Chart Terminology
Updated over a week ago


Axes are the straight lines on a chart that provide a framework for measurement and reference.


The horizontal axis is usually called the X-axis and displays the data categories.


The vertical axis is usually called the Y-axis and displays the scale.

  • The X-axis shows the type of items sold.

  • The Y-axis shows the number of items sold.

Chart Grid

A Chart Grid are lines on a chart that can make the data easier to read. They extend from any horizontal and vertical axes across the plot area of the chart, and cannot be displayed for chart types that do not have them, such as pie or doughnut charts.

Chart Series

Chart Series are the sets of data displayed on chart - for example, the lines of a Line Chart or columns on a Bar Chart.

The pink and green columns below display two different sets of Chart Series.

Chart Title

The Chart Title is a short description of your chart. It displays above the chart, and should be clear and concise to sum up the main message of the chart. For example - 'Annual visits to Hatters website'.


Tooltips are a small informational text box, that will display when hovering over a chart value. It is used to provide further information about a data point.

The Tooltip below shows that there were 120 website visits in March.


The Legend is an information box containing colour-keyed labels that helps your visitors understand what they are looking at, by explaining what each bar/line represents.

The Legend for the below chart shows which month each line represents.

Begin Series at Zero

Selected by default, this option will display the data from zero on a chart. It can be unselected if the data does not begin at 0, which can make the data clearer to read. This works well with some Area Charts.

Left: 'Begin Series at Zero' is not selected.

Right: 'Begin Series at Zero' is selected.

Select image to enlarge

Switch Rows with Columns

When selected, this option will switch the rows of data in a chart with the columns - so the information displayed in the rows, will change and be displayed as columns instead, and vice-versa.

Chart 1 displays the sales reps in rows (the y-axis) and the type of item in the columns. When the 'Switch Rows with Columns' option is selected (Chart 2), this will swap, displaying the type of item in rows (the y-axis) and the sales rep as their own column.

First Column/Row as Labels

The below options are selected by default, and unticking them will change how the data in the chart displays.

  • First Column as Labels

  • First Row as Labels

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