Improve axes format in Excel

Very few Excel users pay an attention to the chart axes, but there are some tricks with axes that will help you to improve your visualizations with little or no efforts.

    1.    Hide some points

Sometimes you need to omit some points of the chart axis, e.g., the zero point:

Hide zero point in the Excel 2016 chart

See How to hide points on the chart axis for more details.

    2.    Format value ranges differently

Another powerful trick to attain the attention of the audience and improve the effect of your presentation is to use axis label formatting customized for the specific value ranges:

Three different formats Excel 2016 Condition format Excel 2016

See Conditional formatting of chart axes for more details.

    3.    Format data ranges differently along the horizontal axis

Most reports and presentations contain a lot of boring charts that describe the state before and after some event, action, etc. However, using simple visual tricks you can shake up the audience and draw an attention to the essence of your presentation:

Chart with a Decorative Element in Excel 2016
Chart with a Decorative Element in Excel 2007

See How to add Dividers to the chart for more details.

    4.    Format data ranges differently along horizontal and vertical axes

Periodical processes like volume of support service calls often have critical zones that indicate a serious problem that need to be investigated and mitigated. The following tips shows how to reveal and emphasize those critical zones for analysis:

The Competition Chart Excel 2016

See Creating a chart with critical zones for more details.

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