Column, Bar and Combo Charts

Column and bar charts are used to compare different items or identify changes over time. Column charts feature a vertical display of data and bar charts allow for horizontal formatting of data.

The orientation of column, bar, stacked and combo charts can be switched from column (vertical) to bar (horizontal). Use the Orientation icons in the Chart Properties panel to switch from one to the other.

Chart orientation selection

Spacing for Columns and Groups

You can use the Chart Properties panel to control the column width for your column, bar or combo chart. You’ll find the Bar Padding feature in the Series section. If you increase Bar Padding setting, the space between the bars will increase and the width of the bars themselves will decrease proportionately.

Conversely, if you decrease the Bar Group Padding, the space will decrease and the width of the bars will increase. The Bar Group Padding functions in a similar way. You can increase and decrease the spacing to get your desired display.

Bar chart padding options

Column and Bar Colors

If you want to change the color of a series in a column, bar or combo chart, select the series in the chart or using the drop-down menu. You can also set a border and choose the thickness and color of the border.

You can customize the color of a single value by selecting a column using the drop-down menu just below the series drop-down to work with a single column or bar.

Bar chart Color selection

Then choose a color from the color picker for that column.

Bar chart Color selection

For additional information on chart customization, see the following articles:

Formatting Chart Text
Customizing Chart Appearance
Chart Legends
Chart Label Positions

Stacked Charts

Stacked charts can be either horizontal or vertical and break data down into constituents to identify problems or highlight progress. Stacked charts allow you to draw attention to specific segments of data.

Stacked bar chart Color options

To emphasize a particular segment of a stacked column or bar chart, click the segment to select. Then use the slider to add a border to that segment or change the color for an individual segment with the color picker.

Stacked bar chart Border options

To change the orientation of the stacked chart, use the Orientation icons at the top of the Chart Properties panel. To unstack the bars, use the Stack Bars slider.

Combo Charts

Combo charts give you all of the display capabilities of column, bar and stacked charts with an added line to highlight a particular trend. Combo charts can be customized through working with either the columns or the line or both.

Use the Chart Properties panel to access settings to change the column colors, borders and label positions. Then select the line to work with the line color, markers and line style.

Combo chart formatting

What’s Next

To work with the values in your column, bar, stacked or combo chart, see the following articles and accompanying videos:

Viewing Chart Data
Axis and Series Display for Charts
Value Formatting for Chart Labels