Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Working with Chart Axes**

All aspects of axis formatting are covered in the sections that follow.

Value axis versus category axis

Before getting into the details of formatting, it’s important to understand the difference between a

category axis and a value axis. A category axis displays arbitrary text, whereas a value axis displays

numerical intervals. Figure 7-15 shows a simple column chart with two series. The horizontal

category axis displays labels that represent the categories. The vertical value axis, on the other hand, is a

value axis which has a numerical scale.

Figure 7-15:
The category axis displays arbitrary labels, whereas the value axis displays a numerical scale.

In this example, the category labels happen to be text. Alternatively, the categories
could
be

numbers. Figure 7-16 shows the same chart after replacing the category labels with numbers. Even

though the chart becomes meaningless, it should be clear that the category axis does not display a

true numeric scale. The numbers displayed are completely arbitrary, and the chart itself was not

affected by changing these labels.

Figure 7-16:
The category labels have been replaced with numbers — but the numbers do not function as

numbers.