Reverse the axis order on an Excel bar chart

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Here is a basic example of some sales figures by quarter and what happens when you insert the data into an Excel bar chart.

 

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You’ll notice that despite your data being ordered sequentially by quarter (Q1 to Q4), the chart has automatically reversed the order when it is being represented as a chart.

 

The quick solution is to firstly right-click on the Axis (anywhere in the bar with Q4 to Q1) and select Format Axis. Under Axis Position, tick the ‘Categories in reverse order’ option and voila, the order has reversed!

 

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So why did Excel have it “the wrong way around” by default in the first place? That’s because the default for all Excel charts is for the y and x axes to meet each other at zero. If we put the same data into a column chart that makes a bit more sense, with the point at which the axes meet circled in red.

 

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1 Comment on “Reverse the axis order on an Excel bar chart

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