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: Reordering the Display of a Data Series.

Reordering the Display of a Data Series

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2020)

When you create a chart in Excel, you may have a need to change the order in which the data series are displayed in the chart. One way to do this, of course, is to change the order of the data in the underlying worksheet range. For instance, you can sort the data in the worksheet range, and the change in order should be reflected in the chart based on that data.

Another way is to manually customize the chart to rearrange the data series. Follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on one of the data series that you want to move. Excel displays a Context menu.
  2. Select the Format Data Series option from the Context menu. Excel displays the Format Data Series dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Series Order tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Series Order tab of the Format Data Series dialog box.

  5. Click on Move Up or Move Down to move the data series to a new relative location.
  6. If desired, select another data series in the Series Order list and repeat step 4.
  7. When finished, click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2699) 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: Reordering the Display of a Data Series.

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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