Modify chart data references

You can modify a chart’s data references at any time. You can add and remove entire data series, or edit a data series by adding or deleting specific data from it.

While you’re editing a chart’s data references, Chart reference icon appears on the tab of each sheet that contains data used in that chart.

Icon indicating that a table in this sheet has been referenced in the chart whose data you're currently editing

If you can’t edit a chart, it may be locked. Unlock it to make changes.

Add, delete, and edit a data series

  1. Select the chart, click Edit Data References, then do any of the following in the table containing the data:

    • Remove a data series: Click the colored dot for the row or column you want to delete, then press Delete.

    • Add an entire row or column as a data series: Click its header cell. If the row or column doesn’t have a header cell, drag to select the cells.

      If the chart uses rows as series, then you can add only rows; if it uses columns as series, then you can add only columns.

    • Add data from a range of cells: Drag over the table cells.

    • Add or remove data from an existing data series: Click the colored dot for the row or column, then drag the corner of the selection box to include the cells you want.

  2. Click Done in the bar at the bottom of the window.

Switch rows and columns as data series

When you add a chart, Numbers defines default data series for it. In most cases, if a table is square or if it’s wider than it is tall, the table rows are the default series. Otherwise, the columns are the default series. You can change whether rows or columns are the data series.

  1. Select the chart.

  2. Choose Plot Columns as Series or Plot Rows as Series from the pop-up menu in the bottom bar.

    Bar showing options to plot rows or columns as series
  3. Click Done.

Include hidden data in a chart

In a table, you can hide rows or columns and filter data. When you use a table with hidden or filtered data to make a chart, you can choose to plot that data in your chart. By default, hidden data isn’t included.

  1. Select the chart.

  2. In the Chart pane of the Format inspector, select the Hidden Data checkbox in the Chart Options section.

For more information about how to hide table rows or columns, go to Add and rearrange table rows and columns.

See also