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Changing the Axis Scale

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Changing the Axis Scale.

Excel includes an impressive graphing capability that can turn the dullest data into outstanding charts, complete with all sorts of whiz-bang do-dads to amaze your friends and confound your enemies. While Excel can automatically handle many of the mundane tasks associated with turning raw data into a chart, you may still want to change some elements of your chart.

For instance, you may want to change the scale Excel uses along an axis of your chart. (The scale automatically chosen by Excel may not represent the entire universe of possibilities you want conveyed in your chart.) You can change the scale used by Excel by following these steps:

  1. Right-click on the axis whose scale you want to change. Excel displays a Context menu for the axis.
  2. Choose Format Axis from the Context menu. (If there is no Format Axis choice, then you did not right-click on an axis in step 1.) Excel displays the Format Axis dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Scale tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Scale tab of the Format Axis dialog box.

  5. Adjust the scale settings, as desired.
  6. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3031) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Changing the Axis Scale.

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