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Presenting Data Using Charts

Charts help illustrate data. They can highlight trends or show the breakdown of a budget. Like Numbers, Pages can create charts; but there are some differences in how you use it to add and edit charts. Generally, Numbers has greater data-crunching flexibility. In this exercise, you will create a line chart in Pages to illustrate the cash flow for a fictitious restoration project.

  1. In the 2009_report.pages document, go to page 6 and find two tables: Cash Flow by Month and Annual Totals.

    04fig26.jpg

    The annual totals show a balance of $5536 so you have sufficient funds for the fictitious restoration project. What is less clear is the monthly balance of funds.

    Look at the Profit and 321 Budget lines at the bottom of the Cash Flow by Month table. In several of the months, you won’t have enough money to pay the restoration bill. Line charts are often used to display trends or patterns like this. Let’s make one.

  2. In the toolbar, click the Chart icon. In the dialog, select the 2D line chart.

    04fig28.jpg

    A chart appears with placeholder data. You will replace this with data from a table.

  3. Move the chart if necessary so that it doesn’t obscure any tables.

    You’ll resize the chart later.

  4. In the Cash Flow by Month table, select rows 1, 7, and 8 by Command-clicking the reference headers for those rows.

    04fig29.jpg
  5. Choose Edit > Copy.
  6. Select the line chart to display the Edit Chart Data button.

  7. Click the Edit Chart Data button to open a new table dialog.

    You will paste the copied data into this table, but first you need to select fields in the new table.

  8. Select the first three rows of the Chart Data table by Command-clicking each row header.

  9. Choose Edit > Paste. The Chart Data dialog populates with the table data you copied.

    You may want to resize the Chart Data window to see all the data.

    The paste operation added extra rows. Let’s remove them now.

  10. Command-click the header for each of the blank rows. Press Backspace to delete the blank rows.

    You now have a 2D line chart created in Pages.

    To edit the chart data, you click the Edit Chart Data button and change the figures. This method differs from Numbers in which you change data in the original table to automatically update any chart created from it.

  11. Select the chart, and drag the selection handles to change its width and height.

  12. Drag the chart into clear space on the page.

    The line chart now displays the difference between income and expenditure. In the next exercise, you will change the labeling to display selective information.

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