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XY (Scatter) Charts in PowerPoint

Learn about XY (Scatter) charts, and how you can use them within PowerPoint. These charts can have numbered values on both axes.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint

OS: Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X



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Scatter charts show the relationship among numeric values in several data series, or plot two groups of numbers as one series of XY coordinates. A scatter chart has two value axes, showing one set of numeric data along the horizontal axis (X-axis) and another along the vertical axis (Y-axis). It combines these values into single data points and displays them in irregular intervals, or clusters. Scatter charts are typically used for displaying and comparing numeric values, such as scientific, statistical, and engineering data.

XY (Scatter) Charts in PowerPoint

Consider using scatter charts in the following cases:

  • If you want to change the scale of the horizontal axis.
  • If you want to make that axis a logarithmic scale.
  • Values for the horizontal axis are not evenly spaced.
  • There are many data points on the horizontal axis.
  • If you want to effectively display worksheet data that includes pairs or grouped sets of values and adjust the independent scales of a scatter chart to reveal more information about the grouped values.
  • If you want to show similarities between large sets of data instead of differences between data points.
  • If you want to compare many data points without regard to time. The more data that you include in a scatter chart, the better the comparisons that you can make.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see a sample presentation containing scatter chart types and subtypes:

Scatter Chart without Number Axis, using Names Instead?

Scatter charts always use values on both axes and cannot use textual names on the X axis. If you want a chart that uses names on the X-axis, but looks like an XY Scatter chart, you can create a line chart.

Scatter charts have the following subtypes:

Scatter with only markers

This type of chart compares pairs of values. You can use this chart type when you do not have to show the connectivity of data points.

Scatter with smooth lines

This type of chart displays a smooth curve that connects the data points. Use a smooth line without markers if there are many data points.

Scatter with smooth lines and markers

With this chart type, the scatter chart can be displayed with smooth lines and markers.

Scatter with straight lines

This type of chart displays straight connecting lines between data points.

Scatter with straight lines and markers

Here straight lines can be displayed with markers.

XY (Scatter) Chart Type in PowerPoint Sample Presentation

Click below to view on SlideShare

Click below to view on YouTube


10 13 07 - PowerPoint Chart Types: XY (Scatter) Charts in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

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