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Key Terms

Absolute cell reference

A cell reference that refers to cells by their fixed position in a worksheet


A line that serves as a frame of reference for measurement and which borders the chart plot area


A shape effect that uses shading and shadows to make the edges of a shape appear to be curved or angled

Category axis

The area along the bottom of a chart that identifies the categories of data

Chart area

The entire chart and all of its elements

Chart Elements box

The box in the Chart Tools tabs from which you can select a chart element so that you can format it

Chart sheet

A workbook sheet that contains only a chart

Data marker

A column, bar, area, dot, pie slice, or other symbol in a chart that represents a single data point

Data point

A value that originates in a worksheet cell and that is represented in a chart by a data marker

Data series

Related data points represented by data markers


The action of pulling out one or more pie slices from a pie chart for emphasis

Format as you type

The Excel feature by which a cell takes on the formatting of the number typed into the cell

Formula AutoComplete

An Excel feature which displays a list of function names that match the typed letters


A sum of money set aside for a specific purpose

General fund

The term used to describe money set aside for the normal operating activities of a government entity such as a city

Goal Seek

A what-if analysis tool that finds the input needed in one cell to arrive at the desired result in another cell


A chart element that identifies the patterns or colors that are assigned to the categories in the chart

Line chart

A chart type that is useful to display trends over time

Major unit

The value in a chart's value axis that determines the spacing between tick marks and between gridlines in the plot area

Order of operations

The mathematical rules for performing multiple calculations within a formula

Pie chart

A chart that shows the relationship of each part to a whole

Plot area

The area bounded by the axes of a chart, including all the data series

Relative cell reference

the address of a cell based on the relative position of the cell that contains the formula and the cell referred to

Text box

A movable resizable container for text or graphics

Tick marks

The short lines that display on an axis at regular intervals

Value axis

A numerical scale on the left side of a chart that shows the range of numbers for the data points

What-if analysis

The process of changing the values in cells to see how those changes affect the outcome of formulas in a worksheet


A gallery of text styles with which you can create decorative effects, such as shadowed or mirrored text

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