Let’s take a look. By default, Excel charts will automatically move and resize when cells underneath them change. We can see this behavior in action if we increase or decrease the width of any columns underneath the chart. The same is true of rows. If we increase or decrease row heights, the chart automatically expands and contracts. You can control this behavior by adjusting the chart’s position property. Click the Format Selection button on the Chart Tools Layout tab. This will open the Format Chart Area dialog box. In the dialog, click Properties. At the top are options for Object positioning. Note that by default, the chart will both move and resize with cells. Let’s try the second option, “Move but don’t size with cells.” Now, if we delete a column, the chart shifts on the worksheet. However, changing the width of columns, or the height of rows underneath the chart has no effect on its size. Finally, let’s turn off move and resize options altogether. We can get to the Format Chart Area dialog from the Format Selection button as before, or we can right-click the Chart Area and select Format Chart Area. This time, let’s set object positioning to “Don’t move or size with cells.” Now, changes to rows or columns do not affect the chart.  To move a chart manually, hover your mouse over the chart area until you see a 4-headed arrow. Then, just click and drag to a new location. To resize a chart, just use any one of the eight handles visible when the chart is selected. When using the corner handles, you can lock the aspect ratio of the chart by holding down the Shift key as you drag. You can also enter height and width measurements directly in the Size group of the Format tab. For example, we can enter a height of 4" and a width of 6". Entering dimensions in this way is useful when you’re working with several charts and need them to be exactly the same size.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.