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Change Major and Minor Units of Value Axis in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

Change major and minor units of the value axis in PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows. We also explore other value axis options.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2003 and 2002 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



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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:

  1. Double-click your chart to enter PowerPoint's chart editing mode, as shown in Figure 1, below.
  2. Chart editing mode
    Figure 1: Chart editing mode
  3. Now click on the value axis (the vertical line towards the left of the plot area), as shown in Figure 2, below.
  4. Select chart
    Figure 2: Select chart
  5. 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.
  6. Selected Axis
    Figure 3: Selected Axis
  7. Doing so summons the Format Axis dialog box, as shown in see Figure 4, below. Select the Scale tab in the resultant dialog box.
  8. Format Axis
    Figure 4: Format Axis
  9. You'll find these options within the Scale tab of the dialog box:
  10. Auto

  11. Under the Auto area, the options are:
  12. Minimum

  13. Set the minimum value for the axis.
  14. Maximum

  15. Set maximum value for the axis.
  16. Major unit

  17. Change the value to alter major tick marks on the value axis.
  18. Minor unit

  19. Change the value to alter minor tick marks on the value axis.
  20. Category (X) axis Crosses at

  21. Use this option to set the point on the Y-axis where the X-axis will cross (overlap).

    Display units

  22. Choose from hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, and trillions. You can also set this as None.
  23. Logarithmic Scale

  24. Displays the values in a logarithmic, rather than an arithmetic relationship.
  25. Values in Reverse Order

  26. Display the largest value at the bottom of the axis and the smallest at the top.
  27. Category (X) Axis Crosses At Maximum Value

  28. Sets the point on the X-axis where the largest value will cross the Y-axis.
  29. In Major Unit text box enter any number, such as 25, as shown in Figure 5, below.
  30. Major unit
    Figure 5: Major unit
  31. When done, click the OK button to get back to the chart.
  32. 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.
  33. Y-axis values
    Figure 6: Y-axis values
  34. You can exit the chart editing mode by clicking anywhere outside the chart area or the datasheet.
  35. Save your presentation.

See Also:

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

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