When you work in Microsoft Excel, you might often find yourself building graphs. These are easy to make in Excel, but you still have design control over them. For example, it’s useful to make the graph background transparent. This way, you can place it above existing data without the graph’s background hiding the content underneath. Let’s learn how to make a graph background transparent in Microsoft Excel.
How to Make a Graph Background Transparent in Microsoft Excel
When you build a graph in Microsoft Excel, the background isn’t transparent. This is easy to miss since graph backgrounds are white by default. But it becomes obvious if you move the graph over existing data. It will disappear underneath the graph. Fortunately, it’s easy to make a graph background transparent in Excel.
We’ll use a simple bar graph for this example. Notice that, by default the graph background isn’t transparent. To change this, begin by clicking into the graph. Be sure you’re not clicking on the data itself. If you do, you’ll select the data, not the entire graph. A good place to click is right by the graph’s title. You want to select the entire object, not simply the data.
With your graph selected, go up to the Format tab on Excel’s ribbon. Click on it, and you’ll see a Shape Fill dropdown menu on the left side. Click on the Shape Fill arrow.
You’ll see a color chooser appear. You actually want to remove a white fill here, so the option you’re looking for is called No Fill. Click on No Fill.
Excel will remove the background fill from your graph, rendering the background transparent. Now, the areas of your spreadsheet beneath (behind) the graph background will be visible. The graph’s data bars, of course, will not be transparent.
As you can see, it’s easy to make a graph background transparent in Excel.