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Data-Driven Charts 004

Subdivided Bar Charts

Working with Subdivided (Stacked) Bar Charts

Subdivided bar charts contain bars that are broken into segments to equal the total - the number at the end of and outside the stacks. These charts show comparisons between the segment categories as well as between the overall totals of each stacked bar.

The values within the segments show up automatically when the data is entered into the worksheet. The totals need to be calculated and added manually. The labels need to be added manually. Refer to the tutorial and FAQs for guidance on how to use and format these types of charts. Specifically, refer to this FAQ regarding adding more/deleting labels and totals. Also, look at each framework's description to understand the different uses for these charts.

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. These templates do not have the lines activated. If you wish to use outline lines, activate the lines 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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