Change Order of Chart Data Series in PowerPoint 2013
Learn how to change the order in which Chart Data Series are displayed in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
Typically the Data Series of a chart in PowerPoint is displayed in the exact sequence in which it is contained within the Excel sheet. If you want to change the order of the Data Series within the chart, you access the Excel sheet containing the chart data and reorder the columns representing the Data Series. But, what if you don't want to alter the Excel data, and want to reorder the Data Series within the PowerPoint chart itself? That's doable, and this tutorial will explain the process.
Our Data Series within the sample chart below are Grapes, Apples, and Bananas -- and these show up in exactly the same order within the chart, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Initial position of the Chart Data Series
Now, what if we want to change this order to Apples, Grapes, and Bananas without bringing up the Excel data? Yes, we can make these changes within PowerPoint.
- With your chart selected, access the Chart Tools Design contextual tab of the
Ribbon (highlighted in red within
Figure 2). Thereafter, click the Select Data button (highlighted in blue
within Figure 2).
Figure 2: Chart Tools Design contextual tab of the Ribbon
- This will summon the Select Data Source dialog box, as shown in Figure 3. Within this dialog box,
you can see the Move Up and Move Down buttons (highlighted in red within
Figure 3). These buttons are used to change the order of the chart Data Series. In Figure 3, the
Move Up button is greyed out because the selected Data Series (Grapes) is already at the top position within the Data
Series list (highlighted in blue within Figure 3) -- and thus can go no higher.
Figure 3: Select Data Source dialog box
- Within the Data Series list, click on the Series that you want to change the order for. In Figure 4 you can see that
we have selected the second Data Series named 'Apples' (highlighted in red within Figure 4).
You can also see that the Move Up button is now active (highlighted in blue within
Figure 3), since the selected Data Series 'Apples' is in the middle position and it can be moved either up or down.
Figure 4: Apples Data Series selected
- If you want to move the selected Data Series upwards, then click the Move Up button -- if you want to move
it downwards, click the Move Down button. As and when you click these buttons, you can see the changes happening within
the selected chart simultaneously. We clicked the Move Up button since we wanted 'Apples' to appear as the
first Data Series. In Figure 5 you can see that the 'Apples' Series has moved to the top within the Data Series
list (highlighted in red within Figure 5).
Figure 5: Apples Data Series moved up
- Once you have reordered the Series as required, click the OK button, highlighted in blue
within Figure 5, above.
- In Figure 6 you can see that the 'Apples' Series has moved to the first position which is indicated within the
Legend, highlighted in red
within Figure 6 (compare to Figure 1, shown earlier on this page).
Figure 6: Data Series reordered
Note that even though the Data Series is reordered within the chart, the data within the Excel sheet will not be changed.
- Save your presentation often.
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