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 Chart Gridlines.

Controlling Chart Gridlines

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 12, 2015)

When you create a chart from your Excel data, the Chart Wizard takes care of many of the actual details related to how a specific chart appears. One of the elements that can be included on many of the charts is gridlines. Gridlines are helpful for easily determining the height or width of graphic elements used in your chart.

Excel allows you to specifically control which gridlines are displayed, or if they are displayed at all. You can do so by following these steps:

  1. Select the chart by clicking on it. You should see selection handles appear around the outside of the chart.
  2. Choose Chart Options from the Chart menu. Excel displays the Chart Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Gridlines tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.) The settings on this tab control which gridlines are displayed in your chart. The actual settings available depend on the type of chart format you are using.
  4. Figure 1. The Gridlines tab of the Chart Options dialog box.

  5. Change the settings, as desired.
  6. Click on OK. The chart is updated to reflect your choice.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3181) 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 Chart Gridlines.

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

Word Won't Take 'No' for an Answer

If you choose to exit Word and it asks you if you want to save changes to your Normal.dot template, it can be very confusing ...

Discover More

Converting Time Notation to Decimal Notation

Want to convert an elapsed time, such as 8:37, to a decimal time, such as 8.62? If you know how Excel stores times ...

Discover More

Fixing Odd Sorting Behavior

When you sort data that contains both numbers and text, you may not get exactly the result that you expected. To know what is ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Identifying Scatter Plot Points

Do you want to add data labels to the data points in an xy graph? Excel doesn't provide a way to get the desired labels, but ...

Discover More

Moving a Chart's Legend

Need to move a chart legend to a different place on the chart? It's easy to do using the mouse, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Changing Chart Type

Excel allows you to add two distinct types of charts to your workbooks: embedded or chart sheets. You can switch between 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 for this tip:

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. 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 3 - 0?

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.

Links and Sharing