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Tutorial for

Data-Driven Charts 010

Cost Curves

Working with Cost Curves

There is no native cost curve chart in PowerPoint. What we've adapted to do the job is a scatter (dot) chart with connecting lines. The sprites (dots) have been hidden.

Putting data into the cost curve template worksheet is not difficult but it takes focus. The data must be input in a specific pattern. See the example of the data pattern beneath the chart example. If you follow this pattern of data input, you will be fine.

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

There is no way to fill the "columns" in this chart, as they are not really columns. The columns are created by the line only. You can color segments of the line, however. Another alternative is the place fields of color behind the chart.

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.

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.


Shadows are not recommended

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients are nto recommended


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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