Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]
Here is a fairly annoying problem.
Imagine a chart showing both sales & customer data. Sales numbers are large and customer numbers are small. So when you make a chart with both of these, it looks something like below.
Now, usually to select the smaller, unreachable series, the steps I follow are,
- Select the chart
- Go to Chart Format ribbon and select the series name (as shown below)
But this is a long process with significant click tax.
Here is a simpler alternative. Use arrow keys to select the series you want.
Here is how it works:
- Select one the taller, more prominent series
- Press either up or down arrow keys few times to select the smaller series
A quick demo of this feature.
So go ahead and use ’em arrow keys to select & format any element in your chart.
Bonus tip: How to know which arrow key to press?
- After selecting the taller series, look at formula bar.
- It should read something like this:
- Notice the last parameter.
- If it is 1, that means the other series is 2 (or 3 …). So you press UP arrow to increment.
- If it is 2 (or 3…), that means the other series is 1. So you press DOWN arrow to decrement.
Bonus Bonus Tip: How to select any individual data points in the series?
Use LEFT or RIGHT arrow keys to select individual data points in a series. This is an easy way to add data labels or change color of one particular data point.
How do you select unreachable chart elements?
I admit. I have been using the chart format ribbon to select unreachable items until today. But once I realized that we can use arrow keys, I feel empowered. While I am not a keyboard shortcut fanatic, I do believe that if there is a faster way to do something with keyboard alone, we should embrace it.
What about you? How do you select chart items? Please share your tips in the comment section.
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