Creating Combination Charts
A combination chart is a chart that combines two or more chart types in a single chart -- for example, a chart that has a line series and a column series. When you choose the Custom Types tab in the first step of the Chart Wizard, you'll find the following combination charts listed:
- Column - Area
- Line - Column
Many users think that these are the only two combination charts that are possible. In fact, you have a great deal of flexibility in creating combination charts. They key is understanding how the Chart - Chart Type command works. When you select this command, it works in either of two ways:
If a series is selected in the chart, the chart
type that you choose applies only to the selected
If anything other than a series is selected, the chart
type that you choose applies to all series in the chart.
For example, assume you want to create a combination chart that displays a column, a line, and an area.
- Start by creating a column chart.
- Select the second chart series and choose Chart - Chart Type. Select a line chart type for that series.
- Select the third series and repeat this command, but choose an area chart type. The result is a combination chart that shows three different chart types.
Not all chart types can be used in a combination chart. For example, Excel does not allow any of the 3-D chart types to be used in a combination chart.
The figure below carries this concept to the extreme. This combination chart displays five series, and each series uses a different chart type. This chart, of course, is provided for demonstration purposes only. I can't think of any situation that would warrant such a confusing chart!
Excel has a long history, and it continues to evolve and change. Consequently, the tips provided here do not necessarily apply to all versions of Excel.
In particular, the user interface for Excel 2007 (and later), is vastly different from its predecessors. Therefore, the menu commands listed in older tips, will not correspond to the Excel 2007 (and later) user interface.
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