Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on April 15, 2018

 

Most Excel charts consist of an x-axis and a y-axis, Excel allows you to easily change the looks of the chart axis.

The chart below is what Excel returns using a few random values as a data source, there are, however, no axis lines.

I have drawn a blue rectangle surrounding each group of axis values in the chart above.

To make it easier to see the changes I am about to do, I am now going to remove the major horizontal grid lines.

Simply click on the gridlines and press delete on your keyboard to remove them.

Font size of axis values
Axis value font type
Axis value font color
Customize axis line
Axis line tick marks
Tick marks interval
Axis line position
Add axis title text

Font size of axis values

To change the font size of the axis values select the axis you want to change.

Go to tab "Home" on the ribbon then click on font size.

I chose font size 16.

Tip! If you want to quickly format the y-axis with the same font size, follow these steps.

  1. Select the x-axis.
  2. Go to tab "Home" on the ribbon.
  3. Click on "Format Painter" button.
  4. Click on y-axis.

Both chart axis now have the same font size, this technique can be used on many different Excel objects, not only charts.

Back to top

Axis value font type

  1. Click on the axis values you want to change.
  2. Go to tab "Home" on the ribbon.
  3. Click on font.
  4. Select a font.

Back to top

Axis value font color

  1. Select axis values
  2. Click on font color button.
  3. Pick a font color.

Back to top

Customize axis line

  1. Right-click on x-axis values.
  2. Click on "Format Axis..."
  3. Click on the "Fill and Line" button.
  4. Click on Line to expand the Line settings
  5. Now you can change the color of the axis line, thickness, dashed or dotted and so on.

I exaggerated the axis line thickness and changed the color black to make it stand out.

Back to top

Axis line tick marks

  1. Right click on an axis.
  2. Click on "Format Axis..."
  3. Click on "Axis Options" button.
  4. Expand "Tick Marks".
  5. Change "Major Type" to Inside.

You have three options, tick marks inside, outside or cross. Above picture displays inside tick marks.

Back to top

Axis line tick marks interval

  1. Right click on an axis.
  2. Click on "Format Axis..."
  3. Click on "Axis Options" button.
  4. Expand "Tick Marks".
  5. Change the Interval between marks.

Back to top

Axis line position

  1. To change the position of the x-axis you must right click on the y-axis and vice versa.
  2. Click on "Format Axis..."
  3. Click on the "Axis Options" button.
  4. Find Horizontal Axis crosses and select Axis value.
  5. Change it to the value on the y-axis you want the x-axis to cross, or vice versa.

Back to top

Add axis title text

The chart above has no descriptive titles, follow these simple steps to add chart axis titles.

  1. Select chart.
  2. Go to tab "Design" on the ribbon. The tab will appear as soon as you select the chart.
  3. Click on "Add Chart Element".
  4. Click "Axis Titles".
  5. Click on "Primary Horizontal" or "Primary Vertical"

Back to top