How to: Format Chart Elements

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This example demonstrates how to enhance the appearance of an existing chart. For an example on how to create a basic chart in code, refer to the How to: Create and Modify a Chart article.

SpreadsheetDocServer_ExcelChartCustomAppearance

Select the action you wish to perform.

Apply the Built-in Chart Style

Chart styles allow you to quickly change chart appearance. The chart style changes the chart's background fill, specifies the color of the data series, and applies different shape effects and outlines to the chart. To apply one of the predefined styles to the chart, utilize the ChartObject.Style property.

The example below demonstrates how to create a chart and apply one of the predefined styles to it using the ChartObject.Style property.

Worksheet worksheet = workbook.Worksheets["chartTask3"];
workbook.Worksheets.ActiveWorksheet = worksheet;

// Create a chart and specify its location.
Chart chart = worksheet.Charts.Add(ChartType.ColumnClustered, worksheet["B2:D4"]);
chart.TopLeftCell = worksheet.Cells["H2"];
chart.BottomRightCell = worksheet.Cells["N14"];

// Set the chart style.
chart.Style = ChartStyle.Accent1Dark;

Format an Individual Chart Element

The chart style allows you to apply a predefined set of format options. However, you can fine-tune these settings and specify custom formatting for individual chart elements by giving them a different color or outline. A full set of format characteristics available for a chart is provided by the ShapeFormatBase object. All objects that represent chart elements (Chart, PlotArea, Series, Axis, DataLabel, Legend, ChartTitle, etc.) inherit the ShapeFormatBase interface, so you can use its formatting properties to set a color and border of the required chart element.

Worksheet worksheet = workbook.Worksheets["chartTask7"];
workbook.Worksheets.ActiveWorksheet = worksheet;

// Create a chart and specify its location.
Chart chart = worksheet.Charts.Add(ChartType.ColumnClustered, worksheet["B2:C8"]);
chart.TopLeftCell = worksheet.Cells["F2"];
chart.BottomRightCell = worksheet.Cells["N17"];

// Add and format the chart title.
chart.Title.SetValue("Countries with the largest forest area");
chart.Title.Font.Color = Color.FromArgb(0x34, 0x5E, 0x25);

// Set no fill for the plot area.
chart.PlotArea.Fill.SetNoFill();

// Apply the gradient fill to the chart area.
chart.Fill.SetGradientFill(ShapeGradientType.Linear, Color.FromArgb(0xFD, 0xEA, 0xDA), Color.FromArgb(0x77, 0x93, 0x3C));
ShapeGradientFill gradientFill = chart.Fill.GradientFill;
gradientFill.Stops.Add(0.78f, Color.FromArgb(0xB7, 0xDE, 0xE8));
gradientFill.Angle = 90;

// Set the picture fill for the data series.
chart.Series[0].Fill.SetPictureFill("Pictures\\PictureFill.png");

// Customize the axis appearance.
AxisCollection axisCollection = chart.PrimaryAxes;
foreach (Axis axis in axisCollection)
{
    axis.MajorTickMarks = AxisTickMarks.None;
    axis.Outline.SetSolidFill(Color.FromArgb(0x34, 0x5E, 0x25));
    axis.Outline.Width = 1.25;
}
// Change the scale of the value axis.
Axis valueAxis = axisCollection[1];
valueAxis.Scaling.AutoMax = false;
valueAxis.Scaling.Max = 8000000;
valueAxis.Scaling.AutoMin = false;
valueAxis.Scaling.Min = 0;
// Specify display units for the value axis.
valueAxis.DisplayUnits.UnitType = DisplayUnitType.Thousands;
valueAxis.DisplayUnits.ShowLabel = true;

// Hide the legend.
chart.Legend.Visible = false;

Specify the Chart View Options

There are specific settings for different chart types that affect chart appearance. Use the properties of the ChartView and View3DOptions objects to specify chart options for 2-D and 3-D charts.

The example below demonstrates how to create the 3-D clustered column chart and adjust its appearance. In particular, the code specifies how to customize the chart walls and floor by using the View3DOptions.BackWall, View3DOptions.SideWall and View3DOptions.Floor properties.

Worksheet worksheet = workbook.Worksheets["chartTask5"];
workbook.Worksheets.ActiveWorksheet = worksheet;

// Create a chart and specify its location.
Chart chart = worksheet.Charts.Add(ChartType.Column3DClustered, worksheet["B2:C8"]);
chart.TopLeftCell = worksheet.Cells["F2"];
chart.BottomRightCell = worksheet.Cells["L15"];

// Specify that each data point in the series has a different color.
chart.Views[0].VaryColors = true;
// Specify the series outline.
chart.Series[0].Outline.SetSolidFill(Color.AntiqueWhite);
// Hide the legend.
chart.Legend.Visible = false;

// Specify the side wall color.
chart.View3D.SideWall.Fill.SetSolidFill(Color.FromArgb(0xDC, 0xFA, 0xDD));
// Specify the pattern fill for the back wall.
chart.View3D.BackWall.Fill.SetPatternFill(Color.FromArgb(0x9C, 0xFB, 0x9F), Color.WhiteSmoke, DevExpress.Spreadsheet.Drawings.ShapeFillPatternType.DiagonalBrick);

SurfaceOptions floorOptions = chart.View3D.Floor;
// Specify the floor color.
floorOptions.Fill.SetSolidFill(Color.FromArgb(0xFA, 0xDC, 0xF9));
// Specify the floor border. 
floorOptions.Outline.SetSolidFill(Color.FromArgb(0xB4, 0x95, 0xDE));
floorOptions.Outline.Width = 1.25;
See Also