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: Creating a Log/Log Chart.

Creating a Log/Log Chart

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 22, 2017)

Excel is great at automatically creating a wide variety of charts, lickety split. For some types of data, you may want to create a chart that is not readily apparently. Such is the case with a log/log chart.

The answer to this conundrum is to change which type of chart you use for your data. It seems that Excel will not allow the X axis to use a logarithmic scale for many types of charts. To specify a chart where you can use logarithmic scales on both axes, follow these steps:

  1. Select the chart area (the actual chart or the spreadsheet area you want to chart).
  2. Click the Chart Wizard button on the toolbar. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Chart Wizard.

  4. Select the XY (scatter) type of chart.
  5. Select the sub-chart type you want to use.
  6. Click on the Finish button.

If, for some strange reason, values along the X axis are still not represented in logarithmic scale, you can click on the X axis, choose to format it, and then specify a logarithmic scale.

You should note that this solution will work for many types of charts, but won't work for charts where you need to plot zero or negative values. (Those values don't have a LOG value.)

So why do you need to use a scatter chart for log/log data? Because it is the only type of chart that allows numeric values along the X axis. Other chart types use the X axis for categories of information, not numeric values.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3025) 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: Creating a Log/Log Chart.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding and Using a Combo Box

Combo boxes can be a great way of getting user input in a worksheet. Here's how to add a combo box to your worksheet and ...

Discover More

Storing Building Block Entries with a Document

Building Blocks can provide quite a bit of flexibility and power in a document. If you want to share Building Blocks with ...

Discover More

Insert a TOC without Upsetting Pagination

Insert a table of contents in your document, and your page numbering may get thrown for a loop. If you want the page ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Controlling Display of the Scroll Bars

The scroll bars can be very handy in navigating your worksheet, but did you know you can turn them off or on at will? ...

Discover More

Symmetric Resizing of Graphics

Graphics can be easily resized once they are placed in a worksheet. Here's how you can make sure that the relationship ...

Discover More

Using Chart Titles

Titles can be a great addition to any chart. They help provide explanatory information about the information in the ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is eight minus 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.