Bubble and Area chart

Excel 2016 2013 2010 2007
In this tip, we will show how to combine two different chart types into one chart. For example, to merge a Bubble chart with an Area chart:
Bubble and area charts in Excel 365

Unfortunately, you can't choose the Bubble chart as an alternative chart type for line, area, etc. charts in the Change Chart Type dialog box (see Using two axes in the one chart), but there is another way. You can place the chart on top of another.

To create the first chart, follow these steps:

   1.   Select the data range.

   2.   On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, choose the Insert Line or Area Chart button:

Line charts in Excel 365

Choose the Area 3D Pie in Excel 365 chart and then modify this chart:

An area chart in Excel 365

   3.   To add vertical lines, on the Chart Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, click the Add Chart Element dropdown list:

Add Chart Element button in Excel 365

In the Add Chart Element dropdown list, select the Lines list and then Drop Lines:

Add Drop Lines button in Excel 365

You can customize drop lines: right-click in any one of these lines and choose Format Drop Lines... in the popup menu. On the Format Drop Lines pane, on the Fill & Line tab, in the Line section, select the Solid line radio button and choose the color and width in the appropriate fields:

Format Drop Lines in Excel 365

To create the second chart, follow these steps:

   1.   Select the data range.

   2.   On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, choose the Insert Scatter (X, Y) or Bubble Chart button:

The Insert Scatter (X, Y) or Bubble Chart button in Excel 365

Choose Bubble or 3-D Bubble:

Bubble and 3D Bubble Charts in Excel 365

If it is necessary, add another data series:

Bubble chart in Excel 365

   3.   Remove axes, legend, and title.

   4.   Right-click in the chart area and select Format Chart Area... in the popup menu:

Format Chart Area in popup Excel 365

   5.   On the Format Chart Area pane:

  • In the Fill section, select the No fill checkbox.
  • In the Border section, select the No line checkbox.
Format Chart Area in Excel 365

   6.   Right-click in the chart area and select Format Plot Area... in the popup menu.

   7.   On the Format Plot Area pane:

  • In the Fill section, select the No fill checkbox.
  • In the Border section, select the No line checkbox.

The last and the most challenging step: place the second chart over the first chart.

See also this tip in French: Comment créer le graphique à bulles et à aires.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.

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