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How to no overlap bubble in bubble chart in Excel?

Author: Sun Last Modified: 2014-11-29

If the one bubble’s X value and Y value are close to another buddle’s in a bubble chart , the smaller bubble will be hidden by the bigger one as below screenshot shown, bubble A and bubble C are hidden. Now I will tell you some quick tricks to not overlap the bubbles in Excel.


No overlap bubbles by changing bubble’s transparency

No overlap bubbles by resort series’ order

arrow blue right bubble No overlap bubbles by changing bubble’s transparency

You can change the front bubbles’ transparency to see the bubbles in the back.

1. Select the front bubble and right click to select Format Data Series from the context menu.


2. In Format Data Series dialog/pane, do two operations.

(1) Click Fill tab and check Solid fill option, then drag the Transparency slider to the bubble transparency you need.


(2) Click Border Color tab, check Solid line option, and select the color line you need. See screenshot:


3. Close dialog, you can see one of the front bubbles looks transparent.


4. Repeat above steps to change the transparency of the other bubble. And then you can see the hidden bubble.


arrow blue right bubble No overlap bubbles by resort series’ order

With above way may be not convenient enough for you, you can use this way which just need to change the series order.

1. Click at the bubble chart, and right click to select Select Data from the context menu. See screenshot:


2. Then in the Select Data Source dialog, click at series A (the series has been hidden) in the Legend Entries (Series) section list, and click the Move Down arrow to move A to the bottom of all series. See screenshots:


3. Then repeat step 3 to move series C to the bottom in Select Data Source dialog.


Tip: Move the smallest bubble to the bottom, and move the second smallest bubble above the smallest one snd son on in the Legend Entries (Series) section.

4. Then click OK to close the dialog. Now you can see the small bubble has appeared in the front.


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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is a very helpful tip - and so is the multi-series one accompanying it. I have a question about the legend size and colours.

I have slight red-green blindness and I find the default legend difficult to use. Is there some way to make the legend circles much larger ?

I got around that by dropping the chart into PowerPoint and tagging the bubbles with small text boxes. I'm hoping there is a better way.


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