 You can use this simple formatting tip to create your own variations like the examples you saw in the article.

Related: Formatting tips for Charts in PowerPoint

Tip 2: Overlap data series:

Another useful tool to format your bar charts is – ‘Series overlap’ function. You can use the function to add visual interest to your charts like in the following column template:

Overlapping Column Chart Template

Source: Chart Templates from Visual Graphs Pack

Here you can see two columns overlap partially to give the chart the feel of an Info graphic. You can create advanced chart templates with ‘Series overlap’ function as follows:

 On the Bar chart in PowerPoint, Right click on a series ->go to Format Data Series -> Series options -> Series Overlap.

 When you move the handle to the right the bars overlap. The result will be as follows:

 You can use both these tips for column charts as well.

The two tips in this article will help you format your charts better.

Related: Create a Data Driven PowerPoint Thermometer

Smart option for business presenters:

It helps to experiment with various functionalities of PowerPoint chart tools to extract full value from your presentation software. If you are a busy presenter who needs a smarter way to create professional data presentations without wasting too much time, we have an elegant solution for you.

We recommend you take a look at our ‘Visual PowerPoint Graphs Pack’. The pack has more than 320 business relevant diagram templates for busy business presenters. In fact, all the chart templates you saw in this article are taken from the pack.

The chart templates in the pack are surprisingly easy to use. Right click on any of the chart templates and go to ‘Edit data’. A worksheet opens up. You just need to replace sample data in the embedded worksheet with your own data.

Ease of editing chart

 The chart updates itself automatically with new values. You don’t even have to type in the numbers. You can copy paste data from your own excel file.

Why waste time constructing your data charts from the scratch when you have such a high quality solution available off the shelf? Click here to know more about the pack >>

Related: PowerPoint Pie charts – 3 Issues and Solution

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