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    How to Adjust Your Column Chart’s Spacing in Excel

    Updated on: Jul 5th, 2016
    Data Visualization in Excel
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    In my prior post, I sketched a few options for a performing arts organization’s fictional ticket sales data:

    Sketch of chart.

    I intentionally separated the year-by-year columns from the total column with a little extra space. I don’t want all the columns mushed together.

    Easy to sketch on paper.

    But easy in Microsoft Excel?


    Here’s the default Excel graph.


    Basic excel stacked bar chart.

    Here’s the mostly edited version: reduced clutter; custom color; labels directly beside the data; reduced gap width.

    Edited stacked bar chart in Excel.

    The secret strategy for nudging one of the columns over to the right: Add an empty column to your data table. Edited stacked bar chart in Excel with an extra column added.

    Bonus: Download the Materials

    Download my spreadsheet. Apply my secret to your own projects. Post a comment and let me know how you’ve applied this technique!

    More about Ann K. Emery
    Ann K. Emery is a sought-after speaker who is determined to get your data out of spreadsheets and into stakeholders’ hands. Each year, she leads more than 100 workshops, webinars, and keynotes for thousands of people around the globe. Her design consultancy also overhauls graphs, publications, and slideshows with the goal of making technical information easier to understand for non-technical audiences.


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