There is probably a fairly straight forward answer out there but I can not seem to find a solution online.

I have a table marked up like this (column names are in bold)

audit date | blindness

10/17/2001 | red

10/17/2002 | green

10/17/2003 | yellow

10/17/2004 | unknown

10/17/2005 | red

I would simply like to make a line graph in excel, where the audit date values are the X-axis categories, and the blindness values are the Y-axis categories.

I have tried so many little tutorial's online but my graph never comes out looking correctly. I can not get the axis the way I'd like.

PS - I am using Excel 2003

This is exactly what I would like to see. Chart describing data layout

  • for the y values you ned to transform the red, green etc to a number for a line graph? What values do you choose?
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 15:28
  • Hmm, so its not possible to list the colour values, (red/green/yellow) on the Y axis, and have the line graph create a marker at red for x value 10/17/2001? Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 15:31
  • can you sketch the result you want on MS Paint or similar program just to see it?
    – kokbira
    Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 17:27
  • @kokbira I have edited my question to include a machup in mspaint. Thanks! Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


I'm trying but I have "partial success"...

For THREE COLOR NAMES, you can do that:

audit date | blindness code
10/17/2001 | 2
10/17/2002 | 1
10/17/2003 | 3
10/17/2004 | 2
10/17/2005 | 3

Where 1 is for green, 2 is for red and 3 is for yellow.

Then format the "blindness code" cells to that custom format:


So, when you put it on XY graph, choose X for audit data (date format) and Y for blindness code (custom format) and your graph will show them as you want.

  • Tested with Excel 2003. Perhaps with other versions you can add more conditions in custom formats... I tested with Open Office 3.2 and it has the same limitations...
    – kokbira
    Commented Apr 20, 2011 at 18:52

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