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I have a number of points where the X value is a number. Excel sees it as a number. But when displaying the chart, it does not sort the X axis.

Why?

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    Excel treates X-values as category names, not numbers. Build scatter chart. Article. – Akina Nov 18 '18 at 14:34
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Odds are you have created a Line Chart. In a line chart, the x axis is equally spaced and points are plotted from left to right in the order the appear the list of data. The line chart will ignore their actual value and relative distance between x values.

line chart

In order for the chart to plot the x position according to the X values, you need to use a scatter plot, and the x values must all be numerical values and not strings. If for some reason you had a bunch of numbers that were formatted as strings, excel will treat the chart as a line chart until all x values are corrected to numerical values.

To convert your chart to a scatter chart, right click on the chart and select Change Chart Type...

Change chart

From the chart type window that appears, first select X Y (Scatter) on the left and then the appropriate style from top on the right, and finally the appropriate option from the bottom right area.

Change Chart 2

Or alternatively you can simply re-select your data and insert a new scatter chart.

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  • thank you - it's counter intuitive (to me at least) that a line chart with numbers on the X is not a numeric axis. – David Thielen Nov 18 '18 at 20:10

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