How to Do Scale Breaks on a Graph in Excel

By Matthew Burley

When you are charting your spreadsheet data in Microsoft Excel 2010 there may be such a significant variation among your data that you need to change the breaks between the axis points on the graph. This aspect of your Excel graph, as well as many of its' other characteristics, is customizable through the "Chart Tools" utility that launches after you have created a graph. Once you have opened the "Chart Tools" utility you can then customize the breaks in your graph's scale until you have achieved your desired results.

Step 1

Launch Microsoft Excel 2010.

Step 2

Click the "File" tab at the top-left corner of the window, click "Open," then double-click the file containing the graph that you wish to edit.

Step 3

Click the worksheet tab at the bottom of the window on which the graph is displayed.

Step 4

Click anywhere on the graph to open the "Chart Tools" utility.

Step 5

Click the "Layout" tab under "Chart Tools" at the top of the window.

Step 6

Click the "Axes" drop-down menu in the "Axes" section of the ribbon at the top of the window, click the axis (horizontal or vertical) containing the scale that you want to adjust, then click "More Primary Horizontal Axis Options" or "More Primary Vertical Axis Options," depending upon which axis you are editing.

Step 7

Click "Axis Options" at the left side of the window.

Step 8

Click the "Fixed" option to the right of "Major Unit," then change the value to your desired scale break.

Step 9

Click the "Close" button at the bottom of the window to apply your changes.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can also check the "Logarithmic Scale" option on the "Axis Options" menu and adjust that value to modify your scale breaks. Experiment with different values for the logarithmic scale until you achieve your desired effect.