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Microsoft KB Archive/171076

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Knowledge Base

Article ID: 171076

Article Last Modified on 11/23/2006


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171076


In Microsoft Excel 97, if you run a Visual Basic for Applications macro that formats a chart, you may receive the following error message:

Run-time error '1004':
Unable to set the AxisGroup property of the Series class

Note that the same macro works correctly in earlier versions of Microsoft Excel.


This problem occurs if the following conditions are true:

  • You are using a line of code similar to the following to move a series from the primary y axis to the secondary y axis:

          ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(3).AxisGroup = 2


  • Only one series in the chart is assigned to the primary y axis. For example, if a chart has three series, one of the series is assigned to the primary y axis. The other two series are assigned to the secondary y axis.

Note that it does not matter that the series you are moving is already assigned to the secondary y axis.


Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied, including, but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability and/or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language being demonstrated and the tools used to create and debug procedures. Microsoft support professionals can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific needs. If you have limited programming experience, you may want to contact a Microsoft Certified Partner or the Microsoft fee-based consulting line at (800) 936-5200. For more information about Microsoft Certified Partners, please visit the following Microsoft Web site:

For more information about the support options that are available and about how to contact Microsoft, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

To prevent this problem from occurring, modify the Visual Basic code so that it resembles the following:

    ' Disable macro error messages.
   On Error Resume Next

   ' Move the 3rd series to the secondary y axis.
   ActiveChart.SeriesCollection(3).AxisGroup = 2

   ' Resume normal error handling.
   On Error GoTo 0

NOTE: The "On Error" lines prevent the error from occurring.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.


In earlier versions of Microsoft Excel, it is possible for all of the series in a chart to be assigned to the secondary y axis. In Microsoft Excel 97, this is not possible. If you attempt to move the last series that uses the primary y axis to the secondary y axis, you receive an error message and the macro halts.

Because of a problem in the code that determines whether a series may be moved to the secondary y axis, you receive an error message even if the series in question is already assigned to the secondary y axis.

Additional query words: XL97

Keywords: kbdtacode kbprb kbprogramming KB171076