Switch Between Rows & Columns in an Excel Graph's Source Data

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  • 0:01 Making the Switch
  • 0:42 Excel Charts - Refresher
  • 2:21 Switch Row/Column Command
  • 3:09 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

When creating charts in Excel, the series and category, or rows and columns, may at times need to be switched. Excel has a command called Switch Row/Column. This lesson will review the steps to using this command.

Making the Switch

Imagine you entered a bunch of numbers, then inserted a chart to visually enhance the worksheet and make the information easier to digest. You hand it off to your boss who likes it, but he wants the columns switched, or in other words, the category and series need to be reversed. You prepare to start over and re-create the chart. But wait! There is an easier way.

This lesson will start with a Quick review about charts in Excel, learning what is meant by the x-axis, y-axis, series and category. You will learn how to switch between the two using the Switch Row/Column command.

Excel Charts - Refresher

Before you learn how to switch rows and columns, let's review the basic elements of an Excel chart. Charts in Excel can be very helpful when you need to display data graphically. This usually makes the numbers and calculations a bit easier to read and understand. Using a chart will help the viewer easily see which numbers are high or low and which numbers may be going up or down.

Most charts have two axis. I like to think of them as the sides of the chart or graph. You have the x-axis, which is the horizontal part of the chart, and the y-axis, which is the vertical part.

Let's take a look at a sample chart and identify its components. Imagine you have created a worksheet with the revenue results for the last four years. You have a column for each year and the quarterly revenue results displayed by row. To insert the chart, you highlighted the data, clicked on Insert and selected a Column Chart.

Excel Chart

If you look at the chart, we have five key elements.

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