Changing the Size of Charts and Risers

By default, when you create a chart, it fills the frame in which it is run, and risers and other sections within the chart are sized accordingly. This makes the chart flexible, allowing it to run in large and small containers alike without sacrificing the appearance and legibility of the chart. This automatic sizing also means that you do not need to manually set any size properties for the chart.

However, you also have the option to set a consistent size for the chart, if you prefer. You can also determine the width of bars in a bar chart as a percentage of the riser area, and set the width of risers in a bar, area, or line chart, based on the font size of the ordinal axis, or on an exact value that you specify.

You can set a static height and width for a chart, so that it remains the same size no matter where it is loaded. This can be useful, for example, if you want to add the chart to a PowerPoint presentation or PDF, and want to leave room for other content on each slide or page. To set the size of your chart, on the Format tab, select General from the quick access menu. In the Other section, notice that the Fit to container option is set to Automatic, by default, so that the chart automatically resizes to fill its container. To specify a size for the chart, change this setting to Manual, and then provide a width and height for the chart, in pixels. As you set these dimensions, you can select the Lock Aspect Ratio check box so that as you change the width or height, the other dimension changes as well, to maintain the same aspect ratio.

In bar, area, and line charts, values are represented by the height of a bar, area, or line at different points along the ordinal axis, which displays different dimension value labels. These points are generically called risers. You can set the width of these risers to fill the width of the chart, resize them based on the font size of the ordinal axis labels, or resize them manually by specifying a number of pixels.

To access these options, on the Format tab, select Series, and leave All series selected. By default, the riser width automatically adjusts based on the width of the chart to fill it evenly. In the Shape section, change the Riser Width property to Tie to ordinal font size to have the riser width increase with the size of the dimension labels on the ordinal axis of the chart. This is most useful in charts that are oriented horizontally, so the risers and labels occupy roughly the same amount of vertical space. To change the font size, on the Format tab, select Axis from the quick access menu and then select X Axis from the axis drop-down menu. The Labels section includes the options to change the font size of the axis labels. In the following image, the font size was increased to 18, and, since the Riser Width property was set to Tie to ordinal font size, the width of each riser has also increased accordingly.

Horizontal bar chart with riser width set to font

You can also set the width of each riser in pixels. Set the Riser Width property to Manual and then use the slider to set the riser width. If the riser width is too wide to fit all risers in the chart frame, a scrollbar is added.

In bar charts, you can also set the percentage of the riser area that each bar or set of side-by-side bars occupies, using the slider for the Riser Spacing property. Reducing this value increases the amount of space between bars.