Value or X-Axis of charts should not be truncated for Column/Bar and similar charts

Microsoft Excel automatically truncates the VALUE Axis or X-Axis of charts when the variance between the lowest and highest values of the DATA is less than 20%.

While this truncation is desirable for LINE charts where the purpose is to depict trends, this could be misleading for charts such as COLUMN charts or BAR charts where the main purpose is to show comparison among discrete categories

To make it clear, lets copy the data below to Excel and insert a column or a bar chart

Company Revenue
Microsoft 94
Amazon 98
Apple 110


The Bar Chart on the left above gives the MISLEADING IMPRESSION that Microsoft’s Revenue is less than half of Apple’s Revenue. The Column chart on the right depicts the situation fairly.

However, for LINE charts where the main purpose is to depict trends, VALUE AXIS can be TRUNCATED or we can say it is desirable to TRUNCATE to depict the trend clearly. The figure below shows this


Please support my suggestion by voting for it on the link below

Share This:

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *