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Charts III: Create a professional-looking chart

A chart with the axis starting at zero and value (y) axis intervals of 100; and a chart with the axis starting at zero and value (y) axis intervals of 50

Fig. 1  Chart axis starts at zero with value (y) axis intervals of 100.
Fig. 2  Chart axis starts at 50 with value (y) axis intervals of 50.

When you create a chart, Excel automatically creates a scale of numbers on the value (y) axis. You can adjust how the numbers appear on the axis by clicking the value axis you want to change. Then right-click and select Format Axis, and then click the Scale tab. In the practice session you'll see how you can:

  • Change the number at which the axis starts and ends. For example, the axis can start at a number other than zero. You might do this if many of the numbers in your data are close together, but you still want to be able to illustrate or analyze the differences between them.
  • Change the interval of tick marks and gridlines. If the values increase at intervals of 75, for example, you could change the number to another, such as 100 or 150.
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