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.
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