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. ...


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