How to Create a Combination Chart in MS Excel


In Microsoft Excel, you can create a variety of chart types, plotting data that you've entered into a worksheet. Charts can graph complex information, including bar, line, pie and scatter charts. Sometimes it's necessary to plot two or more sets of values to show multiple types of data, such as a column chart and a line graph. In Excel, you can do this by creating a combination chart. If you have mixed data, plot the second chart type on another vertical axis.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 data series
  • Open a blank worksheet in Microsoft Excel.

  • Create a data table. For instance, enter time values in column A, such as the months of the year. In column B, enter a column heading for your first data series, such as number of items sold, followed by the data values. Enter a second data series in column C, such as average price, with each data value lining up with a value in column A.

  • Highlight all of the data you want to plot in a chart, including both data series.

  • Click the "Insert" tab. In the "Charts" group, select the chart type you want to use for the first data series. For instance, to create a basic column chart, click "Column" and select a "2D Clustered Column Chart." The chart will appear on the worksheet with the data values you entered.

  • Click the data series on the chart that you want to make into a different chart type. Make sure only one data series is selected.

  • Click the "Design" tab. In the "Type" group, click "Change Chart Type." Choose the chart type you want. For instance, to change the series to a line graph, select "Line with Markers" in the "Line" group. Click "OK."

  • Change the second data series to have a secondary vertical axis. To do so, select the data series in the chart. Click the "Layout" tab. In "Current Selection," select "Format Selection." Click "Series Options" in the dialog box. Click "Secondary Axis" under "Plot Series On." Click "Close."

  • Add labels to the vertical axes by clicking the "Layout" tab. In the "Labels" group, click "Axis Titles." Select "Primary Vertical Axis" and choose a title option. Do the same for "Secondary Vertical Axis." Click each axis in the chart and enter a new title.

  • Select the chart by clicking the bounding box around it. Browse through the "Design, Layout and Format" tabs. You can make changes to the chart style, outline and layout, as well as format specific chart elements.

  • Click the "Microsoft Office Button" and choose "Save as" to save the combination chart and data.

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  • Photo Credit financial charts image by Chad McDermott from
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