3D Column Chart in Excel – Usage, Insertion, Format

In the earlier blogs, we learned the usage of Column Chart in Excel. The Column Chart is a 2D chart having only two dimensions or we can say axes while 3D Column Chart is spread across three dimensions. Let us see how this chart type works. 8D

What is a 3D Column Chart in Excel?

In a 3D Column Chart, the vertical bars are spread across the three axes i.e. X-axis, Y-axis, Z-axis. The following are the chart components of a 3D Column Chart in Excel.

  • X axis – It represents the Categories from the source data of the Chart.
  • Y axis – It represents the Series on the Chart.
  • Vertical Bars – The actual data series is in the form of vertical bars or Columns.
  • Z axis – It has the scale for visualizing the data points of the Vertical Columns.
components of a 3D Column Chart in Excel

Inserting a 3D Column Chart in Excel

We can plot a 3D Column Chart when there is data that has both Categories and Series to be plotted on the Chart. For Example, let us say we have the sales of a company for its four quarters of ten years. Below is the data for the same.

inserting a 3D column chart in excel

To add a 3D Column Chart in Excel, follow the steps mentioned:-

  • Select the range of cells A1:L5
  • Go to the Insert tab on the ribbon.
  • Click on the Column Chart button in the Charts Group.
  • Select the 3D Column Chart from there.
inserting a 3D column chart in excel step 2

This inserts a 3D Column Chart in the current worksheet with default formatting.

infographics 3D Column Chart in Excel

Formatting a 3D Column Chart

We can format our chart in a number of ways as presented below.

Unhiding the Hidden Axis Labels on the Chart

The chart inserted in the above section is:-

missing axis labels on the chart in excel

As you can see that the axis labels for Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 have been hidden by Excel due to the compact space available. But we can undo that by using the following steps.

  • Select the chart and go to the format tab on the ribbon.
  • Choose Depth (Series) Axis.
  • Click on the Format Selection Button

Consequently, this opens the Format Axis Pane for the Y-axis of the chart. Navigate to the Labels Menu and specify the interval between the labels as 1.

unhiding the hidden axis labels

Consequently, all the labels on the axis will be unhidden. If the labels seem to overlap, simply drag the corners of the chart to adjust/increase the chart widht and height. This is how the chart labels look once done.

unhiding the hidden axis labels results

Changing the Shape of Vertical Bars in a 3D Column Chart

There are a variety of shapes to format your chart into.

  • Box ( current )
  • Full Pyramid
  • Partial Pyramid
  • Cylinder
  • Full Cone
  • Partial Cone

To change the shape of 3D Columns simply:-

  • Select the Chart and go to the format tab on the ribbon.
  • Choose any one of the Series in the Current Selection Group and hit Format Selection button.
changing the shape of columns in a column chart in excel

Navigate to the Series Option and set the shape of the data series.

changing the shape of column in a 3D column Chart in Excel

For now, we are choosing this shape as Cylinder. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the Data Series.


Click on this Series Option and then again choose the Series to change its shape.

Changing the Solid Fill Color for the Data Series

We can change the solid fill color for the cylindrical columns. All you need to do is:-

  • Open the Format Data Series pane as explained in the previous section.
  • Navigate to Fill and Line Options in the Format Data Series pane.
  • Set the Solid Fill color and repeat the procedure for the rest of the Data Series
changing the color of columns in a 3D Column chart in excel

We have removed the chart Gridlines from the + button appearing at the top right corner of the chart when we select it.

removing chart gridlines

Below are the satisfying results for our 3D Column Chart in Excel.

removing the gridlines from a chart in excel

This brought us to the end of the blog. Thank you for reading.

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