In this section, we’ll look at a few more ways to customize scatter charts in Excel you may need as an engineer.
In Worksheet 02c, the response of an RC circuit has been calculated with a given initial voltage, resistance, and capacitance. We’ll add a chart to show the time response.
To quickly plot the data, click the top left cell (the header of the Time column), then use Ctrl-Shift-Down Arrow followed by Ctrl-Shift-Right Arrow to select all the data. Use the Quick Access Toolbar button to insert a scatter chart.
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We’ll add a title to the chart by double-clicking the title and entering “RC Circuit Response.” Add axis titles using the green plus sign at the top right of the chart.
With standard linear axes, it’s difficult to see what’s happening with the response from time = 2-4 seconds. Those values are very small compared to the initial voltage because of the exponential behavior of RC circuits.
To make the data clearer, we can convert the y-axis to a logarithmic scale. Right-click on the y-axis and select Format Axis to open the Format Axis task pane. In the task pane, choose Logarithmic Scale (within the Axis Options, above Tick marks).
We can make some additional modifications so that the XY chart is even more clear. To increase the resolution of the y-axis, we can add additional gridlines. Right-click on the y-axis and select Add Minor Gridlines. We can also change the chart type from a smooth line to a line with markers. Select the chart by clicking within the chart area, then choose the second option, Scatter with Smooth Lines and Markers.
The end result is a semi-log plot that allows us to see the interval of the data points and the exponential nature of the data: