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Data-Driven Charts 002

Bar Charts

Working with Bar Charts

Bar charts show volume and ranking. The top bar is the largest and the remaining bars are presented in descending order. In the case of two or more bar charts on the same slide and they all use the same side labels for the bars (as in the example to the right), the bar chart that is furthest to the left is the ranking chart. The other chart can order the volumes/values in any order as long as the labels are still pertinent. If each bar chart on the page has its own set of labels, they all can be ranking charts. If you do not use bar charts as ranking charts, then pick some other method for ordering (i.e., alphabetically).

Customizing data-driven charts

Adjust size

To adjust the size of a data-driven chart, you must double click on it and then adjust it by pulling the corner handles. Do not size without double-clicking on the chart. The text will skew and the chart may even eventually corrupt if you size incorrectly. This is important. The text may scale as you do this (which is an option you can choose or not choose). We recommend that you do not scale your text, as font size consistency is important for readability.

Color variations

The colors for data-driven charts are determined by your template's color scheme or palette. Your template needs to reflect the branded colors of your template or your charts will fail to do so. If you need to augment the colors in your template, select complementary or contrasting colors that work well with your palette. Then use them consistently. Lines are not used in these templates. If you wish to use outline line on the bars, activate them and color them in the menu.

3D variations

3D is not recommended. 3D in charts is ambiguous and imprecise. The idea behind presenting data is to be precise. Never sacrifice clarity or concision for the sake of style.


Apply shadows carefully if at all. It's probably better to apply gradients, patterns, and pictures. You don't want anything to obscure the values or make them ambiguous. This is the same argument against using 3D.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients can be used, but use them consistently and carefully.


Animate with a purpose. Simple reveals are much more effective than the more "startling" animations, unless of course you are trying to startle your audience. Add pizzazz by way of content, not by adding sparkly accessories.

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