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Framework: DD011 – dd011_v08


These are six standard line charts. Line charts show trend. The values are not shown because the trend is the most important message. The best practice for line charts is to use the y axis as the value indicator, which is the exception to most chart types.

Some line charts get to look like spaghetti when there are a lot of lines. It's important to label these charts correctly so that your audience will have as little trouble as possible identifying the lines. We advocate for the labels to be on the right-hand side of the line - the end point - just outside the chart. That way an end ranking can also be established. As more charts are placed on the slide, however, space becomes a consideration. You may want to add a legend at this point or put the labels within the chart with a leader line.

Part of series: DD011 Data-Driven Charts 011 – Line Charts

Series Keywords: trend, ranking

Line charts illustrate trend. It's important that each line be distinctive. The template is set up so that each line will be a different color. The colors that are chosen first are those in your template's color palette. After those colors have been used, the graph will choose different colors for the remaining lines. You may want to reassign colors if they do not blend with your palette.

Be sure you choose a line labeling technique that is appropriate. First choice is to label on the outside end of the line. When space becomes a problem, label inside the line chart using leader lines. The last choice is to use a legend. See to009 for predrawn legends that you can use.

Refer to the tutorial for this series, the FAQ section for data-driven charts, and best practices for presenting data-driven material. The feature article for October 2006 also has information about working with data-driven charts.

Key search words: trend, ranking

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