Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Adjusting the scale of a value axis can dramatically affect the chart’s
appearance. Reducing the range can emphasize differences among values, and increasing
the range can minimize differences.
The actual scale that you use for an axis depends on the situation. No hard-and-
fast rules exist about axis scaling, except that you shouldn’t misrepresent data by
manipulating the chart to prove a point that doesn’t exist.
If you’re preparing several charts that use similarly scaled data, keeping
the scales constant across all charts facilitates comparisons across charts. The
charts in Figure 4-22 show the distribution of responses for two survey questions.
For the top chart, the value axis scale ranges from 0% to 50%. For the bottom
chart, the value axis scale extends from 0% to 35%. Because the same scale was not
used on the value axes, however, comparing the responses across survey items is
Figure 4-22: These charts use different scales on the value axis, making a
comparison between the two difficult.
If the values to be plotted cover a very large range, you may want to use a
logarithmic scale for the axis. A log scale is most often used for scientific applications.
This option is found in the Scale tab of the Format Axis dialog box.
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