2007 line chart, can't make some gridlines heavier than others


Harold Good


I had a nice line chart in 2003 with two lines, one for Planned and one
for Actual. Across the bottom axis I had years, e.g. 2006, 2007, etc.
These years were major gridlines formatted in heavy black and ran
vertically. Up the left vertical axis was percent.

The reports come in quarterly, therefore, between each yearly heavy
gridline, there were 4 quarterly gridlines. So every 4th gridline was
heavy black (representing the start of each year), and in between were 3
quarterly gridlines that were light black.

The difference between the heavy annual lines with the 3 lighter
gridlines in between made it very easy to see where each new year began.

In Excel 2007, I cannot figure out how to do this. When I save from 2003
to 2007, this is lost, all gridlines have the same heaviness. I've spent
hours googling, and reading the helps but cannot figure out how to do
this in 2007. Is there a way to have both heavy and light vertical
gridlines in 2007, or is this feature lost?

I'd sure appreciate any help you can offer.




Hi Harold try this out in EXCEL 2007.

I think you should be able to get what you want or close to it.

I have run up your chart in 2007 and have paid particular attention to the
horizontal axis which is what I am addressing here.

1. Click in your chart / ChartTools / Layout / Axes group / Gridlines /
Primary Vertical Gridlines / Major & Minor Gridlines - turn these on.

2. Still in ChartTools / Layout / Current Selection group / make sure that
Horizontal (Category Axis) in the Chart Element box (the one with a drop down
arrow in it) is selected.

Format Selection / Format Axis window should launch / in here set as follows
in the Axis Options on the right hand side:-

- set Major unit: to Fixed 3

- set the Minor unit: to Fixed 1

Doing this will get you close to what you want.

I have saved off a copy of my Workbook is you want it.

Please hit Yes if my comments have helped.


Harold Good

Hi and thanks for your kind attempt to help. If yours is indeed a line
chart, I'd appreciate if you could email it to me at (e-mail address removed).

As I carefully followed your instructions below I became aware of
something I'd been concluding previously from other searches - when I
get to the last part where you mention Major unit and Minor unit, mine
does not show those options. I suppose this is why I've been banging my
head for so long on this. Now you've confirmed that you see them and I

So I searched a bit more and found a post by Andy Pope to someone who
had the opposite problem I'm having. Andy stated that their chart might
be a scatter chart instead of a line chart.

I do want a line chart, but I changed my type to Scatter chart, and then
the Major and Minor options appeared as you state below. By going to
Fixed 4 and Fixed 1, I got exactly what I wanted for the gridlines.

But I don't want a scatter chart! When I go back to line chart those
options that I need disappear and instead become "Interval between tick
marks:" and "Interval between labels:". These aren't what I need for my
line chart.

It worked perfectly in 2003, now in 2007 MS has managed to mess it up.

Any way I can make those Major and Minor options appear for my line chart?

Thanks so much,


Hi Harold.

I have just put up my file for you at:-


It is item number 55 towards the top of my home page.

Apologies for not putting it up earlier.

I am not sure, at the moment anyway, why you are not seeing the options that
I am. Let me think about this further and, if I think of anything, I will
post back. Maybe others can come up with something on this point?

It's a pleasure to help.

Please hit Yes if my comments have helped.



Sorry, Harold, I have just had one other thought after re-reading your

You say you don't want a scatter chart; fine; but what about doing it as a
scatter chart (so that you can see the major unit / minor unit settings you
are not seeing at the moment) then select the chart (specifically a point on
it) / right click / select Change Series Chart Type / then change to Line
Chart from there. I am hoping that this might enable you to see the options
that you are not currently seeing. Good luck!

Harold Good

Hi, I'm looking for it. I only see up to 54. There is no 55 yet.

I'll keep checking back, maybe it takes awhile to show up.

What you have posted, is it a line chart or scatter?




Harold Good

Hi, this is the conclusion I came to too, go with the scatter chart. But
now I'm having problems with it not showing my labels on the x axis.
They showed fine on the Line chart. They are simply years, 2006, 2007,
etc (yes, they are numbers, not text), but I can't get them to show on
this scatter chart. So this is what I'm wasting my time on now.
Presently it just shows sequential numbers.

Thanks again for your help,


Just playing around with this a little more to see if I can discover why you
are not seeing the Major unit: Minor unit: settings.

What follows is done in reference to the file that I have put up on my
website: that way we have a single point of reference.

1. Click anywhere in the chart to highlight it.

2. ChartTools / Layout / Current Selection group / change the Chart Element
box (the one with the drop down arrow in it) to:-

Horizontal (Category) Axis Minor Gridlines

3. Now click on the horizontal axis itself. I clicked on the text 01-Apr-06.
This will place a box around the axis.

4. Now go back to the Current Selection group and select Format Selection.

5. The Format Axis window should open (defaulting to Axis Options) and I
think that Major unit: and Minor unit: settings will now be visible.

Good luck!

Harold Good

Hi, okay, I've downloaded it now. This is very interesting in the
options that you have, that I don't have. You had it as a stacked line
chart, but I changed it to regular line chart and you still have the
Major unit and Minor unit options that I don't have on mine. I'm going
to tinker with my data labels and see if that might determine which
options appear.

I never realized how the options that appear are so dependent on the
chart type, and maybe label type too. This is what I'll focus on now.

This gets me going down a hopeful track. Thanks so much.

I'm using Thunderbird to download these messages but I guess I have to
go online to click helpful, Yes. Very.

Thanks again,


55 is there now. I have posted a line chart.

Harold Good said:
Hi, I'm looking for it. I only see up to 54. There is no 55 yet.

I'll keep checking back, maybe it takes awhile to show up.

What you have posted, is it a line chart or scatter?






"They are simply years, 2006, 2007, etc (yes, they are numbers, not text)"

An X axis on a Line Chart will be expecting text not numbers. I think that
it might be helpful if you format these as text not numbers.

An X axis on a Scatter Chart will be expecting numbers not text.

Type in:-

scatter chart

- into the F 1 Help Facility. A topic will be displayed called:-

Present your data in a scatter chart or a line chart

It is a very good article about how EXCEL treats the 2 and the uses of the


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