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.
Spacing for Columns and Groups
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 Colors
If you want to change the color of a series in a column, bar or combo chart, select the series in the chart or using the drop-down menu. You can also set a border and choose the thickness and color of the border.
You can customize the color of a single value by selecting a column using the drop-down menu just below the series drop-down to work with a single column or bar.
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 segment to select. Then use the slider to add a border to that segment or change the color for an individual segment with the color picker.
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: