How Do I Change the X-Axis Range in Excel Charts?

When you first create a chart in Excel 2013, the result might appear confusing -- with some chart types, most notably line charts, Excel displays the X axis as "1, 2, 3..." regardless of the data you actually want as your X axis. For charts where you want to specify an X-axis range of numbers, you first need to switch to a scatter chart and then select the range.

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Selecting a separate X-axis range lets you use data from anywhere in your workbook.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select your chart and pick a scatter chart style from the Insert tab to change the chart type.

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Switch to a scatter chart.
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Select an X/Y range or press "Edit" to select separate ranges.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Open the "Design" tab and press "Select Data." If you have two adjacent columns of data -- X-axis data on the left, Y-axis on the right -- select them and press "OK" to remake the chart using your X-axis range, and skip the following step.

Step

Alternatively, if the X-axis data you want to use isn't situated directly to the left of the Y-axis data, press "Edit" in the Legend Entries section.

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Select separate X and Y ranges.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select the X and Y ranges separately using the Series X Values and Series Y Values fields. Press "OK" on both dialog boxes to remake the chart.

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Add axis titles.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Press "Add Chart Element" on the Design tab to add "Axis Titles" for each axis, clarifying their relationship.

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Name the titles.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Type in an axis title's name by hand, or select it, type "=" in the Formula Bar and click a cell that bears the axis's name.