Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007. 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: Numeric Value and Percentage Value in a Graph Column.

Numeric Value and Percentage Value in a Graph Column

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 12, 2014)

15

Harrie wants to create a column chart that displays two values for each column in the chart. One value to be displayed would be a percentage (such as 46%) and the other an absolute value (such as 359,000). One value would appear on the column in the chart, and the other just above the column.

There are many ways that this can be accomplished, depending on the nature of your data. This tip will examine a couple of the many ways you can proceed.

A relatively simple approach is to assume that your data is in three columns. The first column is the category (what will appear along the X-axis), the second is the percentage that you want to plot, and the third is the absolute value to be displayed. Follow these steps:

  1. Select all three columns of data.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the Column tool and then choose the clustered column chart type. Excel creates a chart based upon this selection. It displays the percentage on the Y-axis, but there are two sets of Y-coordinate data that are plotted.
  4. Right-click the second data series (the "exact amount" values) and choose Add Data Labels from the resulting Context menu. Excel displays the data labels above each column of the data series.
  5. Right-click the second data series again and choose Format Data Series from the resulting Context menu. Excel displays the Format Data Series dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Series Options of the Format Data Series dialog box.

  7. Click Secondary Axis.
  8. Click Fill at the left of the dialog box.
  9. Click No Fill.
  10. Click Border Color at the left of the dialog box.
  11. Make sure No Line is selected.
  12. Click Close. You now have the absolute values displayed, yet you've hidden the graph column in which they would normally be displayed.
  13. Right-click the second Y-axis (the one on the right) and choose Format Axis from the resulting Context menu. Excel displays the Format Axis dialog box.
  14. Set the Major Tick Mark Type drop-down list to None.
  15. Set the Minor Tick Mark Type drop-down list to None.
  16. Set the Axis Labels drop-down list to None.
  17. Click Close. The secondary axis should now be gone from the graph.
  18. Right-click one of the data labels (the absolute values) and choose Format Data Labels from the resulting Context menu. Excel displays the Format Data Labels dialog box.
  19. Select the Center radio button.
  20. Click Close. The data labels should now be vertically centered within each column.
  21. Right-click the remaining data series (the percentage values) and choose Add Data Labels from the resulting Context menu. The percentage value should now appear above each column.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7888) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Numeric Value and Percentage Value in a Graph Column.

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

Telling which Worksheets are Selected

If your macro processes information on a number of worksheets, chances are good that you need your macro to figure out which ...

Discover More

Setting a Length Limit on Cells

Limiting what can be entered in a cell can be an important part of developing a worksheet that other people use. Here's a ...

Discover More

Finding the Number of Significant Digits

When looking at a number, you may wonder how many significant digits it contains. The answer is not always an easy one, ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

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

Changing Chart Size

Place a chart on a worksheet and you may not be satisfied with its size. Changing the size of a chart is a simple process ...

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 3 + 8?

2017-03-21 13:12:12

Becky OB

Wonderful tip. Exactly what I needed to fulfil a request from staff in my organisation. Annoyingly, there's an easier way of doing almost this (you get comma separated values in the same location) in the newer version of Excel.


2015-03-18 17:30:12

Matthieu

My situation is similar, but I do not have data in three columns.
I am dealing with two crosstabs that are identical except one has %'s and the other has numbers. I want to graph the columns based on the percentages, and add the numbers as data labels for each column.
The two datasets are based on percentage of traffic and a score given, so they wouldn't have the same bar but that's ok.


2015-03-17 00:09:50

Liz

This may help. At Step 17, when you click one of the data series (absolute values) make sure you are clicking on the correct data series. Remember you have hidden one of the data series (at "no fill" step)so in reality one column is really 2 data series. You can appreciate this when you hover at the top of the column versus the bottom of one column. Make sure you are hovering over the absolute values at step 17 and then you will be home free!


2015-01-16 10:12:25

Alan

Difficult to follow without screen shots. Not sure if I'm following the steps correctly. I know what I need in the result but not sure what your result looks like.


2014-06-19 09:05:43

Jomili

Got it! On step 4 I added the data labels for both the "Exact Amount" and the "Percent". They both appeared at the top, but I was able to select each one separately, so on step 19 was able to center the "Exact Amount".

Wow! That was tough! Any idea why my two series were overlapping? I set up my three column table just the way Allen described.


2014-06-19 08:57:49

jomili

Neil,

I tried that, but it doesn't help. The problem is, after following all the instructions, I'm left with only the "exact amount" values (data lables) and the Percent columns. The percent columns rise to the correct percent levels, but when I click on a percent column, the Series is "exact amount", whose value is displayed in the bar.


2014-06-13 18:13:20

Neil

Jomili- since the two series are overlapping, it is difficult to choose one or the other with consistancy. Try increasing the separation (decreasing the overlap) between the two so you can click on the visible column without choosing the invisible one.


2014-06-12 12:16:06

Jomili

Neal,

The only visible columns in my graph are the the Bars, which have the fill color for Percent, and rise to the level of Percent, but which have the Values for Exact Amount. When I right click on one of the bars, I can format the data label, but can't Add a data label.

In Allen's "Format Data Series" pic above, the top option is for "Gap Depth". My corresponding option is "Series Overlap", with "Separated" and "Overlapped" as the left and right sides.


2014-06-12 12:05:53

Jomili

Curt,
I'd appreciate it if you could share your code when you complete it.


2014-06-12 12:04:19

Neil

I found it helpful to rotate the absolute value labels 90 degrees and change the font color to white so they stand out in the color of the column.

What Allen means by "right-click on the remaining data series" is right-click on one of the visible columns in the graph.


2014-06-12 11:09:53

Jeff

Same as Jomili...stuck at 20. The option needed is not displayed. Checked twice but no joy.[Using Excel 2007 as specified]


2014-06-12 10:51:48

Chuck Trese

Curt,
I think you are looking for this:
To give a series no fill, you can use
Activechart.SeriesCollection("on-time").Format.Fill.Visible=False
where you change "on-time" to the name of your series, of course.


2014-06-12 10:21:09

Jomili

Went all the way through, but got stuck at 20: "Right-click the remaining data series (the percentage values) and choose Add Data Labels from the resulting Context menu.". I don't see any "remaining data series". Right-clicking on the remaining bars doesn't give me an option to Add Data Labels. What am I doing wrong?


2014-06-12 10:14:15

Frank

I appreciate your email tips. They could be improved by more screen shots included in the steps. For example, in this one, a shot of the graph being produced as well as a shot (even a partial shot) of the data selected in step 1 above would be helpful.

Regards


2013-03-07 17:31:18

Curt Weller

This tip was exactly what i was looking for. I'm trying to adapt it for use in VBA. i can do everything except step 8 - set "no fill". Any suggestions?


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.