Editing a chart

For me, creating and editing charts was the hardest thing in XL - and sadly looks like maybe the same in LibreOffice.

  1. I guess the term “data series” is supposed to be a word or phrase that describes the thing to be plotted, like “Units shipped”. And it can also appear as a label on the chart, right? And “data range” is the location on the spreadsheet, right? This is the kind of terminology that is difficult to remember when you only have to do a chart once in awhile! How about putting a simple reminder or definition in the Chart wizard itself?

  2. Here is the hardest thing: If you right click on a chart and select “Edit” you get a completely different interface than the Chart wizard. Why two interfaces to learn? And the “edit” interface is missing a lot of important stuff like “data series” And “data range”.

So finally here are my questions

  1. How do you get the chart wizard to re-appear for the selected chart?

  2. If this is not possible, how do you “edit” data series and data range?

thank you.

1 Like
  1. I think not.
  2. Several options after double left-click on the chart.
  • Right-click on the chart window and you can see the options.
  • Menu/Insert - some options.
  • Menu/Format - some options.
  • Task bar also some options.

It is always recommended to read (or at least consult) the corresponding publication, which in this case is the Calc Guide. Chapter 3 covers Creating Charts and Graphs. The majority of chart types use standard Cartesian coordinates (X,Y or X,Y,Z) and so are visually relative easy to reconcile with the rows and columns nature of a spreadsheet. The main thing to remember is that the X values (axis) is referred to in charts as the category.

I guess the term “data series” is supposed to be a word or phrase that describes the thing to be plotted

Each data series is a set of Y axis values. Thus, for a given set of categories (X values) there are usually one or more series of Y values.

And “data range” is the location on the spreadsheet, right?

In very general terms, yes, however it is more complicated than this. When first creating a chart via the wizard the data range usually does correspond to the entire data set (X and Y values, including row and column headers). This initial definition then often needs to be customised e.g.

  • Data arranged by row (e.g., Data series in rows) or column (e.g., Data series in columns).
  • Selection including header rows (e.g., First row as label) or columns (e.g., First column as label).
  • Data series having a label or being contiguous (single range of values / cells) or requiring a custom selection.

How do you get the chart wizard to re-appear for the selected chart?

You can access parts of the Wizard (chart type, data ranges, and data series) via right-click on chart > Edit > right-click in the general chart area > select either Chart Type… or Data Ranges…. The Data Ranges… option opens a dialog which also includes a Data Series tab.

Sorry but there is no item “Data Ranges” in the right click menu. There is just “Chart type” and “Chart data table” of those related, the second lets me type in individual values of new data columns but that would take ages. No copy/past or column select as in the wizard possible.
Any other hint?
My office version is
Build ID:

I agree with what @oweng and @mariosv write but as it is pointed out here, the word “category” for the range of the x-values appeared always strange to me. I never heard the word “category” for x-values, but I am not an English native speaker.

As @jwriter brought up the topic, I would like to encourage him to file an enhancement request via:

The “category” term for the X values comes from Microsoft. It has been used in Excel for charts, since at least Office 2000 and probably before. The Internet is also littered with the terms “category” and “horizontal axis” in reference to the X axis (presumably b/c it is not clear to the non-scientific which is X and Y, which seems somewhat reasonable). I doubt raising a bug is going to help in this instance as it is probably helpful at this point for UX reasons if nothing else.