Numbers '09: Creating a chart from table data

You can add a chart that shows all the data in a table or only data in selected cells of one or more tables. If you change the data in a chart’s related table cells, the chart is automatically updated.

When you add a chart, Numbers defines either the table rows or columns as the default data series. In most cases, if the table is square or if it’s wider than it is tall, the table rows become the default series, but you can easily switch the data series and sets after the chart is created, as well as add, remove, and edit the chart data at any time.

If a table contains header rows or cells, Numbers uses text in the first column or row as axis labels. Otherwise, placeholder text is used for labels, which you can later edit.

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Here are ways to add select data and create a chart:

  • To add a chart based on an entire table, select the table, click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type from the pop-up menu. The values in the table are plotted in the chart. If the table is empty, the chart is blank until you add values to table cells.
  • To add a chart based on a range of adjacent table cells, click in a cell, and then click and drag to select other cells; you can also select the first cell in the range, and then hold down the Shift key while selecting the last cell, to select the entire range. Then click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type.
  • To add a chart based on nonadjacent cells, hold down the Command key as you select cells from a table. Then click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type.
  • To add a chart based on data in more than one table, first select a single table or contiguous range of cells and create a chart. Then click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type. Select the chart and hold down the Command key while clicking or dragging cells in another table to add their data to the chart.
  • To add a placeholder chart to which you intend to add your data at another time, make sure nothing is selected, click Charts in the toolbar, and choose a chart type. A chart and a new table are created with placeholder data.
  • To draw a chart, first select the table cells you want the chart to reference, and then hold down the Option key as you click Charts in the toolbar. Choose a chart type. When the pointer changes into a crosshair, drag the crosshair across the canvas to create a chart that's the size you want. To constrain the chart's proportions, hold down the Shift key as you drag.
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