How to Change Scale on Excel Graph: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the scale on an Excel graph can seem daunting, but it’s actually quite simple. This quick guide will help you adjust the scale of your graph’s axes to better display your data. By following just a few steps, you’ll have a graph that’s easier to read and more informative for your audience.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Change Scale on Excel Graph

Before we dive into the steps, it’s important to understand that changing the scale on an Excel graph can drastically improve the readability of your data. Whether you’re working with a bar graph, line chart, or any other type, adjusting the scale allows you to highlight the most important parts of your data set.

Step 1: Select the graph

Click on the graph you want to change. This will make the graph active and display the ‘Chart Tools’ in the Excel ribbon.

Once you click on the graph, you’ll notice that the border of the graph is highlighted. This indicates that the graph is selected and ready for editing.

Step 2: Open the Format Axis pane

Right-click on the axis you want to change and select ‘Format Axis’ from the context menu.

After you right-click on the axis (either the x-axis or y-axis), a small menu will pop up. ‘Format Axis’ is usually near the bottom of this menu. Clicking on this will open a new pane on the right side of your Excel window.

Step 3: Adjust the scale options

In the Format Axis pane, you can modify the ‘Bounds’, ‘Units’, and ‘Number’ options to change the scale of your graph.

Under ‘Bounds’, you can set the minimum and maximum values for your axis. ‘Units’ allows you to change the intervals between each point on the axis. ‘Number’ lets you choose the format of the axis labels, like currency or date.

Step 4: Close the Format Axis pane

After making your adjustments, close the Format Axis pane by clicking the ‘X’ in the upper right corner.

Once you close the pane, your changes will be applied to the graph. If you’re not happy with the new scale, you can always reopen the Format Axis pane and make further adjustments.

After completing these steps, you’ll notice that your Excel graph now accurately represents your data according to the new scale you’ve set. This can make all the difference in presenting your data effectively.

Tips: Optimizing Your Excel Graph Scale

  • Always consider the range of your data before setting a new scale. You want the scale to reflect the highs and lows without skewing the overall picture.
  • Use round numbers for your axis bounds to make your graph easier to read.
  • When working with large numbers, consider using a logarithmic scale to better visualize the data.
  • Make sure your axis titles and labels remain clear and legible after changing the scale.
  • Preview your graph after each change to ensure the new scale is accurately representing your data.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need to change the scale on my Excel graph?

If your data is bunched up or too spread out, or if you have outlier points that are skewing the graph, you might need to adjust the scale for better visualization.

Can I set a specific scale for all my Excel graphs?

Not directly, as each graph is based on its own data set. However, you can manually set the scale for each graph to be the same by following the same steps and entering the same scale values.

Will changing the scale alter my data?

No, changing the scale only affects how your data is displayed on the graph. The underlying data remains unchanged.

Can I use a different scale for the x-axis and y-axis?

Absolutely! Each axis can be formatted independently to best fit the data it represents.

What if I make a mistake while changing the scale?

No worries! You can always undo your changes by pressing Ctrl + Z or revisiting the Format Axis pane to adjust the settings.


  1. Select the graph
  2. Open the Format Axis pane
  3. Adjust the scale options
  4. Close the Format Axis pane


Changing the scale on an Excel graph isn’t rocket science, but it sure can make your data shine like a star! With these easy steps, you can transform an ordinary graph into a powerful tool that clearly communicates your findings. Remember, the devil is in the details, and in the world of data visualization, scale is a pretty big detail. Don’t let your outstanding data analysis go unnoticed because of a poorly scaled graph. Take the time to tweak that scale and watch as your graph goes from meh to magnificent! And if you ever get stuck, just remember that Excel is packed with features to help you along the way. Happy graphing, data wizards!

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