Microsoft KB Archive/47263

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Excel: Chart Is Unexpectedly Blank

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 1.x, 2.2, 3.0, 4.0


When creating a Microsoft Excel chart from a selection of a single column or row in a worksheet, the resulting chart will come up blank if the first cell in the selection is blank.

This occurs because Excel assumes that the first row or column contains category information if the first entry is blank. Therefore, Excel uses the single column or row as categories and does not plot any values.

To tell Excel that the single row or column contains values, rather than categories, either make sure there is information in the first selected cell or use Paste Special to override Excel's defaults (described below).


To override Excel's defaults and have the single column or row read as values rather than categories:

  1. Select the information to be charted.
  2. Copy the selection.
  3. Open a new chart.
  4. From the Edit menu, choose Paste Special.
  5. Deselect Categories In First Column.
  6. Click OK.

The information will be plotted as a single series.

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Last Reviewed: March 15, 1999
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