How to Add a Chart to Another Chart in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a chart to another chart in Excel can be done in a few clicks. You’ll start by creating the first chart, and then add the second chart on top of it, adjusting the design and format as necessary. Once completed, you’ll have a combined chart that can display multiple sets of data in a cohesive manner.

After completing this action, you’ll have a new, composite chart that visually represents two sets of data together. This can be especially helpful when comparing related datasets or showcasing a relationship between two variables.


When it comes to data visualization, Excel is a powerhouse. Among its many features is the ability to layer charts, creating a comprehensive view of your data. Whether you’re a business analyst presenting sales figures or a student comparing statistical data, knowing how to add a chart to another chart in Excel can elevate your data storytelling.

This technique is perfect for those instances where you want to compare two different types of data that share a common element, like time or categories. For example, you might want to show revenue and expenses side by side, or display a break-down of sales while also showing overall trends. Adding a chart to another chart makes your data easier to understand at a glance and can make your presentations more impactful.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding a Chart to Another Chart in Excel

Before jumping into the steps, it’s essential to know that adding a chart to another chart in Excel allows you to create a layered visual representation of your data, which can be more informative than separate charts.

Step 1: Create the First Chart

Select the data for your first chart and insert your desired chart type.

Creating the first chart is straightforward. Highlight the data range you want to visualize, go to the ‘Insert’ tab, and choose the chart type that best suits your data. For instance, a column chart is a good choice for comparing values side by side.

Step 2: Create the Second Chart

With the first chart selected, choose the second set of data and insert another chart type.

You’ll need to ensure that your first chart is selected when you’re adding the second one. This way, Excel knows you want to layer the charts. You might choose a line chart for the second set of data if you’re trying to show a trend against the data in the first chart.

Step 3: Adjust the Position and Format of the Second Chart

Drag the second chart over the first chart and resize it appropriately. Format it to ensure clarity and visibility of both datasets.

When you have both charts in place, you might need to resize the second chart so it doesn’t obscure the first. Use the chart formatting tools to adjust colors, lines, and labels so that both sets of data are easy to differentiate and understand.


Enhanced Data VisualizationCombining charts allows for a richer visual representation of your data, making it easier for your audience to understand complex information.
Efficient Use of SpaceLayering charts saves space on your spreadsheet or presentation slide, as opposed to having multiple charts that each require their own area.
Ability to Compare and ContrastAdding a chart to another chart enables direct comparison between two datasets, highlighting correlations or discrepancies effectively.


Can Be ClutteredIf not done carefully, adding a chart to another chart can result in a cluttered and confusing visual, making it harder to interpret the data.
Limitations on Chart TypesSome chart types may not combine well and could detract from the clarity of the data representation.
Potential for MisinterpretationWith more data in a single visual, there’s a higher risk of misinterpretation if the viewer isn’t familiar with how to read layered charts.

Additional Information

Creating a composite chart in Excel can be a game-changer for data analysis and presentation. However, it’s crucial to ensure that your chart remains clear and interpretable. Consider using colors, labels, and legends effectively so that your audience can easily differentiate between the datasets.

Also, keep in mind the context in which you’re presenting your data. Sometimes, simpler is better. While it’s tempting to show off all the data you have, always ask yourself if adding a chart to another chart serves the purpose of better understanding or if it just complicates the message you’re trying to convey.


  1. Create the first chart using the initial data set.
  2. Insert the second chart while the first chart is selected.
  3. Adjust the positioning and formatting of the second chart for clarity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add more than two charts together?

Yes, you can layer multiple charts, but keep in mind that each additional layer may make the chart more complex and harder to read.

What types of charts work best for layering?

Combining a bar or column chart with a line chart is common, as it allows you to compare different data types clearly.

How can I make sure my composite chart isn’t too cluttered?

Use formatting tools to adjust colors and labels, and only combine charts when it adds value to your data representation.

Can I layer charts with different scales?

Yes, but you may need to adjust the scale of one chart to align with the other for accurate comparison.

What if my data isn’t lined up correctly in the composite chart?

You may need to adjust the data series or categories in your chart data range to ensure proper alignment.


Adding a chart to another chart in Excel is a valuable skill that can enhance your data analysis and presentation. It allows for a multi-dimensional view of your data, which is particularly useful when you want to show relationships or comparisons between different data sets.

However, it’s important to approach this method thoughtfully, ensuring your composite chart remains clear and interpretable. With practice and attention to detail, you can master this technique and take your Excel skills to new heights.

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