Up to Microsoft Excel 2003, there was a in-built Custom Chart Type called the 2-Axis Chart. This was a pretty useful chart type, in which I used to display very small numbers and very large numbers – all on the same chart. You can see in this chart below, the numbers on the Primary Y Axis on the left are from 0 to 16. The numbers on the Secondary Y Axis (on the right side of the chart), are from 20,000 to 180,000.
But this 2 Axis chart type magically disappeared from Excel 2007, Excel 2010 & even Excel 2013. So today, I will show you how to create a 2 Axis chart in any version of Excel – whether you are still using Microsoft Excel 2007 or Microsoft 2010, or the latest Excel 2016, 2019 or Office 365 (Cloud version of Microsoft Office).
What is a 2 Axis Chart?
The default Bar Chart or a Column chart of Excel has One X Axis (The Horizontal side), and One Y Axis (represented Vertically). This is generally useful most of the time.
However, once in a while, when you want to display 2 different sets of numbers in the same chart, and one set of numbers (Quantity) comprises of very small numbers, and the other set of numbers (Sales figures) are very large – in Thousands.
If you plot a normal Column chart, the Sales figures are so high that the bars are quite long, and the scale is set in Thousands. So the Quantity figures are too small to be even seen in the Column Chart.
A 2 Axis chart is slightly different from a normal, standard Column Chart.
The 2 Axis Column Chart uses TWO Y Axis in the same chart. The one on the Left of the chart is used to display one scale (Small Numbers), and another Y Axis is added on the Right Side, which represents the (Large Numbers) in Thousands.
In this way, both small numbers and very large numbers are seen in the same chart – using both the Primary Axis and the Secondary Axis.
However, do note that the Columns of the Chart will overlap each other, and it will be difficult to see one set of values. To overcome this situation, we convert one of the bars into a Line Chart.
In this way, even if the scale is different, both axis can be seen clearly, and a useful 2 Axis chart is created easily in Microsoft Excel.
How To Make a 2 Axis Chart in Excel 2007 to Excel 2013
If you wish to make a 2 Axis Chart in Microsoft Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, just follow this fairly simple process:
- Select the Data to be plotted. You can use this Example Worksheet to practice creating the 2 Axis Chart.
- Click Insert > Column > 2-D Column Chart. You will get a normal Bar Chart in Excel.
- Click on one of the bar charts. The entire series gets selected.
- Right Click, and select Format Data Series.
- From the Format Data Series Popup Menu, Choose Secondary Axis.
- You will see that the selected data series has moved to the Secondary Axis.
- Format the chart to your liking.
You can have a beautiful looking chart, displaying data on 2 axis – the Y axis is listed on both sides. And it hardly takes a minute to build… Enjoy!
How To Make a 2 Axis Chart in Excel 2016, Excel 2019 or Microsoft Office 365
For the newer versions of Microsoft Excel, the steps are slightly different.
STEP 1: Select the Data to be plotted in the chart. You can use this Example Worksheet to practice creating the 2 Axis Chart.
STEP 2: Click on Insert > Recommended Charts. Choose the second Tab in the popup, All Charts.
STEP 3: Go to the bottom of the Chart List, and select the Combo Chart.
A combo chart is created. We can’t see both quantity and Sales, as the sales figures are too high. So we need to modify this.
STEP 4: What we really want is to move Sales on the Secondary Axis. So check the checkbox next to the Quantity.
Sales moves to the secondary axis, and is visible.
You can see that Quantity Sold is in Columns (showing as vertical bars), and Sales is displayed in a Line Chart.
STEP 6: Now simply add an appropriate Chart Title.
Your 2 Axis Chart in Excel is ready for Microsoft 365. The same technique works for Excel 2016 & Excel 2019 also.
Additional Useful Tips & Tricks on Excel at our Website
- How to Change a Chart Title Dynamically – Using a Formula
- How to Analyze Data Using Pivot Tables (Video)
- Show Values & Percentages in Excel Pivot Tables – Be a Power Analyst!
- Find Duplicates Quickly in Excel Worksheets
- Most important things to learn in Excel – The Complete List
Anything else you’d like covered here? Do post a comment and let me know.
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