We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

Creating a 3D surface area chart in Excel 2003

aztec asked
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I must be stupid, cause I just can't figure out how to make this chart. My data is laid out all nice and neat by column - values for X in one column, values for Y in another column, and the resultant values for Z in another column - seems to me it should be all ready to go The columns aren't contiguous but I don't think that matters - I just select them while holding down CTRL, right?
   Anyway, I just get can't that darn chart to come out looking like the 3D thing it ought to! Can anyone help?

Watch Question

Mechanical Engineer
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Top Expert 2013
This one is on us!
(Get your first solution completely free - no credit card required)


Hmmm, you kinda lost me right off the bat Brad - after I do the control-clicks to select my colums, then I do a right-click, the popup menu does not have a "Source Data" option... plus then all my selected columns unselect!

But I was selecting "Columns" before, I know that for sure. Here's what I did:

- CTRL-clicked my 3 data columns
- clicked the "chart" icon in the toolbar, then the Chart Wizard came up
- selected the 3-D area type chart
- made sure "colums" was selected
- Titles, Axes, Gridlines, etc... I had no idea what to put for that so I just skipped all of it and clicked NEXT.
- then selected my chart to be in a "new sheet" and clicked FINISH
- then the chart came out looking like nonsense.

I'm pretty sure it's because my data columns are not in "x-y-z" order. In column J of my spreadsheet are the resultant Z values. Then in column L I have my X values. Then in column N, I have my Y values. Does this sound like it could be the problem?

I tried that bubble chart - maybe I did it wrong but I don't think that's what I'm looking for.  :-(



Brad, that link you provided ( http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0009/LPMArticle.asp?ID=447) did the trick! I figured out how to create my chart - I needed to set up a "Pivot table".

Unlock the solution to this question.
Join our community and discover your potential

Experts Exchange is the only place where you can interact directly with leading experts in the technology field. Become a member today and access the collective knowledge of thousands of technology experts.

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.