Make Your Excel Area Charts Beautiful!
Excel is one of my favorite applications. So I was a little disappointed when Excel didn’t quite behave as I had expected when I created an Excel Area Chart.
Here is some sample data that I’ve loaded up in Excel to illustrate the point.
Select the Chart Wizard and pick any of the Area Charts. For this example I’ve picked a 100% Stacked Area Chart.
We can see already from the preview that the Area Chart shows a “drop off” from 2007 to 2008. That’s not quite what I had expected.
Note the X-Axis setting – we’ll revisit this shortly.
We need to change the X-Axis to a date and insert a duplicate entry for the last bits of data.
By applying a custom format to the range of cells, we’ve changed the data back to the original four digit year. However, Excel clearly understands the data it’s working with.
We now need to go back and edit some of the Chart Options. Notice in the screenshot below the duplicate entry is shown.
Now admire the finished product – sans ugly drop off 🙂