Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Chart Axes
Major tick marks are the axis tick marks that normally have labels next to them. Minor
tick marks are between the major tick marks.
When you combine these settings with the Axis Crosses At option, you have a great deal of
flexibility, as shown in Figure 7-24. These charts all display the same data, but the axes are formatted
Figure 7-24: Various ways to display axis labels and crossing points.
Using time-scale axes
When you create a chart, Excel attempts to determine whether your category axis contains date or
time values. If so, it creates a time-series chart. Figure 7-25 shows a simple example. Column A
contains dates, and column B contains the values plotted on the column chart. The data consists
of values for only ten dates, yet Excel created the chart with 31 intervals on the category axis. It
recognized that the category axis values were dates, and created an equal-interval scale.
If you would like to override Excel’s decision to use a time-based category axis, you need to access
the Axis Options tab of the Format Axis dialog box. There, you’ll discover that the default category
axis option is Automatically Select Based on Data. Change this option to Text Axis, and the chart will
resemble Figure 7-26. On this chart, the dates are treated as arbitrary text labels.