I have the following graph in excel, and I would like to add a single line at the level of the zero on the secondary axis

enter image description here

I thought choosing "horizontal axis cuts on axis=0" in "format axis" options would do it but it seems to have no impact. I'm starting to suspect this is one of the many flaws of post-2007 Excel graphs design. Is there a way I can add this single horizontal line at the zero level with Excel 2013 ?

Edit : For the avoidance of all doubt, this graph is updating, so I would need the line to move along with the zero on the right axis.

I could draw manually a line but it wouldn't feel very satisfying

  • What have you researched to add a target line to your chart? Have you tried Insert > Shapes then draw a line on the chart?
    – CharlieRB
    Jan 27, 2016 at 17:11
  • 1
    Have you tried adding a series graphed on the secondary axis and whose values are all zero? Format it to a thin black line and you're done. Jan 28, 2016 at 21:22
  • @CharlieRB This does not solve my problem as any update in the graph could put this manually drawn line out of zero.
    – WNG
    Jan 29, 2016 at 13:52
  • @EngineerToast It's a workaround that works, but I still wonder why the "horizontal axis cuts on axis=0" doesn't do anything
    – WNG
    Jan 29, 2016 at 13:53
  • 1
    Well, it was a suggestion based on what you said; "Is there a way I can add this single horizontal line". You need to add any specific requirements for a solution to your question. Otherwise, we have no idea what you expect. FWIW, I have used this, and the suggestion from Engineer Toast, with great results.
    – CharlieRB
    Jan 29, 2016 at 14:00

1 Answer 1


I think I have a solution for you: Add a secondary horizontal axis.

The axis setting "Horizontal axis crosses" for the primary vertical axis only affects the primary horizontal axis. The setting for the secondary vertical axis only affects the secondary horizontal axis. It doesn't look like you need a secondary horizontal axis in this case so you can turn it on, set its crossing point to 0, and then hide the labels and tick marks.

Example in Original Condition:

Step 1

(Chart Tools) Design > Add Chart Element > Axes > Secondary Horizontal

Step 2

Format Secondary Vertical Axis > Axis Options > Horizontal Axis Crosses > Axis Value = 0

Step 3

Format Secondary Horizontal Axis > Labels = None, Tick Marks = None, Lines = Black Solid 3.0pt Dashed

Step 4

  • Perfect, now it all makes sense : the horizontal axis will only cut at zero if it's visible.
    – WNG
    Jan 29, 2016 at 17:52

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.