Microsoft Excel - Clarify Data On Line And Area Chart With Drop Lines (Excel 97/2000/2001/2002)


Although Excel's 3-D charts do a pretty good job of simulating 3-D objects on a 2-D screen, it can sometimes be difficult to visually line up a data point with its corresponding position on the chart's category axis. This is especially true when working with area or line charts. The task can be even more difficult if the chart has been rotated or the perceived angle of elevation has been changed. Fortunately, you can add drop lines, which are visual aids that help anchor each data point to the category axis.


To display droop lines:


  • Select a data series on the chart
  • Choose Format - Selected Data Series from the menu bar
  • Click on the Options tab
  • Select the Drop Lines check box
  • Click OK

Vertical lines now extend from each data point to the category axis, eliminating confusion and guesswork. Note that this formatting option can also be applied to 2-D area and line charts.

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