How to Make Excel Scatter Plot? Scatter charts and line graphs look very similar, particularly when a scatter chart is displayed with linking lines. However, there’s a major difference in the way all these chart types plots data along the horizontal axis (which is also known as the x-axis) and the vertical axis (which is also known as the y-axis).
Before you opt for either of these chart types, you might want to find out more about the gaps and discover when it is better to use a scatter graph instead of a line chart, or the other way round.
Learn about the differences between line and scatter graphs
The most important difference between line and scatter charts is the way that they plot data on the horizontal axis. For example, when you use the following worksheet data to make a scatter chart and a line graph, you can see that the information is distributed differently.
In a scatter chart, the daily rainfall values from column A are displayed as x values on the horizontal (x) axis, and the particulate values from column B are displayed as values on the vertical (y) axis. Often known as an XY graph, a scatter graph never shows categories on the horizontal axis.
A scatter chart always has two worth axes to show 1 set of numerical data along a horizontal (value) axis and another set of numerical values along a vertical (value) axis. The chart displays points at the junction of an x and y numerical value, combining these values into single data points.
These data points may be distributed evenly or unevenly across the horizontal axis, depending on the data.
The first data point to appear in the scatter chart represents both a y value of 137 (particulate) and an x value of 1.9 (daily rainfall).
In a line graph, however, the same daily rainfall and particulate values are displayed as two separate data points, which are evenly distributed along the horizontal axis.
This is because a line chart only has one value axis (the vertical axis). The horizontal axis of a line graph only shows evenly dispersed groupings (categories) of information. Because categories were not provided in the information, they were automatically generated, for example, 1, 2, 3, etc.
This is a fantastic example of when not to use a line graph.
A line chart distributes category data evenly along a horizontal (category) axis and distributes all numerical value data along a vertical (value) axis.
Neither of these data points is the first data point displayed in the chart — rather, the first data point for each of the data series refers to the values in the first data row on the worksheet (cell A2 and B2).
Axis type and scaling differences
Because the horizontal axis of a scatter chart is obviously a value axis, it can display numerical values or date values (such as days or hours) which are represented as numerical values.
To display the numerical values along the horizontal axis with greater flexibility, you can alter the scaling options on this axis the exact same way that you can change the scaling options of a vertical axis.
Since the horizontal axis of a line graph is a class axis, it can be just a text axis or a date axis. A text axis displays text only (non-numerical numerical or data categories that aren’t values) at evenly spaced intervals.
A date axis displays dates in chronological order at specific intervals or base units, like a number of days, months, or years, even if the dates on the worksheet aren’t in order or in precisely the exact same base units.
The accessible scaling options also depend on the type of axis which you use.
Know when to use a scatter or line chart
Scatter charts are commonly used for displaying and comparing numerical values, such as scientific, statistical, and engineering information. These charts are useful to show the relationships among the numeric values in many data series, and they are able to plot two groups of numbers as one set of XY coordinates.
Line graphs can display continuous data over time, place against a standard scale, and are therefore ideal for showing trends in data at equal intervals or over time.
In a line graph, type data is distributed evenly along the horizontal axis, and all value data is distributed evenly along the vertical axis.
As a rule of thumb, use a line graph if your data has non-numeric x values — for numeric x values, it is normally better to use a scatter graph.
Consider using a scatter chart instead of a line graph if you want to:
You may turn the horizontal axis to a logarithmic scale.
Display worksheet information that includes pairs or grouped sets of values In a scatter chart, you can adjust the independent scales of the axes to reveal more information regarding the grouped values.
Show patterns in large collections of data Scatter charts are useful for illustrating the patterns in the data, such as by revealing linear or non-linear trends, clusters, and outliers.
The more info that you include in a scatter chart, the better the comparisons which you can make.
Consider using a line chart instead of a scatter chart if you want to:
Use text labels along the horizontal axis These text labels can represent evenly spaced values such as months, quarters, or fiscal years.
Use a Few of numerical labels along the horizontal axis If you use a couple of, evenly spaced numerical labels that represent a time period, like years, you can use a line chart.
Use a time scale along the horizontal axis If you would like to display dates in chronological order at specific intervals or base components, like a number of days, months, or years, even if the dates on the worksheet are not in order or in the same base components, use a line chart.
Two rows or columns of data in Microsoft Excel may contain useful information, but you will just have a set of numbers. You may give dictionary audiences a graphical representation of those numbers by letting Excel generate visually illustrative charts.
An X-Y scatter plot is a perfect chart option when you have two data sets, and because scatter plots are a native graph option in Excel, you simply decide what data and which type of scatter plot you would like to use. One click will provide you a completely new way to check out your spreadsheet information.
- Launch Excel and open the spreadsheet with the information to change in an X-Y scatter plot diagram.
- Highlight the rows or columns of the data to include in the scatter plot.
- Click the “Insert” tab, and then pick the “Scatter” menu in the Charts section of the ribbon.
- Select one of the scatter plot diagram options, such as “Scatter with only Markers,” “Scatter with Smooth Lines and Markers” or “Scatter with Straight Lines.” The scatter plot is inserted into the Excel spreadsheet.
- Click the green “Chart Tools” tab at the top of the work area. If you have clicked off of the dot plot, click on the chart again.
- Change the scatter plot’s look by clicking one of the options in the Chart Styles section of the ribbon.
Tips Make Excel Scatter Plot
When clicking through the graph options, be sure to don’t click one of the other kinds; if you do click inadvertently, you may just click “Change Chart Type” and choose “X-Y Scatter Plot” from there.
To Make Excel Scatter Plot ? These instructions apply to Excel 2013 but also function similarly for Excel 2010. You’ll find your spreadsheet on the primary display in the “Recent” column in 2013, whereas in 2010, you’ll need to click the “File” tab to get the “Recent” menu item.