Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
How NOT to Set Up Y-Axis Common
Scaling
This figure illustrates the
challenge. Here, we show a
similar type of data about two
different firms.
AB
C
D
E
F
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
Mar-04
Jun-04 Sep-04 Dec-04
Firm 1
2
4
3
6
Firm 2
3
1
4
2
Firm 1
8
6
4
We would find it much easier to
visually compare performance if
both charts used the same
scale in their Y axis. But how
can we make that happen?
2
0
Mar-04
Jun-04
Sep-04
Dec-04
Firm 2
6
4
2
0
Mar-04
Jun-04
Sep-04
Dec-04
The obvious solution is to edit
each chart and force each Y axis to have the same values. That is,
we could select the Y axis in each chart, choose Format, Selected
Axis. Then, in the Scale tab, we could enter the maximum and
minimum values we want.
This would work, but it would set up a long-term problem: Scaling
would no longer be automatic. As the data changes over time, the
Y-axis scale would still be frozen at its current setting.
The obvious solution to this problem is to automate the process
with VBA. Someone in your company could write a macro that
would look at all the relevant data on a page, calculate the optimum
Y-axis settings, and then modify each chart as needed.
Although this certainly would be possible to do, the macro would
take a lot of work to write and maintain. Worse, in most businesses,
the person who wrote the macro would change jobs, leaving behind
a complex macro that no one else understands.
There’s got to be a better way.
 
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