Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
When you reduce the size of a chart, you’ll need to pay particular
attention to the X axis. In the previous figure, for example, the dates
are unacceptable for several reasons.
Label the current month
One problem with the dates is that the right-most value—the value
for the current month—isn’t labeled. This chart ends with January’s
data, and that data point needs to be labeled.
Labeling the current month isn’t easy to do, however, if your chart
displays twelve months of data. Whether you label every other
month, or every three months, the right-most month is left without a
The solution, surprisingly, is to
add one more month of data to
your chart. When you include 13
months of data, Excel displays
both the first and last month, as
this figure illustrates.
From the reader’s point of view,
this tends to be a popular change. When a chart shows 13 months
of data, readers are able to compare the current month’s
performance to the performance one year ago—a comparison that
interests most readers.
Set the Y-axis crossing
Notice in the chart above that
the trend line floats within the
This effect causes the plot area
to be wider than it should. It also
makes it more difficult for