Working with charts in PowerPoint involves a deep knowledge because hidden beneath the surface are umpteen options that many PowerPoint users are simply not aware of. Through these series of chart tutorials, we 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, these ideas are 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, look at Figure 1, below and you will see major units added at 10 point increments. To make the axis less crowded, we would have preferred setting them at 25 point increments.
o follow along with this tutorial, you need a slide with the default column chart inserted in PowerPoint 2003 or 2002.
Follow these steps to change major unit of the Y axis in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows:
- Double-click your chart to enter PowerPoint's chart editing mode, as shown in Figure 1, below.
Figure 1: Chart editing mode
- Now click on the value axis (the vertical line towards the left of the plot area), as shown in Figure 2, below.
Figure 2: Select chart
- From the menu, choose the Format | Selected Axis option, as shown in Figure 3, below. Alternatively, right-click on the value axis to bring up a pop-up menu. From this pop-up menu, choose the Format Axis.
Figure 3: Selected Axis
- Doing so summons the Format Axis dialog box, as shown in see Figure 4, below. Select the Scale tab in the resultant dialog box.
Figure 4: Format Axis
- You'll find these options within the Scale tab of the dialog box:
- Under the Auto area, the options are:
- Set the minimum value for the axis.
- Set maximum value for the axis.
- Change the value to alter major tick marks on the value axis.
- Change the value to alter minor tick marks on the value axis.
- Use this option to set the point on the Y-axis where the X-axis will cross (overlap).
- Choose from hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, and trillions. You can also set this as None.
- Displays the values in a logarithmic, rather than an arithmetic relationship.
- Display the largest value at the bottom of the axis and the smallest at the top.
- Sets the point on the X-axis where the largest value will cross the Y-axis.
- In Major Unit text box enter any number, such as 25, as shown in Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Major unit
- When done, click the OK button to get back to the chart.
- 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.
Figure 6: Y-axis values
- You can exit the chart editing mode by clicking anywhere outside the chart area or the datasheet.
- Save your presentation.
Category (X) axis Crosses at
Values in Reverse Order
Category (X) Axis Crosses At Maximum Value
10 08 05 - Chart Axes: Change Major and Minor Units of Value Axis (Glossary Page)
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 and Minor Units of Value Axis in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows