Corporate Charts ensures that your charts in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel documents always reflect the visual identity of your organization. To get started with the implementation, the first step is to provide us with the design features your charts should follow. This article explains how to hand-in this design to ensure swift implementation.
Where is Corporate Charts implemented?
Corporate Charts is usually placed in an additional tab in Microsoft Office along with other tools specific to your organization. There are three basic buttons for Corporate Charts (see image below).
The first one, Insert/Format, will either insert a new chart or format an existing one. This is depended on the selection, meaning that if nothing is selected, the feature creates a new one, while it will format the selected chart.
The second button, Chart Type, allows to change the chart type of the selected chart, e.g. from a column chart to a line chart.
Finally, the Color Scheme menu enables to change the colors of the selected chart. This is a handy tool, e.g. if your organization has different sub-brands or types of templates that differ in the colors.
These can be supplemented with other features if needed, e.g. functionality to change position of legends or to highlight a series in the chart. You can find a full overview of possible extra features to streamline the users' interaction with the charts here.
How does Corporate Charts work?
The functionality of Corporate Charts is based on Office's native chart functionality, meaning that the feature will open the same dialog from where the user can choose between various chart types and then Corporate Charts ensures to apply the correct colors, fonts, sizes, etc.
In this way, we apply the same chart design to all chart types, for which reason we do not support the ability to distinguish in the chart design based on chart types (e.g. having one design for pie charts and then another design for column charts, etc.). Nonetheless, it is possible to have more than one overall design which will then be added to the Color Scheme menu.
A chart setting could be the use of fonts, gridlines, data labels, colors, etc. You can also have different designs in each application (Word, PowerPoint, or Excel), but not within the same application.
Where should I design my Corporate Charts?
Directly in Office! This is where the functionality is added and Corporate Charts will only work within the limitations of Office. If you use InDesign or other programs when creating the chart design, it can be difficult to have the possibilities and limitations in mind, and thus add elements that might not be supported.
We thus recommend that you start your design process with a default Office chart. To do this, go to the Insert tab in Word, PowerPoint or Excel, and click Chart.
Select a common chart, e.g. the column chart, and insert the default chart. Now use the possibilities of chart adjustments offered by Office. This could be the Charts Design tab (1) which appears along with chart insertion, or use the right-click option (2) on each element of the chart (series, axis, legends, chart title, plot area, chart area, etc.), which will open a grey menu (3) with the adjustment possibilities (visualized below).
Do not place text boxes or shapes directly in the chart. These external elements are not supported by Office (because they cannot be inserted by one of the adjustment possibilities above) and therefore not by Corporate Charts.
To sum up: if your design is not possible to manually create with the possibilities offered by Office, it is not supported by Corporate Charts, and thus the design will not be applicable.
What is possible to adjust in my design?
The following is possible to adjust:
- Colors: the colors, and order of the colors used in the charts. Define the specific colors in RGB or if the colors should follow the colors of the template/accent colors.
- Chart area background: color, accent color or no color.
- Plot area background: color, accent color or no color.
- Font (overall): font, font size, color.
- Gridlines: horizontal, vertical, width, color.
- Axis lines: weight and color.
- Series: overlap and gap between the series.
- Data labels: font and font size.
- Chart title: font, font size, color, position (right, left, centred).
- Legends: font, font size, color, position (top, bottom, left, right, top right).
- Pie chart: angle of the first slide (degrees), point explosion, border color.
- Doughnut chart: angle of the first slide (degrees), point explosion, doughnut center size, border color.
- Scatter chart: marker type (circle, dash, diamond, dot, triangle, square, etc.).
Which files should I hand in?
We recommend that you hand in a design for each Office program if the design differs, meaning please forward a .docx file with your charts in Word, a .pptx with your PowerPoint charts, and a .xlsx for Excel. Note, if the design does not differ or only requires a few adjustments we need only one of the above-mentioned files along with a note explaining the difference. Forward each of these to our representative.
Our clients typically use the same design across all Office applications, where the only exception could be the font size in PowerPoint, as PowerPoint usually uses an increased font size compared to Word and Excel.
The design below is an example of a Corporate Charts hand-in.
Different settings for specific chart types are added - for example, the series overlap and series gap in the column chart is unique to this chart type and therefore specified. Add this as additional information if the design differentiates from Office's default values.
This design includes more than one color scheme, which would be available in the Color Scheme menu. In the example below, the colors from above are named Standard as the first option in the button, and the second option is for certain templates and named Report (purple).
The final ribbon will look like this:
If you are in the process of implementing Corporate Charts, please contact your project manager, or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.