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When selecting data for use in an Excel scatter chart the default column/row assignments are that the first column/row will be used for the X axis and subsequent columns/rows will be used for the Y axis. For example, if there are five columns of data selected, the first column is the X axis and columns two, three, four, and five are the Y axis (series 1, series 2, series 3 and series 4). Is it possible to reverse the default assignment so the first column is the Y axis and subsequent columns are used for the X axis? So for five columns, the first column is the Y axis and columns two, three, four, and five are the X axis (series 1, series 2, series 3 and series 4).

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3 Answers 3

I've just tried to create a chart from the data layout you describe. There is no switch you can set in Excel to use the first column as the Y value and the second and following columns as X values. You can insert an empty XY chart and then manually add the data series. The data layout with the Y in the first column is so unusual that it took a lot of concentration to get the chart right. I'd prefer to re-arrange the data to follow Excel's logic of the data layout rather than work against Excel. The screenshot shows a chart that can be manually stitched together by defining each series by hand, or, using the lower data layout, with one click. XY chart

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Thanks for looking into my question, I have been manually adjusting the data with good results. I was hoping I could switch the default as that would save me a considerable ammount of time. Thanks again for the reply. –  user193795 Jan 29 '13 at 23:19

There is. I have Excel 2000. I right click on the chart, click source data (translated) then there's Series in and a radio button to select either rows or columns

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Unfortunatly, this only switches whether the selected data is input as columns or rows. In either case the default is still to use the first column\row as the X axis. I wanted the first column\row to be the Y axis with multiple X axis series. Thanks anyway, cheers. –  user193795 Jan 29 '13 at 23:28

I believe that Kitet may have been partly right.  Is this the sort of thing you want?

enter image description here

I started out small and did this:

enter image description here

by entering the data, creating the chart, right-clicking on the curve, and selecting “Select Data…”:

enter image description here

That gave me this “Select Data Source” pop-up:

enter image description here

where I clicked on “Edit”.  That gave me the “Edit Series” dialog box, and I just changed all the As to Bs and vice versa:

enter image description here

The one with the two X series was the same, except, in the “Select Data Source” pop-up, you will need to click on each series and “Edit” each one.

This is on Excel 2007.

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Thanks for your reply,yes, this is how I have been able to make charts of this type. However, manually changing the data in the "Edit Series" dialog boxes is quite time consuming (especially if there are a lot of columns). If there were some way to tell Excel to use the first column of the selected data as the Y axis it would be a real time saver, this is what I am trying to find out. –  user193795 Jan 30 '13 at 15:31

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