Dr. Mark Gardener


Providing training for:

  • Ecology
  • Data analysis
  • Statistics
  • R The statistical programming language
  • Data management
  • Data mining

Tips and Tricks - for R and Excel

On this page you can find tips, tricks and hints for using both R and Excel. At the end of each tip there are links forwards and backwards as appropriate. There is also an index of R tips and an index of Excel tips.

For most analytical purposes the combination of Excel and R is unbeatable! Excel is great as a data management tool and for preparing data for analysis. You can also use it to get an overview of your data or to make simple (and not so simple) graphs. R is an analytical "swiss army knife" and can carry out a mind-boggling array of analytical routines as well as producing great graphics.

Tips & Tricks for R | Tips & Tricks for Excel | An Introduction to R | MonogRaphs | Writer's Bloc

Starting to build Excel graphs


Starting Graphs

The usual way of creating a chart in Excel is to highlight your data then click the appropriate chart button from the Insert menu. However, the resulting graph often appears in a layout that is not what you wanted and you have to spend time editing the graph. A cleaner approach is to create an empty graph and add the data to it and build the graph you want from scratch. This is more like the "old" way of doing things when you had the "chart wizard".

  1. Click once in your spreadsheet to "set" the current cell. Make sure you click away from any data as Excel will "search" around the current cell and automatically select anything it finds (see Tip from Dec. 14th 2012).
  2. Click on the Insert tab to bring up the graph options.
  3. Click the button appropriate to the chart you want.
  4. A blank chart now appears; use the Select Data button to begin the process of building your chart.

Excel Select Data

If you don't see the button then make sure you click once on the blank chart then select the Home > Chart Tools > Design menu. You are now able to select the data you want and can ensure that the x and y axes are the right way around for example. More on building charts in the future.

Top << Previous Tip: Selecting cells >> Next Tip: Adding data series to an Excel chart
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More links:

An introduction to R

See my Publications about Excel, R, statistics and data analysis Courses in R, data analysis, data management and statistics Visit the R Project website

See my Publications about statistics and data analysis.

MonogRaphs: random topics in R

Writer's Bloc – my latest writing project includes R scripts

Courses in data analysis, data management and statistics.

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