Create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel

A bidirectional bar chart is used for comparing two sets of data side by side along a vertical axis. In this tutorial, we will demonstrate how to create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel in details.

Create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel
Easily create a bidirectional bar chart with an amazing tool
Download the sample file
Video: Create a bi-directional bar chart in Excel


Create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel

Supposing you want to create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel based on data as the below screenshot shown, please do as follows.

1. Select the whole data range, then click Insert > Insert Column or Bar Chart > Clustered Bar.

2. Then a clustered bar chart is created. Right click on any bar and select Format Data Series from the right-clicking meu.

3. In the Format Data Series pane, select the Secondary Axis option.

4. Then you can see the secondary axis is added on the top of the bars. Please right click the secondary axis, and then click Format Axis from the context menu.

5. In the opened Format Axis pane, please configure as follows:

5.1) Specify a new minimum value in the Minimum box;
Tips: The new minimum value needs to be changed according to the actual data in your range. In this case, number 612 is the max value in the range, Excel automatically specified number 700 as the maximum axis, so I specify -700 as the Minimum axis.
5.2) Check the Values in reverse order box. See screenshot:

Now the chart is displayed as the below screenshot shown.

6. Click the first axis (under the bars), go to the Format Axis pane, and then set the same value in the Minimum box as step 5.

Note: In this step, keep the Values in reverse order box unchecked.

Then a bidirectional bar chart is created as the below screenshot shown.

Notes: If you want to change the location of vertical axis, widen the bars or add data labels to the bars, please do as follows.

Change the location of vertical axis
As you can see in the chart, the vertical axis now is locating in the middle of the bars, for moving it to the left of the bars, please right click on it and select Format Axis, in the Format Axis pane, expand the Labels section, and the select Low from the Label Position drop-down list.

Now the vertical axis is moved to the left side of the bars. See screenshot:

Widen the bars
Here demonstrate the steps of widening the bars in the bidirectional chart.
1. Click to select the left bars in the chart, in the Format Data Series pane, adjust the Gap Width until the bar width meet your needs.

2. Repeat this step to widen the right bars in the chart.
Now the chart is shown as below.

Add data labels to the bars
1. Select the left bars in the chart, click Design (on the Chart Tools tab) > Add Chart Element > Data Labels > Inside End. Then data labels are added to each corresponding bar as the below screenshot shown.

Tips: For changing the font color of added data labels, please select them and then specify a font color in the Font Color drop-down under the Home tab.

2. Repeat the steps until data labels are added to the right bars of the chart.
Modify the chart title or remove it as you need.

Now the bidirectional chart is complete.


Easily create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel

The BiDirectional Bar Chart utility of Kutools for Excel can help you quickly create a bidirectional bar chart in Excel with several clicks only as the below demo shown.
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Download the sample file


Video: Create a Bi-directional chart in Excel


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