Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Value axis scales
The XY chart, which uses two value axes, plots the years as numeric values. The
line chart, on the other hand, uses a (non-numeric) category axis and it assumes
that the categories (the years) are equally spaced. This, of course, is not a valid
assumption, and the line chart presents a very inaccurate picture of the population
growth: It appears to be linear, but it’s definitely not!
For more information about time-based axes, refer to “Using Time-Scale
Axes,” later in this chapter.
Value axis scales
The numerical range of a value axis represents the axis’s scale. By default, Excel
automatically scales each value axis. It determines the minimum and maximum
scale values for the axis, based on the data. Excel also automatically calculates a
major unit and a minor unit for each axis scale. These settings determine how many
intervals (or tick marks) are displayed on the axis, and determine how many
gridlines are displayed. In addition, the value at which the axis crosses the category
axis is also calculated automatically.
You can, of course, override this automatic behavior and specify your own
minimum, maximum, major unit, minor unit, and cross-over for any value axis.
You set these specifications in the Scale tab of the Format Axis dialog box (see
Figure 4-21).
Figure 4-21: The Scale tab of the Format Axis
dialog box
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