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Charts in Access – Instructions and Video Lesson

/ / Access 2013, Access 2016, Latest, Microsoft, Office 2013, Office 2016, Office 365
Charts in Access - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a chart shown in the “Layout View” within Access.

Charts in Access: Overview

            You can create charts in Access by using the “Chart Wizard” to add charts to reports. The “Chart Wizard” creates charts that represent data from your queries or tables. There are many chart types available. Charts appear as controls in reports. To add charts in Access to reports, click the “Create” tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Report Design” button in the “Reports” button group. Unlike other report controls, the chart control uses its own data source to show its data. Therefore, you can insert it into a blank, unassociated report, if desired.

            Next, ensure you are viewing the “Design View” of the report. Then click the “Design” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon. Then click the “Insert Chart” button in the “Controls” button group. Click and drag over the report area where you want to show the chart to create a frame for the embedded chart control.

            After releasing the mouse button, the “Chart Wizard” then launches if you have the “Use Control Wizards” button activated in the “Controls” button group on the “Design” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab in the Ribbon. Note that this button appears in a separate section when you click the “More” drop-down button in the lower right corner of the list of controls.

            In the first screen of the “Chart Wizard,” select the data source for the chart. You can select either the “Tables,” “Queries,” or “Both” option button to show those object types in the large list. Then select the name of the table or query to use as the chart’s data source from the listing of tables and/or queries. Then click the “Next >” button to continue.

Charts in Access - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of the “Chart Wizard” that is used to create charts in Access.

Charts in Access – Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of the “Chart Wizard” that is used to create charts in Access.

             In the next screen, choose the fields to show in the chart by selecting them from the “Available Fields:” list and then clicking the “>” button to move them into the “Fields for Chart:” list. Then click the “Next >” button to continue. In the next screen, click the type of chart to create from the listing of chart types. Then click the “Next >” button to continue.

            In the next screen, drag and drop fields at the right side of the window into the desired chart locations at the left side of the window. You can double-click any summary field shown to change the function performed on the field in a separate dialog box, if needed. You can also click the “Preview Chart” button to show a preview of your chart in a separate window. When satisfied with the chart’s appearance, click the “Next >” button to continue.

            The final screen of the “Chart Wizard” lets you type a title for your chart into the box provided. It also lets you select whether or not to add a legend to the chart. Click the “Finish” button to add the chart control to your report. Don’t be alarmed if the chart doesn’t display your data in the design view- it won’t. You must switch to “Layout View” to see the data in the chart and also resize the chart control until it appears the way you want it to in the report.

Charts in Access - Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a chart shown in the “Layout View” within Access.

Charts in Access – Instructions and Video Lesson: A picture of a chart shown in the “Layout View” within Access.

            After adding charts in Access, notice that charts are independent objects that contains many smaller objects. These smaller objects also have their own properties, which you can format independently, as desired. When in “Design View,” you can select the chart control and then view its properties in the “Property Sheet” pane. The “Row Source” property, on the “Data” tab, shows the SQL code of the query on which the chart is based. If you click into the “Row Source” property box, you can then click the “Builder” button […] that appears at the right end of the box to view the SQL query in the visual query design view. You can then edit it, if needed.

            To edit the chart in “Design View,” double-click the chart control. Doing this activates the “Microsoft Graph” program. Notice that the toolbars change to reflect that fact. The new toolbar that appears lets you format the chart. You can select any object in the chart and click the buttons in the new toolbar to change its formatting. The data shown in the “Datasheet” when you edit the chart simply displays the most recent data. You do not need to change the datasheet info. After making any formatting changes you want, click back into the blank area of the report to switch back to Access.

Charts in Access: Instructions

  1. To insert charts in Access into a report, click the “Report Design” button in the “Reports” group on the “Create” tab in the Ribbon to create a new blank, unassociated report in Design View, if desired.
  2. Click the “Insert Chart” button in the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon when the report is in “Design View.”
  3. Click and drag over the area in the report where you want to show the chart to create a frame for its embedded chart control.
  4. After releasing your mouse pointer, the “Chart Wizard” launches if you have the “Use Control Wizards” button activated in the “Controls” group on the “Design” tab of the “Report Design Tools” contextual tab within the Ribbon. This button appears in a separate section when you click the “More” drop-down button in the lower right corner of the controls list.
  5. In the first screen of the “Chart Wizard,” select the chart’s data source by clicking either the “Tables,” “Queries,” or “Both” option button to display those object types in the large list.
  6. Select the name of the table or query to use as the chart’s data source from the listing of tables and/or queries.
  7. Then click the “Next >” button to continue.
  8. In the next screen, choose the fields to show in the chart by selecting them from the “Available Fields:” list and clicking the “>” button to move them into the “Fields for Chart:” list.
  9. Then click the “Next >” button to continue.
  10. In the next screen, click the type of chart to create from the listing of chart types.
  11. Then click the “Next >” button to continue.
  12. In the next screen, drag and drop fields at the right side of the window into the desired chart locations at the left side of the window.
  13. You can double-click on any summary field shown to change the function performed on the field in a separate dialog box, if needed.
  14. You can click the “Preview Chart” button to show a preview of your chart in a separate window.
  15. When satisfied with the appearance of your chart, click the “Next >” button to continue.
  16. In the last screen of the “Chart Wizard,” type a title for your chart into the box provided and select whether or not to add a legend to the chart.
  17. Then click the “Finish” button to add the chart control to your report.
  18. To view the properties of charts in Access, open the report which contains the chart object whose properties you wish to set in Design View.
  19. Select the embedded chart control by clicking it.
  20. Change any associated properties, as needed, in the “Property Sheet” pane.
  21. To format charts in Access, open the report which contains the chart object whose properties you wish to set in Design View.
  22. Select the embedded chart control by clicking it.
  23. Change any associated properties, as needed, in the “Property Sheet.”

Charts in Access: Video Lesson

            The following video lesson, titled “Using Charts,” shows how to create and edit charts in Access. This video lesson is from our complete Access tutorial, titled “Mastering Access Made Easy v.2016-2013.”

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