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Change Major Unit of Y Axis

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2002 and 2003

Date Created: April 13th 2010
Last Updated: April 13th 2010

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn to change major unit of Y-axis, and explore other Y-axis options in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

Working with charts in PowerPoint involves a deep knowledge -- hidden beneath the surface are umpteen options that many PowerPoint users are simply not aware of. Through these series of chart tutorials, I have already taught you how you can change chart types, or change fills and outlines for chart data series. You also learned how you can play with fonts and other text options of charts -- and yet, all this is just the tip of the iceberg. One of my pet peeves is how PowerPoint adds so many major units to the Y axis by default -- to see this visually, just look at Figure 1 and see the major units added at each 10 points -- I would have preferred setting them at 25 point increments.

If you want, you can follow this tutorial with me -- all you need is a slide with the default column chart inserted in PowerPoint 2002 or 2003.

Follow these steps to change major unit of Y axis in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.

  1. Double click your chart to be in PowerPoint's chart editing mode, as shown in Figure 1.

    Chart editing mode
    Figure 1: Chart editing mode

  2. Now click on the Value Axis (the vertical line towards the left of the plot area), as shown in Figure 2.

    Select chart
    Figure 2: Select chart

  3. From the menu, choose the Format | Selected Axis, as shown in Figure 3. Alternatively you can right-click on the Value Axis to get a pop-up menu -- from this pop-up menu, choose Format Axis.

    Selected Axis
    Figure 3: Selected Axis

  4. This summons the Format Axis dialog box (as shown in see Figure 4). Select the Scale tab in the resultant dialog box.

    Format Axis
    Figure 4: Format Axis

    Within the Scale tab of the dialog box, you'll find these options:

    • Auto: Under Auto area, the options are:

      • Minimum: Set the minimum value for the axis.
      • Maximum: Set maximum value for the axis.
      • Major unit: Change to display largest increments.
      • Minor unit: Change to display smallest increments.
      • Category(X) axis Crosses at: Use this option to set the point on the Y-axis where the X-axis will cross (meet) it.
    • Display units: Choose from hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, and trillions. You can also set this as None.

    • Logarithmic Scale: Displays the values in a logarithmic, rather than an arithmetic relationship.

    • Values in Reverse Order: Display the largest value at the bottom of the axis and the smallest at the top.

    • Category (X) Axis Crosses At Maximum Value: Sets the point on the X-axis where the largest value will cross the Y-axis.
  5. In Major Unit text box enter any number, such as 25 (see Figure 5).

    Major unit
    Figure 5: Major unit

  6. When done, click OK to get back to the chart.

  7. Figure 6 shows that the Y-axis major unit values now show a difference of 25 points rather than the default 10. This makes the chart look cleaner and gives it more visual breathing space.

    Y-axis values
    Figure 5: Y-axis values

  8. You can exit the chart editing mode by clicking anywhere outside the chart area or the datasheet.

  9. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Change Major and Minor Units of Value Axis in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Change Major and Minor Units of Value Axis in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Change Major and Minor Units of Value Axis in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Change Major Unit of Y Axis in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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