How to Change Chart Type of a Series in Combination Chart

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Article ID: 192641 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q192641
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SUMMARY

If you create a combination chart of the Column-Area, Line-Column, or Line-Column on 2-Axes chart types, you may want to change the number of series plotted on each chart type. The Chart Wizard automatically takes half of the series (or one more than half, if there is an odd number of series) and makes it one chart type on the primary axis. It then puts the rest of the series as the other chart type on the secondary axis. If you want to change a particular series to the other chart type, or if you want to change the number of series in a particular chart type, you must edit the chart after you create it.

MORE INFORMATION

Because columns should appear side by side and areas typically appear stacked, all series that belong together must be on the same axis to appear as expected.

For example, Microsoft Excel places a column series plotted on the secondary axis in front of a column series plotted against the primary axis. In many cases, the overlay series obscures or overlaps the primary series.

Therefore, if you want to change a series from one chart type to the other in a combination chart, you must change both the chart type and the axis used.

Moving a Series

The following procedure describes the general steps you would use to move a series from a column to an area, an area to a column, or a line to a column in a combination chart.

NOTE: You must complete both step 2 and 3 to get the columns to display properly as a group and the areas to stack as a group, but you can complete these steps in either order.

  1. Select the chart series to move.
  2. On the Format menu, click Selected Data Series and change the axis to that of the group to which you are moving the series. Then, click OK.
  3. With the series still selected, click Chart Type on the Chart menu in Excel 97 (or the Format menu in Excel 5 or 7), and click the standard chart type (or 2-D in Excel 5 or 7) that you want the series to become. Then, click OK.
NOTE: You cannot combine 2-D and 3-D chart types. If you select a 3-D type, the entire chart will be converted rather than the individually selected series.

NOTE: Not all chart types should be combined. In Excel 97, if you select a chart type that does not logically compare data in combination with existing chart types, you may receive the following error message:
Some chart types cannot be combined with other chart types. Select a different chart type.
However, it is possible at times to manually create illogical combinations of chart types (such as bars and columns, or pie and columns) without getting such a warning message.

The following example illustrates the steps you would use to change a series from a column series to an area series in a column-area chart.

Microsoft Excel 97

  1. Create a new workbook and type the following example data:
          A1:  1    B1:  6    C1:  11    D1:  16
          A2:  2    B2:  7    C2:  12    D2:  17
          A3:  3    B3:  8    C3:  13    D3:  18
          A4:  4    B4:  9    C4:  14    D4:  19
          A5:  5    B5: 10    C5:  15    D5:  20
  2. Select the range A1:D5. On the Insert menu, click Chart. Select the Custom Types tab, click Column-Area, and then click Finish.

    NOTE: The columns are made from the data in the last two series and lie in front of the stacked area chart, which is made by stacking the first two series. By default, areas of a Column-Area chart display on the primary axis and columns on the secondary axis.
  3. In the chart, select the leftmost column (series 3).
  4. On the Format menu, click Selected Data Series. Click the Axis tab and change the axis of the series from the Secondary axis to the Primary by clicking Primary Axis and then OK. This shows the selected column series on the same axis as the area chart series and in front of the other column series, rather than beside it.
  5. With the series still selected, click Chart Type on the Chart menu, and click Area as the chart type. Then, click OK. This moves the previous column series to become part the stacked area series.

Microsoft Excel 5.0 and 7.0

  1. Create a new workbook and type the following example data:
          A1:  1    B1:  6    C1:  11    D1:  16
          A2:  2    B2:  7    C2:  12    D2:  17
          A3:  3    B3:  8    C3:  13    D3:  18
          A4:  4    B4:  9    C4:  14    D4:  19
          A5:  5    B5: 10    C5:  15    D5:  20
  2. Select the range A1:D5. On the Insert menu, click Chart, and then select As New Sheet.
  3. In Step 2 of 5, click Combination, and then click Next.
  4. In Step 3 of 5, click the number 4 for the column-area chart, and then click Finish.
  5. In the chart, select the column on the left to select column series 3.
  6. On the Format menu, click Selected Data Series. Click the Axis tab and change the axis of the series from the Secondary axis to the Primary by clicking Primary Axis and then OK. This shows the selected column series on the same axis as the area chart series and in front of the other column series, rather than beside it.
  7. With the series still selected, click Chart Type on the Chart menu, and click Area as the chart type. Then, click OK. This moves the previous column series to become part the stacked area series.

REFERENCES

For more information about changing the axis of a data series, click Contents And Index on the Help menu, click the Index tab in Excel 97 Help, type the following text
charts, data series
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "plot a data series along a secondary axis in a 2-D chart" topic. If you are unable to find the information you need, ask the Office Assistant.

For more information about changing the chart type of a data series, click Contents And Index on the Help menu, click the Index tab in Excel 97 Help, type the following text
chart types, changing
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Select a different chart type" topic. If you are unable to find the information you need, ask the Office Assistant.

Properties

Article ID: 192641 - Last Review: August 18, 2005 - Revision: 1.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 Standard Edition
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB192641
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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