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: Numeric Value and Percentage Value in a Graph Column.

Numeric Value and Percentage Value in a Graph Column

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 31, 2014)

Harrie wants to create a column chart that displays two values for each column in the chart. One value to be displayed would be a percentage (such as 46%) and the other an absolute value (such as 359,000). One value would appear on the column in the chart, and the other just above the column.

There are many ways that this can be accomplished, depending on the nature of your data. This tip will examine a couple of the many ways you can proceed.

A relatively simple approach is to assume that your data is in three columns. The first column is the category (what will appear along the X-axis), the second is the percentage that you want to plot, and the third is the absolute value to be displayed. Follow these steps:

  1. Select all three columns of data and start the Chart Wizard. (Click the Chart Wizard toolbar button.)
  2. In the first step of the wizard, choose a Column chart type, with a Clustered Column sub-type.
  3. Click Finish. You now have a simple chart displaying the percentage on the Y-axis. There are, however, two sets of Y-coordinate data that are plotted.
  4. On the chart, double-click the second series (the "exact amount" values). Excel displays the Patterns tab of the Format Data Series dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Patterns tab of the Format Data Series dialog box.

  6. Click the None option buttons in both the Border and Area portions of the dialog box.
  7. Display the Axis tab.
  8. Click the Second Axis option button.
  9. Display the Data Labels tab.
  10. Select the Value (or Show Values) check box.
  11. Click OK. You now have the absolute values displayed, yet you've hidden the graph column in which they would normally be displayed.
  12. Double-click the second Y-axis (the one on the right). Excel displays the Patterns tab of the Format Axis dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  13. Figure 2. The Patterns tab of the Format Axis dialog box.

  14. Make sure that all the None option buttons on the dialog are chosen.
  15. Click OK. The secondary axis should now be gone from the graph.
  16. Double-click one of the data labels (the absolute values). Excel displays the Format Data Labels dialog box.
  17. On the Alignment tab, change the Label Position drop-down list to Center.
  18. Click OK. The data labels should now be centered within each column.
  19. Double-click the remaining data series (the percentage values). Excel displays the Patterns tab of the Format Data Series dialog box.
  20. Display the Data Labels tab.
  21. Select the Value (or Show Values) check box.
  22. Click OK. The percentage value should now appear above each column.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2411) 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: Numeric Value and Percentage Value in a Graph Column.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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