Column and bar charts are used to compare different items or identify changes over time. Column charts feature a vertical display of data. Bar charts format data horizontally.
The orientation of column, bar, stacked and combo charts can be switched from column (vertical) to bar (horizontal). Use the Orientation [ ] icons in the Chart Properties panel to switch from one to the other.
Column and group spacing
Use the Chart Properties panel to control column width. You’ll find the Bar Padding feature in the Series section. If you increase Bar Padding setting, the space between the bars will increase. The width of the bars themselves will decrease proportionately.
Conversely, if you decrease the Bar Group Padding, the space will decrease. The width of the bars will increase. The Bar Group Padding functions in a similar way. You can increase and decrease the spacing to get your desired display.
Note: Overlapping bars can be created using negative padding values.
You can also insert columns to show totals. For example, this could show all four quarters for a year.
To insert total columns:
- First insert a blank column to separate the data for the year total from the data for the quarters. This will create a space in the chart.
- Create a column for the year-end totals.
- Use a SUM formula in each cell in the Total column.
Customize a series
To customize a series:
- Select the series in the chart or using the drop-down menu in the Chart Properties panel.
- Click the square for Color to customize the column or bar color using the color picker.
- Toggle the Border slider to customize the column or bar borders.
- Use the input box to set the thickness of the border.
- Click the Line Border icon to change the color of the column or bar border.
- Choose the Dash Style in the drop-down menu.
Customize a single column or bar
To customize a single column or bar:
- Select the series in the chart or use the first drop-down menu under Series.
- Then select the specific column or bar in the chart or use the second drop-down menu under Series.
- Customize the color and border in the Chart Properties panel.
- Then choose a color from the color picker for that column.
For additional information on chart customization, see the following articles:
Stacked charts can be either horizontal or vertical. Stacked charts break data down to identify problems or highlight progress. Stacked charts allow you to draw attention to specific segments of data.
To emphasize a particular segment:
- Click the series to select.
- Then click a specific segment in the series.
- Use the slider to add a border to that segment.
- Change the color for an individual segment with the color picker.
- Use the Border slider to add a border.
- Adjust the color and thickness of the border as desired.
To change the orientation of the stacked chart, use the Orientation [ ] icons at the top of the Chart Properties panel. To unstack the bars, use the Stack Bars toggle.
You can also display the total of a stacked column or bar chart. Use the slider to enable the Show Stacked Total Labels settings in the Chart Properties panel. The chart will display a sum label above each stacked column or bar.
Due to rounding, there may be times when adding up the display value of each data point won’t add up perfectly to the total label. You can use the Override link for Inheriting Total Labels Formatting to change how the value is displayed.
If you’d like your data labels to visually foot to your total labels, we recommend using adjustment columns (see Moving from GPBO to adjustment columns) in your chart data.
Combo charts give you all of the display capabilities of column, bar and stacked charts with an added line to highlight a particular trend. Combo charts can be customized by working with either the columns or the line or both.
Use the Chart Properties panel to change the column colors, borders and label positions. Then select the line to work with the line color, markers and line style.