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Tutorial for

Data-Driven Charts 008

Subdivided Column Charts

Working with Subdivided (Butted) Column Charts

Subdivided column charts show total volume and the segments that make up the total. Be sure that the data being plotted is the same unit.

The chart, when imported into your company's template, will assume the default colors, font types and sizes, and bullets of your company's template.

After you have entered in the data and replot the chart, the side labels and top totals will need to be realigned. Align the side labels for each segment series in the center of the segment (see example to the right); and the totals need to be adjusted so they appear right above the column.

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. The lines are not active on the templates. If you wish to use lines, just activate them in the menu.

These chart are formatted to take the primary fill color in your template. If you need to change a color in a row of segments, just double click on one of the segments and change the color in your Patterns template. Change color to highlight a row of segments or to add another layer of information to the chart. If you want to add color an individual segment only, select it by double clicking (which selects the row) and then clicking on the segment you want to recolor. Change the color in the Patterns menu. Refrain from coloring segments just to add variation to the chart.

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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