Creating an Excel Chart with both Bars and Lines

Showing two or more different chart types in a single chart can be very effective in communicating information.

Clustered bar charts, for instance, are good for comparing values across categories, while line charts are good at showing trends over time. The SAP Design Guild provides some fantastic guidelines on when to use each type of chart. But combining these chart types can help convey interesting relationships between data in ways that cannot be done with a single chart type.

In this post, we’ll describe how to create a chart with both columns and lines.

  1. Choose INSERT > COLUMN  > CLUSTERED COLUMN  .
  2. Right click the blank chart.
  3. Choose SELECT DATA, and enter the range of data, legend entries and axis labels. Click OK.
  4. This gives your chart two bars – red and blue by default – for each row.
  5. Right click one of the bars that you want to change to a line, and select CHANGE SERIES CHART TYPE.
  6. Choose LINE CHART  , then OK.

The final chart incorporates both elements of a line chart and a bar chart.

You can add more lines and bars to show different variables, making, for instance, a chart with two lines and four bars.

Do you use line/bar charts or another hybrid chart type convey information in new and interesting ways? Please let us know in the comments!

Share!