How to Generate a Quadrant Chart

A quadrant chart centers the horizontal "X" axis and the vertical "Y" axis in the center of a graph. This placement divides the chart into four quadrants, in which negative and positive data values are plotted. Most spreadsheet programs such as Microsoft Excel, OpenOffice Calc and LibreOffice Calc create quadrant charts using the Scatter chart selection. Changing the minimum and maximum values for each axis in the scatter chart produces uniform quadrants for the data plots.

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Microsoft Excel

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Enter the X-axis data in column A. Enter the corresponding Y-axis data down column B. As an example, you might enter X and Y geometric coordinates in columns A and B.

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Click and drag your mouse to highlight all the data you entered.

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Click the "Insert" tab. Click "Scatter" from the Charts group and select the first "Scatter with only Markers" option.

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Click the "Layout" tab. Click "Axes" from the Axes group, point to "Primary Horizontal Axis" and select "More Primary Horizontal Axis Options."

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Select "Fixed" from the Minimum and Maximum options on the Axis Options tab. Enter equivalent negative and positive values in each field. Make sure your range is large enough to accommodate each data point. As an example, if the lowest data value is negative 10 and the highest value is 10, you would enter "-10" and "10" for the minimum and maximum values. By default, axis labels appear next to the axis. To place labels at the bottom of the chart, select "Low" from the Axis Labels drop-down menu.

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Click "Line Color" from the left pane. Click "Solid Color" from the right pane. Select your preferred color, such as solid black, from the Color drop-down menu. Doing this makes the middle axis more recognizable. Click "Close."

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Click "Axes" again. Point to "Primary Vertical Axis" and select "More Primary Vertical Axis Options."

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Enter the same minimum and maximum values you entered previously for the horizontal axis. In the example, you would enter "-10" and "10" for the minimum and maximum values. Select "Low" from the Axis Labels drop-down menu to move the axis labels to the left.

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Click "Line Color" from the left pane. Click "Solid Line" and select the same color you previously selected. Click "Close" to complete your quadrant chart.

OpenOffice Calc and LibreOffice Calc

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Click and drag your mouse to highlight the X-axis and Y-axis data.

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Click "Insert" in the top menu and select "Chart."

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Click "XY (Scatter)" from the "Choose a Chart Type" section. The "Points Only" option is already selected by default. Click "Finish."

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Click "Format," "Axis" and "X-Axis." Click the "Scale" tab. Uncheck "Automatic" from the Minimum and Maximum options. Enter minimum and maximum range values for the quadrant chart.

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Click the "Line" tab. Click the "Color" drop-down menu and select a prominent color, such as black, to use for the center line.

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Click the "Positioning" tab. Click the "Place Labels" drop-down menu and select "Outside Start." Doing so places the axis labels at the bottom of the chart. Click "OK."

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Click "Format," "Axis" and "Y Axis." Enter the minimum and maximum range, line color and label position, exactly as you did for the X-Axis. Click "OK" to complete your quadrant chart.