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: Controlling the Plotting of Empty Cells.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 13, 2020)
When you create a chart from a data table, Excel does its best to translate the numeric values into data points on a chart, according to the specifications you provide. One area where Excel doesn't quite know what to do, however, is empty cells. If a cell is empty, it could be for any number of reasons—the value isn't available, the value isn't important, or the value is really zero.
You can instruct the program how you want it to treat empty cells by following these steps:
Figure 1. The Select Data Source dialog box.
Figure 2. The Hidden and Empty Cell Settings dialog box.
The option buttons at the top of the Hidden and Empty Cell Settings dialog box (step 5) provide the following three settings:
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6289) 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: Controlling the Plotting of Empty Cells.
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