Fix this chart [excel homework #1]
We have received a chart for chart busters that required some fixing. I thought, this will be a fun exercise for you. So here it goes,
…column chart that shows daily, weekly or monthly data depending on the user’s choice. In daily the columns are displayed properly, but in weekly & monthly mode the columns are a fraction of the width they should be – why, and how can this be avoided? Bonus points if you can describe how to use an INDIRECT formula on the x-axis labels which is another problem I ran into whilst creating this mockup!
You can download the workbook from here.
Here is how it is looking:
Thanks Gordon for asking this question.
There were several people who answered this correctly. I am featuring two answers for this problem.
By Jeff Weir:
One way to fix this is to select the ‘axis options/axis type/text axis’ option in the axis dialogue box (it’s current setting is “Automatically select based on data”.
Then it would be good if you set the ‘interval between tick marks as one, as well as the ‘interval between labels’ as 1 also.
Unfortunately then you run into the problem that your dates are now too wide for the space allowed for them on the graph. Easiest way to do that is to firstly make the graph a little wider, and secondly have an intermediate formula that formats your dates so they have a character return between the month and year, like this:
instead of this:
1 Jan 2009
You can accomplish that with a formula along the lines of this:
=DAY(B6)&CHOOSE(MONTH(B6),” Jan”, ” Feb”, ” Mar”, ” Apr”, ” May”, ” Jun”, ” Jul”, ” Aug”, ” Sep”,” Oct”,” Nov”,” Dec”)&CHAR(10)&YEAR(B6)
Also, the y axis could do with a custom number format. No point of displaying all those zeros if say $250k or 250k (assuming not a currency) will do.
You can see it here
By Gerald Higgins
Well, here goes with the simple solution (in 2003).
Right click the chart, and select Chart Options.
On the AXES tab, there are 3 options under “Category (X) axis”.
I think the option for Time scale was originally selected.
The option for “Automatic” also does not work.
But the option for “Category” does work.
All the commenters with an answer will receive their discount codes by this weekend. Enjoy.
Lear more about making better charts using these chart busters examples:
- Asset Allocation Charts – Done the right way
- Calorie chart – How much you should exercise for what you eat – fixed properly
Learn how to make dynamic charts:
- Excel dynamic charts using data filters
- Dynamic charts using INDEX() formula and Camera tool
- Using scroll bar form control to make dynamic charts
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
Thank you and see you around.
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