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Chapter 4. Inserting Charts > Chart Terminology

Chart Terminology

Figure 4.3 points out the key areas of a column chart; many chart types have these same areas.

Figure 4.3. It's helpful to understand the terminology used for charts.


The y-axis is known as the value axis since it always displays values on its scale. The x-axis is known as the category axis because it displays categories of data (such as quarters, months, years, names).

Tick marks appear next to each value on the y-axis and between categories on the x-axis. Gridlines may extend from the tickmarks to help you interpret the values at each data point. A set of data points makes up a data series.

When a chart has more than one data series (Figure 4.3 has two series—Sales and Expenses), you can use a legend to identify each series.

Tip

On a three-dimensional chart, the value axis is called the z-axis and the series axis running along the depth of the chart is called the y-axis.


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