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: Plotting Times of Day.

Plotting Times of Day

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 23, 2015)

Richard has some source data that shows the date and time displayed in the format dd/mm/yy hh:mm, but when he creates a chart from that data, the only thing that is plotted is the date. He is wondering if there is a way of plotting the times on the chart, as well as the date.

There are several ways you can approach this issue, depending on the type of chart you want to create. If you create an X-Y scatter chart, the date and time should plot automatically. This is not the case if you choose to create a bar, column line, or any other type of chart. In those cases, the X axis is created from equally spaced values, so you won't get exactly what you want.

If you don't want to use a scatter chart, then you could simply modify the data in your source. Add a column that represents the hour of the day, derived through the HOUR function. For instance, if you have your date and time in column B, add a column C and fill it with formulas such as =HOUR(B3). The result is a bunch of numbers representing the hour of the day, 0 through 23. This can chart very easily in any manner desired.

If that doesn't fit your needs, then go ahead and create the chart as you normally would. Then, right-click the X axis and choose Format Axis from the Context menu. You should see the Format Axis dialog box. Make sure the Number tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Numbers tab of the Format Axis dialog box.

Choose one of the formats for the axis under either the Date or Time categories. You may have to play a bit with your selection, experimenting to find out what works best. Quite honestly, what works best in one situation won't necessarily work best in another because of the nature of the data being charted.

You can find more information about formatting time values on an axis at this Web site:

http://www.mrexcel.com/articles/excel-time-series-chart.php

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3268) 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: Plotting Times of Day.

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

Smart Quotes with Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a very popular transcription tool that converts speech into text. When using the program with ...

Discover More

Counting the Times a Worksheet is Used

Do you need to know how many times a worksheet has been used? Excel doesn't track that information, but you can develop some ...

Discover More

Adjusting a Path Based on System and User

It is not uncommon to set variables in a macro based on other values, such as time or date. You could also set variables ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Formatting Axis Patterns

Create a chart in Excel can you can then modify it almost any way you desire. One modification is to adjust the color or ...

Discover More

Changing Axis Tick Marks

Create a chart in Excel, and you may find that the tick marks shown on the axes in the chart aren't to your liking. It is ...

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 2 + 7?

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