Excel Line Column Chart 2 Axes
If you use two different chart types in a single chart, it's called a combination chart, like the line-column chart shown below. This example is on 2 axes, and the steps are shown below
Author: Debra Dalgleish
What Is a Combination Chart?
In Microsoft Excel, you can select data on a worksheet, and insert a chart based on that data. You select a specific chart type, such as a column chart, and all of the series are created with that chart type.
For some charts, you might prefer to see one or more of the series in a different chart type, such as a line chart. If you use two different chart types in a single chart, it's called a combination chart (or combo chart), like the line-column chart shown below.
Video: Make a Combination Chart
To see the steps for creating a line-column chart, please watch this short video. There are step-by-step written instructions below this video.
Set Up the Source Data
First, set up your data for the chart, on an Excel worksheet.
In the example shown below, the product name, number of cases sold, and sales amount are in adjacent columns
At the bottom of the list, in cells B9:D9, the total amounts are calculated, using the SUM function.
There is a worksheet heading in cell B2 - Product Sales.
Create a Column Chart
First, we'll create a column chart from all of the data, and later we'll change one series in the Excel graph to a line chart.
To create a column chart:
Column Chart on Worksheet
This creates a chart that is embedded on the active worksheet, with two series - Cases and Amounts.
Because the Cases numbers are much smaller than the Amounts, it's hard to see the Cases series in the chart.
Change Series Chart Type
To make the Cases series stand out, we'll change it to a line series, and later we'll plot that line graph on a separate axis.
In this example, the Cases series is difficult to see, so you can use the Ribbon commands to select it.
To select a specific series:
To change a series chart type:
The Cases series changes to a Line chart type, but it is still hard to see, because the numbers are so small.
In the next section, we'll change its axis.
Create a Secondary Axis
In the steps below, we'll plot the Cases on a secondary axis, so the line is easier to see.
Now the Cases series is easier to see, because it is a solid line, plotted on the secondary axis, which goes from 0 to 250, instead of the Primary vertical axis, which goes from 0 to 18,000..
Format the Axes
Thanks to Michael Gizzi for this tip
After you add a secondary axis, you can use axis titles or colours to identify which axis is used by each series. In this example, there are only two series, so the series colour can be used for its axis.
The Amount is on the primary axis, at the left, so you can colour its labels red:
The Cases are on the secondary axis, at the right, so follow the same steps, to colour its labels blue.
In the completed chart, shown below, you can see the coloured labels on each axis. This makes it easier to spot which axis a series is plotted on.
Video Transcript: Create Line Column Chart
Here is the transcript for the video shown above.
Create a Line Column Chart
In Excel 2003, and earlier versions, when you inserted a chart, the chart wizard
You could see standard chart types, and there were also custom types, and some of these were combinations, like a Column - Area or Line - Column or Line - Column on 2 Axes
In newer versions of Excel, these combinations aren't available when you create a chart, but
Create a Column Chart
Here is the same data, in Excel 2010, and I'll insert a chart.
On the Ribbon, go to Insert, and I'll start with a Column chart and I'll use a 2-D column.
And here we can see cases and amount.
The cases are a much lower number than the amount, so we can barely see them here.
Change Chart Series to Line
But with the chart selected, I can go to the Layout tab, and select cases.
Now all those columns are selected, even though we can barely see them.
I will right click on one of those, and click Change Series Chart Type.
And now, I can, instead of having that as column, I'll change that to a line
You can select any one of these lines.
I'll select the first one, without markers.
And now we can see that we do have columns and line together, in a single chart.
Put Line on Secondary Axis
One of the old combination chart types was a Line-Column on 2 Axes, and that would be useful in this situation, where we can barely see one of the series.
So again, I will select cases series, and format the selection.
Right now it's on the primary axis, and I'll put it on the secondary axis.
And click Close.
Now we can see the cases much more clearly.
They're plotted on this secondary axis, which goes from 0 to 250, and the amounts are still on the primary axis, which goes from 0 to 18,000
So in newer versions of Excel, you can create your own combination charts, by right-clicking on a series, and changing its chart type.
Get the Sample File
Click here to get a zipped sample file for this tutorial. The Excel file is in xlsx format, and does not contain any macros.
Last updated: December 26, 2022 8:01 PM