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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: Controlling the Plotting of Empty Cells.
When you create a chart from a data table, Excel does its best to translate the numeric values into data points on a chart, according to the specifications you provide. One area where Excel doesn't quite know what to do, however, is empty cells. If a cell is empty, it could be for any number of reasons—the value isn't available, the value isn't important, or the value is really zero.
You can instruct the program how you want it to treat empty cells by following these steps:
Figure 1. The Chart tab of the Options dialog box.
If the option buttons are not available at the top of the screen, it means that you don't have a chart visible on the screen. The option buttons provide three different settings:
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3054) 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: Controlling the Plotting of Empty Cells.
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