Is your (chart’s) underwear showing?

When I read Is your website’s underwear showing?, I couldn’t control the urge to write this one.

So the big screaming friday question everyone…

Is your chart’s underwear showing?

What is my chart’s underwear? you may ask.

My dear reader, it is the background color (that grayish shade excel adds by default). Also commonly known as one of the chart junk (no pun intended).

It is surprising how many people leave the default background color on, and yet spend countless hours working the rest.

What difference does it make?

It makes a hell of a lot of difference. Just set the background color to white and tell me if your eyes haven’t felt better.

Remember, only superman can get away showing his underwear. But, again he doesn’t have to work on spreadsheets and powerpoint like you and me. So, lets just hide that ugly background color. Ok?

flickr superman image credit to videoplacebo


Hello Awesome...

My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.

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9 Responses to “Is your (chart’s) underwear showing?”

  1. kidakaka says:

    Lol. It almost always does .. main bhi Superman 🙂 .. nice one Chandoo .. simple yet effective.

  2. Jon Peltier says:

    Oh come on, if any pun was intended, that one was!

  3. JP says:

    Very funny title, but I assumed you were referring to the tendency of some people to paste charts into other Office programs (read: Powerpoint), exposing potentially sensitive data to end users.


  4. Chandoo says:

    @Kida... thank you... btw,.. you may want to be a normal man... 😛
    @Jon... I couldnt resist .... 😛
    @JP... hmm... even though that is another common problem it rarely annoys people during the presentations. It is an issue only when someone actually opens that attached excel file. On the other hand having the background color on not only stands out like a sore thumb, it makes it all the more difficult to read the chart (I am talking about the grayish default shade, you can leave background colors on if you have carefully adjusted it)

  5. [...] PS: while you are at it, check your chart’s underwear as well. [...]

  6. Jeff weir says:

    Nice title, chartypants. I'm reminded of a certain recent post where someone had visible rantly line showing

  7. [...] Do not leave your chart’s underwear on - In other words, remove that default gray background from your charts. [...]

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