Microsoft KB Archive/170089

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Article ID: 170089

Article Last Modified on 10/22/2000


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q170089


If you chart a range of dates that are not consecutive, Microsoft Excel 97 may fill in the missing dates to make the range consecutive.


To resolve this behavior, format the axis to be a category axis instead of a time-scale axis. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

If you entered data on the worksheet but did not yet create the chart, follow these steps:

  1. Select the data on the worksheet that is to be the source data for the chart.
  2. Click Chart Wizard on the Standard toolbar.
  3. Make the changes you want in steps 1 and 2 of the Chart Wizard.
  4. In step 3 of the Chart Wizard, click the Axes tab.
  5. Click Category under Category (X) axis.
  6. Continue stepping through the Chart Wizard until the chart is created.

Method 2

If you already created the chart, follow these steps:

  1. Click the chart to select it.
  2. On the Chart menu, click Chart Options.
  3. Click the Axes tab.
  4. Click Category under Category (X) Axes and click OK.


This behavior is by design of Microsoft Excel 97.


Microsoft Excel 97 automatically uses a time-scale axis if it detects that you have worksheet data that contains date number formatting in the first column, or first row of source data for the chart (depending on the dimensions of your source data). The time-scale axis is a special type of category axis that is organized by date. The time-scale axis in the chart displays the dates in chronological order even if the dates are not in that order on the worksheet. The scaling of the time-scale axis is determined by an algorithm Microsoft Excel 97 uses on the range of dates in the axis. The base unit is calculated by scanning through the series of points and finding the smallest time difference between two date values in the range. This time difference then becomes the base unit for the time-scale axis.


For more information about the time-scale axis, click the Index tab in Microsoft Excel 97 Help, type the following text

time-scale axes

and then double-click the selected text to go to the "About time-scale axes" topic.

Keywords: kbprogramming kbprb KB170089