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How to Add Secondary Axis (X & Y) in Excel & Google Sheets

This tutorial will demonstrate how to add a Secondary Axis in Excel and Google Sheets.

How to Add Secondary Axis (X & Y) in Excel

There are a variety of ways that a secondary axis can come in handy. This can be helpful when you’re plotting value ranges in a number of series that vary greatly, or when you’re trying to graph two separate kinds of charts (commonly bar and line graph).

In the below graph, you can see an example where there is both a primary axis and a secondary axis. You can see that these include different ranges on both axes. The Primary Axis shows the range of Total Revenue, and the Secondary Axis shows the % of Net Income. Therefore, you can visually show two separate series in one graph by using this.

  1. Primary Axis
  2. Secondary Axis

Secondary Axis Excel

Starting with your Base Graph

We’ll start with the base graph. In this case, we added two series: Revenue and Net Income. Since Revenue is in $ and Net Income is in %, the Net Income barely shows on the graph. In this case, the graph would tell more if the percentages showed on the Secondary Axis, which is shown on the right side.

Excel Secondary Axis Graph


Changing Chart Type

Right click on graph the select Change Chart Type

Secondary Axis Chart


Adding Secondary Axis

  1. Click on Combo
  2. Click the second box that shows Clustered Column – Line on Secondary Axis
  3. Select the Chart Type of each Series and which Series to show on Secondary Axis and Click OK.

Secondary Axis Chart Line Bar

Final Graph with Secondary Axis

You can see the final graph now shows the Revenue on the Primary (Left) Axis and the Net Income is on the Secondary (Right) Axis. This visualizes the data in a way that is easier to understand.


Secondary Axis Excel

How to Add a Secondary Axis in Google Sheets

Starting with your Base Graph

You can see when creating the graph in Google Sheets, it shows up the same way as it does in Excel.

Secondary Axis Google Sheets

Adding a Secondary Axis

  1. Double Click on Graph
  2. Click on Customize
  3. Click on Series

Add Google Sheets Secondary Axis

4. Under Series where it says, Apply to all Series, change this to the series you want on the secondary axis. In this case, we’ll select “Net Income”


Secondary Axis Chart Sheets

5. Scroll down under Axis and Select Right Axis

Secondary Axis Right Axis Chart Sheets


Final Graph with Secondary Axis

Now the final graph shows the Revenue on the Primary (left) axis and the Net Income on the Secondary (right) axis.

Google Sheets Secondary Axis