Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Data That Uses a Date or Time Scale
Practical Charting
On the other hand, if you enter the labels as text (as was done when creating the
bottom chart), you’ll see an incorrect result: The data from August 2010 and June
2011 are placed close together—even though they record months that are almost a
year apart.
Optionally, you have the ability to tell Excel to disregard any values you’ve used in
your column or row labels, thereby spacing the dates out evenly, as though they’re
ordinary text labels. That’s how the incorrect chart in Figure 19-11 was created.
(Why you’d want to do it is another question, but someone, somewhere, is
probably in desperate need of this feature.) To change how Excel scales the category axis,
select the chart, and then choose Chart Tools | Layout Axes Axes Primary
Horizontal Axis More Primary Horizontal Axis Options to show the Format Axis dialog
box. Next, change the Axis Type setting, as shown in Figure 19-12.
Figure 19-12:
Under the Axis Type heading, pick one
of the following: “Text axis” (treat the
category values as labels), “Date axis”
(treat the category values as date vales),
or “Automatically select based on the
data” (let Excel decide based on what it
thinks is best).
Category axis scaling works with more than just dates. You can scale any category
axis values, as long as they’re numeric, which is particularly useful if you’re trying to
determine the relationship between two different values.
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