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Adjust the Chart Gap Width in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to adjust the gap width between chart categories in PowerPoint 2013.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8

The Gap width within a chart is the space between two categories, as indicated by red arrows within the column chart you see in Figure 1 below. We created the chart you see here within PowerPoint 2013 -- it's a Clustered Column chart type, and the gap width here is set to 219% of the width of individual Data Series (columns). We now want to alter this gap width.

Clustered Column chart with default gap width
Figure 1: Clustered Column chart with default gap width

The gap width is automatically calculated by default based on the chart data and the Plot Area space. The gap between two categories will be narrow if there are many data series, and wide when there are few data series. Yet, you can manually make some changes in the gap width as required by quickly increasing or decreasing this width. Follow these steps to explore more:

  1. Select the chart that you want to change the gap width for. If you don't have an existing chart, insert a new chart.

  2. Now, carefully right-click any of the Data Series -- from the resultant menu, select the Format Data Series option, as shown in Figure 2. If you do not get the Format Data Series option in the contextual menu, you may have right-clicked on another chart element -- make sure you then deselect anything in the chart, and then right-click on any series (for example, a single column within a column chart).

    Format Data Series option
    Figure 2: Format Data Series option

  3. This summons the Format Data Series Task Pane, as shown in Figure 3. Click the Series Options button (highlighted in red within Figure 3). Here you will find the Gap Width option (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).

    Series Options within Format Data Series Task Pane
    Figure 3: Series Options within Format Data Series Task Pane

  4. You can either directly type the required gap width value within the box provided, or click the up/down arrow buttons to increase/decrease the value by 1% per click. Decrease the value for smaller gap width and increase it for larger gap width. In Figure 4 the chart has the gap width set to 0% whereas the chart within Figure 5 has the gap width set to 500%. Compare Figures 1, 4, and 5.

    Chart has the gap width set to 0%
    Figure 4: Chart has the gap width set to 0%

    Chart has the gap width set to 500%
    Figure 5: Chart has the gap width set to 500%

  5. Save your presentation often.

See Also: Adjust the Chart Gap Width in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac


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