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Get Creative with Bar Charts

Financial information can be exciting and boring at the same time. Although the numbers may look good, pages and pages of numbers may get your audience snoozing.

Why not spice up those numbers a bit with a chart that clearly shows how an intended financial goal was met or shows positive growth over time? You can take this even further by adding animation to a chart. As you discuss each quarter's money story, a click of the mouse causes the bar for that quarter to appear on the bar chart.

Take a look at how it's done:

  1. Create a bar or other chart type.

  2. Select Slide Show, Custom Animation. The Custom Animation window appears. You see a small preview of the slide in the window.

  3. Click to place a checkmark next to Chart 2 in the Click to animate slide objects list. This is the only item on this slide that will be animated.

  4. Click the Chart Effects tab to display its page.

  5. Select by Element in Series from the Introduce chart elements pull-down menu. In the example, there is one series composed of four elements by quarters. In this case, if you were to select by Series, all four bars would appear at the same time.

    Figure 5 Chart Effects is the key to animating the different series or categories in a chart of any type.

  6. Select Animate grid and legend if you also want the grid and legend to animate with the same settings as the chart elements. If you choose this selection, the grid and legend are introduced first.

  7. Select the desired animation type from the Entry animation and sound pull-down menu. Wipe Up is a good choice for a bar chart. Wipe Up results in each bar appearing to grow from the bottom up—an excellent method to show growth in a positive sales story.

  8. When you are finished, click OK to return to the slide window.

  9. To test out the animation, select Slide Show, Animation Preview; or press F5 to view the entire slide show in full screen (press Escape to exit at any time).

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