This question is almost stupid but, since I'm working late at night in this part of the world, I'm too confused that I can't find the easiest command.

I have a scattered graphs with many series. Some data of, say, series A cover data of series B. However I would like B to be in front.

Is there a way to accomplish this as in powerpoint? I'm using excel 2011 on MacOS Mavericks.


p.s. here is what I get from "select data source"

enter image description here

  • I believe you would have to change the order of your data. – fixer1234 Sep 28 '14 at 21:27

Select the chart and edit the data source. The order of the series in the left hand side of the dialog will determine which series show in front of others, as long as they are all plotted on the same axis. Select a series and click the up or down arrows to move its position.

In the screenshot you can see the Series order for the lower chart. Series1 is listed after Series2 and will be plotted on top

enter image description here

Edit: Apparently the option to re-order the series does not exist in the respective dialog on Excel for Mac. In this case, edit the formula for the data series in the formula bar.

Select the data series in the chart and look at the formula bar. You will see something like


The last number in this formula is the order of the series. You can edit and change it in the formula bar. The lowest number series will be plotted behind higher number series.

Before: the orange series has the number 2 and is plotted on top of the blue series (which has the number 1)

enter image description here

After: the orange series has the number 1 is plotted behind the blue series (which now has the number 2)

enter image description here

So, to bring a series to the front, make sure that its order number is the highest of the series in the chart.

  • I have a scattered plot, does it work also for excel on macos? – edwineveningfall Sep 28 '14 at 22:08
  • The chart type does not matter. The screenshot shows a Scatter plot, by the way. It also does not matter if the chart is created with macros. What matters is the order of the series. The lowest series in the dialog will be plotted on top. When the chart is created with macros, create the series you want to see on top as the last series added to the chart. – teylyn Sep 28 '14 at 22:12
  • Thanks for your help! But I meant not macRos but MacOS! – edwineveningfall Sep 29 '14 at 8:28
  • ok I'm sorry for that. Now I edited the question and I posted the picture of "Select Data Source" – edwineveningfall Oct 1 '14 at 19:52
  • I edited my answer to include an approach for Excel for Mac – teylyn Oct 1 '14 at 20:45

Unfortunately does not work for Combo Charts - when you combine e.g. stacked colums and a line, the line will always be on top no matter what you do. The only way I've found is to manually overlay two charts, which you can then arrange easily with 'bring forward' etc. Lots of manual adjusting until the overlay fits however...

  • This serves the community better as a comment – Ramhound Dec 5 '16 at 18:30
  • 2
    For me that was the correct answer. – ercan Apr 24 '20 at 15:40

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