I'm trying to find a solution to a problem that I have with my data.

In my data series, I have Temp over Time plotted on a scatter graph in excel. The data plots a period of around a week in the beginning of February and a week at the beginning of March. This leaves a massive gap in between the data sets and pushes the plotted information to the edges of the graph.

I've found loads of threads on forums asking this question, but none seem to have found a solid solution to the problem.

I've also tried creating a panel chart to eradicate the time gap, however, of the 3 different ways I've tried, none seemed to have worked for me as it doesn't seem possible to add a secondary X axis on my graphs.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  • 1
    Could you not just create 2 graphs (one for each week) and put them next to each other? – Simkill Mar 15 '13 at 10:18

There are at least two ways to accomplish this, one is pretty easy, the other is more difficult.

The Easy Way: As Simkill suggested, just create two (or more charts) and align them, creating an ad-hoc panel chart. By creating your base chart and choosing the formating, you can copy/paste that for subsequent panels ensuring that there's a consistent appearance. It would look something like this:

Broken X Axis Easy

While this method is easier to set-up, it does require ensuring that your subsequent scales for both Axis are adjusted to ensure that your ranges are consistent. In particular, I'd set both Axis Min and Max values, rather then letting Excel do it automatically.

The Hard Way: You can also trick Excel into making you a panel chart with some specific data layout work. Basically, create an "arbitrary" X Axis with however many points you need for each data set, plus some additional blank values between your panels' values. You'll get something like this:

Broken X Axis Hard

Once you're setup with this method, you don't have the same issues with scaling as above. In addition, you can use a second data series, format it as a column chart, and use that as banding (like the gray bands for each data series), to help better define breaks in the data sets.


The previous answer is vague on the alternative method "The Hard Way". Basically, you have an XY data of two series.

Create a scatter plot for series1, including blank cells. Add series2 to the scatter plot, including blank cells. Change the curve for series2 by right clicking on the data curve and "Change Series Type Chart" into a Column Type. Then again, "Change Series Type Chart" to Line Type. Repeat the "Change Series Type Chart" for series1. Now you should get a break in the x-axis.

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.