Excelling at Excel – How to quickly flip a chart

Have you ever created a chart in Excel only to find that the items appear backwards from what you intended? This happened to me the other day, and I recalled that I had posted the solution as part of a larger tip on creating a Gantt chart from a schedule in Excel.

This is such a useful trick, it bears repeating on its own (since not everyone who uses Excel will find it necessary to read our project management series) and with a little more detail.

First, select your chart by clicking on the border. Go to the Format tab, and in the dropdown box at the top left of your Ribbon that says Chart Area, and select the axis you want to flip (normally it's the Vertical (Category) Axis, at least in my experience):


Next click the Format Selection button directly beneath the dropdown list to open Axis Options:


Now check the Categories in reverse order box and click Close. Your chart listing will be reversed.


Comments (12)
  1. DataCruncher says:

    wow… exactly what I was looking for. Beautiful, thank you!

  2. Andy says:

    Really helpful. Much appreciated Suzanne

  3. Daniel says:

    Thanks helped me tons

  4. Becky says:

    Thank you!

  5. T says:

    helped so much!

  6. P. Ann says:

    Trying ot win the BT Young Scientists Competion……Our project is called "The Downside Of High Heels"

    SSSSSOOO HAPPY……..!!!!

  7. Mushtaq says:


  8. Albert says:

    Sorry there is no option for AXIs option so what else can I do. Can you please help me thanks.

  9. Bisco says:

    For Mac: after you click Format Axis, go under scale and click values in revers order.

  10. acook says:

    Very clear and helpful. Thanks you!

  11. Question says:

    This fixed the data, but it moved my horizontal axis from the bottom to the top. How do I get it back on the bottom?

  12. paul says:

    Struggling to do this in Excel 2013.  Help?

Comments are closed.

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