Switching axis in Excel 2003
April 30, 2008 9:29 AM   Subscribe

I'm using Microsoft Excel 2003 at work and I need to make a chart where the category (x) axis is the y axis; is there any way of doing this?

I've been trying to figure out a way to make this work this morning and can't seem to get it to work. I have tried puting the actual values in the category section and the category in the values section but it does not work out that way. Or is there even just a way i can turn the chart around?
I'm using a line chart by the way.
This is for a science paper and I need to show percent %organic matter (thats the values) through depth (category) so it would be nice to have depth on the y axis going down and then the values plotted showing how it progress further down. This makes it a lot easier to understand then what I have currently which is displayed left to right.
posted by Rustbeard to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I usually just rearrange the columns so that the old y is now before the old x.

(you can do this with "source data" as well, but this is just the simple-minded way to do it).

The x axis defaults to the first column.
posted by gregvr at 9:56 AM on April 30, 2008

You could always make the graph the way Excel wants you to (and the way you don't want it), then paste the graph into powerpoint, then ungroup twice to turn it into a graphic, and do whatever you want to it.
It's messy, but it gets the job done.
posted by nprigoda at 10:33 AM on April 30, 2008

Maybe I'm dense or haven't had enough coffee, but is this something like what you're trying to do? (obviously I pulled these numbers out of my ass).
posted by desjardins at 11:24 AM on April 30, 2008

Best answer: By default you can't make the y-axis a categorical variable in Excel charts. However, there is a trick to make it work. It basically involves creating an extra series with data labels that sit against the y-axis. Then you hide the y-axis labels.

Instructions here.
posted by junesix at 11:31 AM on April 30, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks junesix that was exactly what I needed. Nprigoda your tip was good too I tried that out before I saw junesix's post
posted by Rustbeard at 12:23 PM on April 30, 2008

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