Column and bar charts are used to compare different items or identify changes over time. Column charts feature a vertical display of data and bar charts allow for horizontal formatting of data.
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
You can use the Chart Properties panel to control the column width for your column, bar or combo chart. You’ll find the Bar Padding feature in the Series section. If you increase Bar Padding setting, the space between the bars will increase and the width of the bars themselves will decrease proportionately.
Conversely, if you decrease the Bar Group Padding, the space will decrease and 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 a column to show a total such as all four quarters for a year:
- 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.
Column and Bar Customization
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.
- Click the Line Border icon to change the color of the column or bar border.
- Use the input box to set the thickness of the border.
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 and break data down into constituents to identify problems or highlight progress. Stacked charts allow you to draw attention to specific segments of data.
To emphasize a particular segment of a stacked column or bar chart:
- 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 quickly 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 data label above each stacked column or bar which is a sum of the value of each data point within each stack.
You can use the Override link for the Inheriting Total Labels Formatting to change how the value is displayed. 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.
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 to encourage one data point to round the way you need it to in order to foot.
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 through working with either the columns or the line or both.
Use the Chart Properties panel to access settings to change the column colors, borders and label positions. Then select the line to work with the line color, markers and line style.
To work with the values in your column, bar, stacked or combo chart, see the following articles and accompanying videos: