Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Modifying axis scaling

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Modifying axis scaling

When you're creating a chart, Excel uses numbers on axes and it scales them automatically. In this particular chart here that shows data from rows 4 and 5 on the worksheet over between columns B and G, you can readily see the highest value here; the sales value for June is 330. On the chart the highest value shown is 350. Now if we alter the numbers and we happen to be using certain larger numbers and it depends upon the value of them, Excel will automatically re-scale the chart based on the data, and sometimes the interval as well.

Modifying axis scaling

When you're creating a chart, Excel uses numbers on axes and it scales them automatically. In this particular chart here that shows data from rows 4 and 5 on the worksheet over between columns B and G, you can readily see the highest value here; the sales value for June is 330. On the chart the highest value shown is 350. Now if we alter the numbers and we happen to be using certain larger numbers and it depends upon the value of them, Excel will automatically re-scale the chart based on the data, and sometimes the interval as well.

The intervals here are 50. That's probably the reasonable interval. It's not too crowded. Makes the chart more readable, and it's accompanied by gridlines as well. I'm going to change the June value here from 330 to 335, not a big change. As I press Enter, watch the chart. The interval is still the same, 50, but now that chart tops off at 400. Now, rather than playing the game to see when this changes, you can bet that if I change this to what, 390, is it still going to keep the 400? Well, I think so, and you might want to experiment with that a little bit.

But I'm getting the point that you sometimes do want to control this yourself. And with 390 it jumps to 450, maintains the 50 interval. Let me take those numbers back again. Sometimes you have a rationale for saying, "On my chart I want more white space above the columns." Now you might be doing that because you want to put a box in here, perhaps a text box that explains something unusual about the data or something that's important to it. And sometimes you just like to look of it. Or maybe at other times you're trying to match up with another chart that shows similar data and its highest point is 450 or 500, something like that.

So, if you simply right-click on one of the axis numbers, you can go right into Format Axis. From the Layout tab, this will take considerably longer. I just want to point out to you that you can't get to this by way of a Layout tab, and I'll show you how cumbersome it is for this particular use of a feature on this tab. The Layout tab > Axes. This is a Vertical Axis, and although some of these choices occasionally might be what you need, let's just say right now we're not interested in that. How about More Primary Vertical Axis Options? And that takes us to this dialog box.

Once again getting here faster would simply be a right-click on these choices here and then Format Axis. So we see a Maximum and a Minimum, and let's just say that I want the maximum here to be 500. Here is the maximum. Override the automatic setting. Go to Fixed and let's just make this be 500. Now I could be making other choices here as well, and this will react. I might jump up here a moment earlier. Click here. Already the chart has reacted. Maybe I'll go back to Auto here. Sometimes you see the choices ahead of time. But if that's all the choice you'd make, you'd choose Close and see the difference.

Now that may or may not be what you wanted to do. You sometimes might want to change the interval. Maybe I'm thinking well, you know having these gridlines and numbers being every 100, that would be fine. So maybe another right-click here. I could have done this first time around of course. Let's just change the Major unit here to be fixed and make it to be 100. And of course sometimes you'll do this because you don't like what the automatic scaling is. This time I don't care a whole lot, but again, you have your reasons, and now we see what's happening here. So you've got control over this.

In the horizontal axis in this particular example, there is no real reason to change that. But similarly, with certain kinds of data, you want to make changes there as well, too, simply by right-clicking, going to Format Axis, and you have similar choices there with those kinds of axes, a different set of choices, and you can control a lot of variations there as well. So there certainly are times, and for a variety of reasons you might need to adjust the axis scaling in a chart; Excel provides you with numerous options.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007: Charts in Depth
Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9595 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 22m 7s
    1. Identifying chart elements like plot area, chart area, gridlines, and legends
      5m 3s
    2. Selecting the right chart type
      8m 2s
    3. Understanding chart terminology
      6m 31s
    4. Understanding the Ribbon and the Design, Layout, and Format tabs
      2m 31s
  3. 16m 24s
    1. Selecting data to display as a chart
      6m 17s
    2. Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
      4m 33s
    3. Creating charts with standard menu commands
      2m 24s
    4. Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments
      3m 10s
  4. 28m 8s
    1. Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
      3m 9s
    2. Setting a default chart type and creating a template
      3m 47s
    3. Dealing with empty and hidden cells
      4m 18s
    4. Choosing a chart layout
      4m 33s
    5. Choosing a chart style from 48 colorful variations
      3m 34s
    6. Changing the location of a chart
      3m 33s
    7. Moving and resizing a chart
      5m 14s
  5. 11m 25s
    1. Using pictures as chart elements
      3m 55s
    2. Adding shapes and arrows
      3m 37s
    3. Adding floating text and text boxes
      3m 53s
  6. 33m 45s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing chart titles
      3m 15s
    2. Adding horizontal and vertical titles
      3m 56s
    3. Linking titles to content
      2m 32s
    4. Showing numbers of different scales
      4m 38s
    5. Specifying the position of tick marks and axis labels
      2m 41s
    6. Changing the numeric format on labels
      5m 34s
    7. Adding, editing, and removing legends
      3m 19s
    8. Adding and editing data labels
      4m 40s
    9. Showing the source of a chart's data
      3m 10s
  7. 8m 13s
    1. Modifying axis scaling
      3m 50s
    2. Working with gridlines
      4m 23s
  8. 12m 53s
    1. Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
      4m 2s
    2. Adding drop lines
      3m 14s
    3. Adding high-low lines and up-down bars
      1m 39s
    4. Adding error bars
      3m 58s
  9. 9m 13s
    1. Selecting shape fill and outline
      3m 3s
    2. Adding shape effects
      3m 19s
    3. Applying WordArt styles
      2m 51s
  10. 16m 33s
    1. Formatting lines and borders
      4m 24s
    2. Filling an area with a color gradient
      2m 7s
    3. Specifying line style, color, and weight
      2m 46s
    4. Working with chart text
      3m 40s
    5. Changing the rotation of chart text
      3m 36s
  11. 38m 39s
    1. Using column and bar charts
      7m 24s
    2. Using line charts
      5m 46s
    3. Using pie charts
      8m 37s
    4. Using area, stock, and XY charts
      9m 3s
    5. Using doughnut, bubble, and radar charts
      7m 49s
  12. 10m 55s
    1. Pasting new data into a chart
      2m 58s
    2. Creating charts from multiple data sources
      3m 39s
    3. Adding new data using a table
      4m 18s
  13. 6m 19s
    1. Printing charts
      6m 19s
  14. 19s
    1. Next steps
      19s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Excel 2007: Charts in Depth.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.