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How to create a chart with date and time on X axis in Excel?

In Excel, we usually insert a chart to better describe the data. But in some cases, when you create a column/bar/line chart based on a series of date and time, the X axis of the chart may be shown as below screenshot. And in this article, I introduce the way for how to show the date and time on X axis correctly in the Chart.
doc chart with date time 1

Create a chart with date and time on X axis correctly


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arrow blue right bubble Create a chart with date and time on X axis correctly


To display the date and time correctly, you only need to change an option in the Format Axis dialog.

1. Right click at the X axis in the chart, and select Format Axis from the context menu. See screenshot:
doc chart with date time 2

2. Then in the Format Axis pane or Format Axis dialog, under Axis Options tab, check Text axis option in the Axis Type section. See screenshot:
doc chart with date time 3  doc chart with date time 4

3. Click Close or go back to the chart, then then date and time data has been correctly display in the X axis. See screenshot:
doc chart with date time 5



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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    TJ Roberts · 1 months ago
    How do I remove days that don't have data in them. Example 8/1-8/31 but not data was captured on 8/3 or 8/4, how do I remove those dates from my graph? They are not in my data table so why is it pulling them?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Agassi · 5 months ago
    Hi, I have an issue here. When I opened "Format Axis" and "Axis Options", there is no "Axis Type" choice here
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 3 months ago
      Hi, Agassi, which Excel version you use?
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Rafael · 5 months ago
    Easy, useful, but i didn't know. Thanks a lot
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    KIWI · 9 months ago
    But it doesnt show them in right relation to eachother. For example 2 hours and 6 hours are same in chart..
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 8 months ago
      Hi Kiwi, maybe you can paint a chart to show me what you want the chart show.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Vilmos · 11 months ago
    This is not OK. It does not show correct order by time just puts the timestamps there as a text in equal distances.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Jeff · 4 months ago
      I'm having the same issue. It would be better for the x-axis to show the time not as evenly spaced category labels, but in actual proportion to the durations between the time values. Example: Here's data on world population by year (note that the intervals between years are not evenly spaced):

      Year: Population
      1804: 1,000,000,000
      1927: 2,000,000,000
      1960: 3,000,000,000
      1989: 5,000,000,000
      2000: 6,000,000,000
      2017: 7,500,000,000

      An Excel line chart depicts this data on a fairly even slope (I'd post a picture, but this interface only allows text); however, the generally declining time intervals SHOULD yield a graph that looks much more exponential.

      I was able to "fake" it by inserting rows in the data table for each year with no data (e.g., 122 rows for the years between 1804 and 1927 exclusive, 32 rows for the years between 1927 and 1960, etc.), so my graph looks more proportional now, but this has its own disadvantages. There are MANY empty rows and much wasted table space. I'd love to learn a better way to get Excel to treat time values in the x-axis as actual time values, rather than mere category labels
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Sunny · 9 months ago
      Hello, Vilmos, create the chart after you order the time data, then the chart will display the time in order.
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        help · 5 months ago
        Nope, you didnt' understand him. It's not proportional.
        • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
          ahmad · 4 months ago
          exactly.
          i am looking desperately for that.
          do you know any other software to create that graph?
          • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
            Nicole · 2 months ago
            I did it in Google Sheets, and it was pretty straight forward.

            It was able to graph using a column with DateTime values for the x-axis, with appropriate spacing, and without having to resort to treating that column as text. It worked with the cells in that column formatted as either a date, or in datetime format. There weren't many options for the spacing on the x-axis lables, but at least you can hover over the trends and see the x-axis value for a given point, in whatever way the cells are formatted. Frustrating that there doesn't seem to be a way in Excel.