Step 4: Next, we want to modify the horizontal axis of the chart so that the proper column labels are shown rather than just the numbering sequence 1, 2, 3, ..., 10. To do this, first right-click anywhere on the chart area and choose Select Data.
In the Select Data Source window that appears, click on the Edit button under Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels.
Another window, entitled Axis Labels, will appear on your screen. With this window open, select the labels you want to use for your data on the horizontal axis. Only select the actual label values here – don’t include the column header. In our example, we will select the years 1998-2007.
Click OK and you’ll be returned to the Select Data Source window. You should see the years listed under Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels now. Click OK again to return to the column chart.
Step 5 (Optional): Although this is an optional step, we’ll want to have a title shown on our chart most of the time. To add a title, make sure that the chart is selected and then open the Layout tab under Chart Tools on the Excel ribbon. Click on Chart Title in the Labels section, and select whichever option you prefer for placement of the title. For the column chart in our example, we’ll pick Above Chart.
A new text box will appear on the column chart. You can click on the text box and enter any title you wish.
Step 6 (Optional): At this point, you have a perfectly functional column chart. However, you may want to take a few extra moments and make some design changes to the chart to make it more visually appealing, or match better with other colors and styles in your worksheet. There are many chart styles to choose from within the Design, Layout, and Format tabs under Chart Tools in the Excel ribbon. Experiment a little and find one you like!