Guide: LibreOffice Impress Part 5: Charts

In this part of our LibreOffice Impress guide, we show you how to add charts to your presentation. We’ll also cover customizing and enhancing the charts overall look directly in Impress.

Previously, we talked about how to add links, audio, and video to your presentation.

Now, we decided to start looking at how to create charts. For the most part, if you are familiar with charts in Writer or Calc, this will follow a very similar approach.

Add a Chart

The first thing you’ll want to do is click on the “Insert Chart” button.

This will bring up the famous example chart. We’ll probably want to move and re-size it to fit with what we want in our slide show. Remember to use the outside grey bounding box to move and re-size. Otherwise, you’ll just move elements inside your chart.

Select a Chart Type

Now, obviously, we want something more than just any old chart. We want to put in our own data. So, we’ll want to figure out which chart type we want to use.

First, we’ll want to click on the “Chart Type” button.

In the pop-up window, I’m going to select the chart that I want to use. Since I’ve used pie and bar charts in previous guides, I’m going to go for a little variety on this one and pick a line chart. I can manipulate the display style from there, but I chose a basic points and lines chart. When I am happy, I can click on the “OK” button.

Adjusting the Chart Data

Now, example information is great for illustrative purposes, but I’m wanting to insert my own data. First, I want to right click on the chart.

Next, I want to click on “Data Table…”

Now, I can just manipulate the data as I see fit. Note that as you adjust your information, the chart behind the pop-up window will adjust.

If you want to add columns, delete rows, etc., there are buttons along the top of the pop-up window that permits such adjustments. The buttons on the left hand side with plus signs allow you to add columns. Just select the cell near where you want to add a row or column, then choose an add button to add either a column left or right of the selection, or add a row above or below the selected cell.

Alternatively, if you want to delete a column or row, just select a cell in the row or column you wish to delete and click on the button with the x to delete that row or column.

When you are done, click on the “OK” button.

Adjusting Colours

The default colours may be fine, but chances are, you’ll want to know how to control the colours of the chart. First, let’s figure out how to adjust the colour of our lines. For that, we’ll want to select the line we want to change.

Next, we want to click on the “Format Selection” button.

Next, we’ll want to click on the “Color” drop down menu to select our colour (as highlighted in the screen shot).

There are, of course, other options we can adjust. This includes the line width and even the icon for every point in the line. By default, the icon is a square.

Next, let’s say we want to adjust the background behind the lines. That is easy to do.

Further Enhancing the Charts Look

For that, we can simply click on the “Chart Wall” button.

In the pop up window, I can actually adjust some of the border lines if I really want. However, I’m just going to stick with the default for now. So, I’m going to click on the “Area” tab (as highlighted in the screen shot). Next, I’m going to select the type of background I want. This time, I feel like adding a gradient, so I’m going to click on the “Gradient” button.

From there, I can choose what gradient style I want. So, I’m just going to randomly select “Mahagoni”. I can definitely make a number of adjustments from there, but for now, I’m just going to click on the “OK” button after.

Next, I think I’ll add a background to the chart itself. First, I’m going to select the background (if you accidentally deselect the whole chart object, just double-click on the chart so you can get the grey border back).

Next, I’m going to click on the “Format Selection” button (as highlighted in the screen shot).

Next, I’m just going to click on the “Area” tab. After that, I’m going to click on the “Bitmap” button because I feel like adding a picture after. After that, I can just click on any picture (or even import my own if I really want to). In this case, I chose Parchment Paper. There are a few adjustments I can make, but if I’m happy, I can just click on the “OK” button.

While this looks pretty reasonable, I’m going to go ahead and show you how to adjust the background of the legend as well. As usual, I’m going to click to select the area I want, then click on the “Format Selection” button.

First, I’m going to click on the “Area” tab. Next, I’m going to click on the “Color” button. From there, I’m going to select the white colour as highlighted. This is going to simply create a white box, but that background does offer a nice texture. If I want that to come through a little, I’m going to add a transparency effect. Doing this is actually pretty straight forward.

First, I’m going to click on the “Transparency” tab. Next, I’m going to click on the “Transparency” radial. By default, it’s going to give me 50%. Obviously, I can adjust this from here, but for now, 50% is fine for demonstration purposes. After this, I can go further with the transparency, but I’m going to simply click on the “OK” button.

The result is that I retain some of that texture from the background image. At the same time, I also enhance the visibility of the legend anyway. This enhances the balance between style and function nicely. On top of it all, it gives the chart a slightly more polished look.

There are, of course, plenty of different ways you can present a chart thanks to the ability to mix and match options. Overall, though, you should have a fairly good grasp on creating and stylizing charts now.

Congratulations! You now know how to create and customize your own charts in Impress!

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