# How to plot 3D graphs in Excel from CSV data?

I have data formatted like this in a csv file:

``````a, 1, 4, 6.0
a, 2, 42, 16.0
a, 5, 14, 69.3
a, 11, 4, 7.0
b, 1, 45, 6.0
b, 2, 45, 1.9
b, 9, 2, 4.4
b, 11, 4, 7.9
``````

lines with first parameter a is one set of data, and first parameter b represents another set.

My aim is to plot two lines on the same graph, one with points

``````(1, 4, 6.0), (2, 42, 16.0), (5, 14, 69.3), (11, 4, 7.0)
``````

and the other with points

``````(1, 45, 6.0), (2, 45, 1.9), (9, 2, 4.4), (11, 4, 7.9)
``````

I am able to import the data directly in MS Excel, but am not sure how to plot them. How can I plot this data?

-
Can you elaborate on what you mean by a 3D graph? Are you referring to graphing something in 3 dimensional space (like elevation contours) or are you simply wanting to encode a third variable in your chart for each data point? I think this is a subtle, but important distinction. – dav Oct 23 '12 at 11:44

You didn't state what version of Excel you are using. This was done in Excel 2010, but should give you an idea how to do it enough to figure it out in another version.

After you've imported your data, select a cell with no data. Insert a blank chart. Then edit the chart data by choosing `Select Data` from the context menu. You will then add a series choosing `A1` as the series name, then select the data row by row while holding Ctrl (this allows multi-select). This will plot the numbers in the order you stated. Do not just select all of the data from `B1` to `D4` or you will get an error.

Then do the same thing for `b` by adding another series.

-
The OP is asking about 3D charts, as far as I can tell, although not clear exactly what kind. – beroe Sep 27 '14 at 18:49
This post is nearly 2-years old. At this point, I am not sure it makes a difference considering the OP hasn't given feedback. Nonetheless, you are right. They would need to simply change the chart type or properties to 3D. – CharlieRB Sep 28 '14 at 18:38

If you want a 3D scatter plot, you will have to use something like this macro, since 3D Scatter is not a build-in chart type. Or you could try R or some other plotting environment.

-