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Goofy graph in Excel

Posted on 2013-05-11
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Last Modified: 2013-05-11
I've got a spreadsheet in Excel.  I've created a graph from the data.  All the data is formatted as numbers.

When you look at the data labels the numbers for the lowest line match the scale of the axis.  Thus if you look at the dark blue line, the data range from 6.4 for the first data point to 6.7 for the last.  It looks like those match the axis.

The next data line in a rust color shows a first data point of 21.5 and a final one of 11.2.  In that line, you see a number of data points with values below 15 showing up above the 20 mark on the axis.

It gets worse from there with the final data line, the top one (in goldenrod) showing data that range from 13 for the first point to 14 for the last one and nearly all are above the 80 mark on the axis.

What gives?  Below are images of both the data and the graph.

The data
The goofy graph
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Question by:coachjim
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Expert Comment

by:byundt
ID: 39158349
Could you please post the workbook?

I'd like to verify that the data is coming from the cells you say and that the data labels represent the current data (as opposed to old data). I'd also like to make sure that the data aren't being plotted against an invisible secondary y-axis.
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Author Comment

by:coachjim
ID: 39158392
The workbook is attached.
Icon-Auto-Data-Summary.xlsx
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Accepted Solution

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byundt earned 2000 total points
ID: 39158477
Your chart type is "stacked line with markers" (fifth line chart choice in Excel 2013) instead of "line with markers" (fourth line chart choice in Excel 2013).

When you stack the chart with multiple series, each successive series is added onto the data below. A stacked chart would be useful if you wanted to see the contribution each product category makes to total sales over time. A non-stacked chart would be useful if you wanted to compare air pressure during REM sleep to air pressure during deep sleep.

I changed the chart type to "line with markers" in the attached version of your file.

Brad
Icon-Auto-Data-SummaryQ28125237.xlsx
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Author Closing Comment

by:coachjim
ID: 39159071
I've been using spreadsheets since '82 and have never needed to understand what a stacked graph was.  I probably used one correctly by accident at some point.

Anyway, awesome help.  Thank you.
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