Excel Tutorial: How To Make An Excel Graph With 2 Y Axis

Introduction


Creating a graph in Excel with two y axes can be a powerful tool for visualizing and analyzing complex data. In this tutorial, we will explore the step-by-step process of creating a graph with two y axes in Excel, and discuss the importance of using this feature in certain data visualization scenarios.


Key Takeaways


  • Creating a graph with two y axes in Excel can be a powerful tool for visualizing complex data.
  • It is important to use two y axes in certain data visualization scenarios to accurately represent the data.
  • Ensure that the data is organized in a clear and understandable manner before creating the graph.
  • When adding the second y axis, identify the series that require it and access the format data series options.
  • It is crucial to fine-tune the details of the graph to ensure clear labeling and accurate data representation.


Understanding the Data


Before creating a graph with two Y axes in Excel, it's crucial to understand the data that will be used for the graph. This will ensure that the graph accurately represents the information and is easy to interpret.

A. Gather the data that will be used for the graph

Gather all the relevant data that you want to include in your graph. This may involve data from different sources or different aspects of the same data set.

B. Ensure that the data is organized in a clear and understandable manner

Organize the data in a way that is easy to understand and interpret. This may involve arranging the data in columns or rows, and ensuring that it is labeled clearly.



Creating the Initial Chart


To create an Excel graph with 2 y axis, you will need to start by creating the initial chart with your selected data. Here's how you can do it:

A. Select the data that will be used for the initial chart
  • Open your Excel spreadsheet and navigate to the data that you want to use for the graph.
  • Select the range of data that includes the x-axis values and the two sets of y-axis values.
  • Make sure your data is arranged in columns or rows, with the x-axis values in one column or row, and the corresponding y-axis values in adjacent columns or rows.

B. Insert a basic chart using the selected data
  • With your data selected, go to the "Insert" tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on the "Insert Line or Area Chart" button and choose the chart type that you want to use.
  • A basic chart will be created using the selected data, with the x-axis and one y-axis represented.

Once you have created the initial chart, you can then proceed to add the second y-axis to it in order to create a graph with 2 y axes. This will allow you to accurately represent and compare two different sets of data on the same graph.


Adding the Second Y Axis


When creating a graph in Excel, you may find the need to include a second y-axis to better represent the data. Here's how you can add a secondary y-axis to your Excel graph.

Identify the series that will require a secondary y axis


Before adding a secondary y-axis to your graph, it's important to identify the data series that will require this additional axis. Typically, this will be the series that does not align with the scale of the primary y-axis, such as a different unit of measurement or a significantly larger or smaller range of values.

Access the format data series options to add the secondary y axis


Once you have identified the series that requires a secondary y-axis, follow these steps to add it to your Excel graph:

  • Select the data series: Click on the data series that requires the secondary y-axis to highlight it.
  • Open the Format Data Series options: Right-click on the highlighted data series and select "Format Data Series" from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose the secondary y-axis: In the Format Data Series pane, navigate to the "Series Options" tab. Here, you will find the "Plot Series On" option. Select "Secondary Axis" from the dropdown menu.
  • Adjust the axis scale: After adding the secondary y-axis, you may need to adjust the scale to ensure the data series is properly displayed. Right-click on the secondary y-axis, select "Format Axis," and adjust the scale settings as needed.

By following these simple steps, you can easily add a secondary y-axis to your Excel graph, allowing for a more accurate and comprehensive representation of your data.


Formatting the Chart


Once you have created a graph with two y axes in Excel, you may want to format the chart to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand.

A. Adjust the scale and appearance of the secondary y axis

When you have two y axes on a chart, it's important to ensure that both axes are appropriately scaled and displayed. To adjust the scale and appearance of the secondary y axis:

  • Click on the secondary y axis to select it.
  • Right-click on the axis and choose "Format Axis."
  • In the Format Axis pane, you can adjust the minimum and maximum bounds, major and minor units, and other scale options to ensure the secondary y axis is clear and easy to read.
  • You can also customize the appearance of the secondary y axis by changing the line color, style, and other visual elements.

B. Customize the colors and labels for each data series on the graph

Customizing the colors and labels for each data series on the graph can help differentiate between the two y axes and make it easier for viewers to understand the data.

  • Click on the data series to select it.
  • Right-click on the data series and choose "Format Data Series."
  • In the Format Data Series pane, you can customize the color, marker style, and other visual elements of the data series.
  • You can also add data labels to the data series to display the values directly on the graph, making it easier for viewers to interpret the data.


Fine-Tuning the Details


After creating a graph with two y-axes, it's important to make sure that the final product is clear and easy to understand. This involves carefully labeling the graph and double-checking the data and formatting to ensure accuracy and avoid any potential confusion.

A. Ensure that the graph is clearly labeled and easy to interpret
  • Label the axes: Clearly label both y-axes to indicate the units of measurement being represented. This will help viewers understand the data being presented and make accurate interpretations.
  • Title the graph: Provide a clear, concise title that accurately represents the data being displayed. The title should give viewers an immediate understanding of what the graph is showing.
  • Add a legend: If the graph includes multiple data sets, use a legend to differentiate between the lines or bars. This will make it easier for viewers to understand which data points correspond to which y-axis.

B. Double-check the data and formatting to avoid any errors or confusion
  • Data accuracy: Review the source data and double-check that it has been accurately transposed onto the graph. Any errors in the data could lead to misinterpretations and incorrect conclusions.
  • Ensure that the formatting of the graph is consistent and visually appealing. This includes using the same color scheme, line style, and point markers for each data set to create a cohesive and professional look.
  • Step back and review the graph from a viewer's perspective. Make sure that the graph effectively communicates the intended message and that the data is clearly presented without any unnecessary clutter or confusion.


Conclusion


A. Creating an Excel graph with 2 y axes involves selecting the data to be included in the graph, inserting a graph type that supports dual axes, adding data to the graph, and formatting the axes to suit your needs. It's important to carefully follow these steps in order to ensure that your graph accurately represents your data.

B. Clear and accurate data visualization in Excel is crucial for effectively communicating insights and trends. By utilizing 2 y axes in your graph, you can provide a more complete picture of how different data sets correlate with each other, leading to more informed decision-making and analysis.

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