Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Formatting Axis Patterns.

Formatting Axis Patterns

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 30, 2019)

Most people who create charts with Excel don't know that you can change just about everything that controls how the chart appears. One of the things you can easily change is the pattern used to denote a chart's axis. By default, Excel normally uses a solid line for an axis. If you want to change the pattern used by Excel, follow these steps if you are using Excel 2007 or Excel 2010:

  1. Right-click on the axis whose pattern you want to change. Excel displays a Context menu for the axis.
  2. Choose Format Axis from the Context menu. (If there is no Format Axis choice, then you did not right-click on an axis in step 1.) Excel displays the Format Axis dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Format Axis dialog box.

  4. Use the Fill selection to specify how the axis should be filled (including its pattern, if selected).
  5. Use the Line Style selection to specify how the axis line should look.
  6. Use the Line Color selection to select a color for the axis.
  7. Click on OK.

If you are using Excel 2013 or a later version, then the steps are slightly different:

  1. Right-click on the axis whose pattern you want to change. Excel displays a Context menu for the axis.
  2. Choose Format Axis from the Context menu. (If there is no Format Axis choice, then you did not right-click on an axis in step 1.) Excel displays the Format Axis task pane at the right side of the program window.
  3. Click the Fill & Line icon—it looks like a paint bucket. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The Format Axis task pane.

  5. Expand the Fill options to specify how the axis should be filled (including its pattern, if selected).
  6. Expand the Line options to specify how the axis line should look.
  7. Close the task pane when done.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6134) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Formatting Axis Patterns.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Controlling the Behavior of the Mouse Wheel

The mouse wheel, by default, controls scrolling vertically through your worksheet. If you don't want the wheel to control ...

Discover More

Alerts About Approaching Due Dates

You may use Excel to track due dates for a variety of purposes. As a due date approaches, you may want that fact drawn to ...

Discover More

Returning a Worksheet Name

Need to know the name of the current worksheet? You can use the CELL function as the basis for finding this information ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Dynamic Data Based on Chart Changes

Change the data on which a chart is based and Excel obligingly updates the chart to reflect the change. What if you want ...

Discover More

Changing Axis Tick Marks

Create a chart in Excel, and you may find that the tick marks shown on the axes in the chart aren't to your liking. It is ...

Discover More

Easily Changing Chart Data Ranges

Want a handy way to make the data ranges for your chart more dynamic? Here are some great ideas you can put to work right ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 1 + 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.