Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Adjusting Your View of 3-D Graphs.

Adjusting Your View of 3-D Graphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 4, 2014)

Excel allows you to create some great looking three-dimensional graphs based on the information in your worksheets. For many purposes, the default method in which the graphs are created will be sufficient for your needs. However, you may want to adjust the angle at which you view your graph. Excel makes this easy by following these steps, providing you are using Excel 2007 or Excel 2010:

  1. Create and display your 3-D graph as you normally would.
  2. Make sure the chart is selected. (If your chart takes up its own sheet, you can simply display the chart.)
  3. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon.
  4. In the Background group click 3-D Rotation. Excel displays the 3-D Rotation options in the Format Chart Area dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The 3-D Rotation options of the Format Chart Area dialog box.

  6. Using the appropriate controls in the Rotation area, specify how you want the chart to appear.
  7. When satisfied, click on Close. Your graph is updated with the adjusted view.

If you are using Excel 2013 the steps are different:

  1. Create and display your 3-D graph as you normally would.
  2. Make sure the chart is selected. (If your chart takes up its own sheet, you can simply display the chart.)
  3. Display the Format tab of the ribbon. You should notice that in the Current Selection group (left side of ribbon) that the chart area is indicated as being selected.
  4. Click the Format Selection tool. (Still in the Current Selection group.) Excel displays the Format Chart Area task pane to the right of your chart.
  5. Click the Effects icon.
  6. Expand the 3-D Rotation settings so they are displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The 3-D Rotation settings of the Format Chart Area task pane.

  8. Using the appropriate controls in the task pane, specify how you want the chart to appear.
  9. When satisfied, close the task pane. Your graph is updated with the adjusted view.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9838) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Adjusting Your View of 3-D Graphs.

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. ...

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