Friday, 29 October 2010

Excel axis labels workaround

When making an x-y scatter plot in Micro$oft Excel 2007, there appears to be a bug which prevents the x-axis tick labels displaying correctly (at least on my machine). When you set the x-axis tick labels to text, e.g. "apple", "banana", "pear"..., the chart just displays the labels as 1, 2, 3... even when you are careful to select the cells containing the text labels as your x-data, and despite them showing up correctly in the "select data" dialogue box. This only appears to be an issue for the x-y scatter plot type.

Workaround 1:
Install linux boot disc...

Workaround 2:
Add a new dummy data series to your graph with x = {"apple", "banana", "pear"...} and y = {0, 0, 0...}, or some other value below the y-axis minimum. Select only this series, and set the chart type to area. The x-axis tick labels should now display correctly for the whole chart. Obviously delete the dummy data label from your legend, if you have one.

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