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Formatting Axis Patterns

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: Formatting Axis Patterns.

Most people who create charts with Excel don't know that you can change just about everything that controls how the chart appears. One of the things you can easily change is the pattern used to denote a chart's axis. By default Excel normally uses a solid line for an axis. If you want to change the pattern used by Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the axis whose pattern 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 Patterns tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Patterns tab of the Format Axis dialog box.

  5. Use the Style drop-down list to select the pattern that Excel should use for the axis.
  6. Use the Color drop-down list to select a color for the axis.
  7. Use the Weight drop-down list to specify how dark the pattern should appear.
  8. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3196) 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: Formatting Axis Patterns.

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