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How to Make Surface Chart

You are going to learn how to insert a surface chart, and it will be easy to perform.

Data preparation

Data Preparation is a crucial step in creating a Surface Chart. The following are the key aspects of Data Preparation:

In our simple example, we will use data about an imaginary company as in the image below. The data would be used for creating the chart:

Note: Before you create a surface chart, there must be at least two different data points.

Mark all the data:

Inserting the surface chart

Click on Insert, and then on Recommended Charts.

Click on All Charts, and then Surface, and choose the design of the 3D surface chart.

The surface chart is ready. Now you can proceed with the formatting of your surface chart.

Format the surface chart

The design and formatting of the Surface Chart can have a significant impact on how well it communicates the insights from the data. Consider using a clear, easy-to-read font and color scheme, and avoid cluttering the chart with unnecessary elements. A clean, simple design can help to focus attention on the key insights from the data.

The surface chart is very sensitive to outliers. One value significantly different from the others may distort the visibility of the surface chart.

At this stage, you should look at the data. Perhaps there is a typo there? If so, it should be corrected so that there is not too much data difference.

This should improve the visibility of the surface chart. To improve it even more, the axis scale should be corrected. The minimum value and the maximum value should match your data.

You can confirm for yourself that data visibility is now much better.

If you are still not satisfied with the data visibility, you can change it with this clever trick.

Click on your surface graph. Go to Ribbon> Design> Switch Row / Column.

Now, you will get the view from a different point of view as the columns and rows have been swapped.

If the data on your plot is covered you can also flip the scales. Just click on it and choose from the menu:

Depending on what you want to change. Try all of these options and choose the one that offers the highest visibility.

If none of these possibilities meet your expectations, you can also change your data table. It’s a good idea to sort the data from largest to smallest. The largest is on the left and the smallest on the right. So that the values on the chart do not overlap.

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