I'm trying to make an area chart in Apple Numbers (on Mac) where I have a series of values I want to plot on y-axis against time on the x-axis. Each value has a date that it occurred but the dates aren't equally spaced. Numbers is showing them as if they were equally spaced. Is it possible to plot them relative to their point in time?

  • I managed to do it fairly easily with Google Sheets instead Apr 27, 2017 at 12:35
  • 1
    2021, and I still cant get Numbers to do this correctly. Clearly apple feedback goes to an apple bitbucket. Sep 7, 2021 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


This can't be done with an area graph. You need to use a scatter graph, or to insert hidden rows for each increment missing. This has been an annoyance of mine for a long time — I have provided feedback to Apple and you may do so too.

  • Perfect! You can hide the points and add a connecting line to make it look like a line graph.
    – Sam Soffes
    Jan 7, 2019 at 14:31

you need an x-y scatter (or a x-y balloon, though I haven't tried this one) The most important part is to NOT USE the row and column headers! enter your data in two columns, the first column is the time data formatted as such, the second column is the value corresponding to the time. Numbers is not very good at charting. The category style charts are flat out misleading for time-series data, it should not be charted as categories on the x-axis! (this is not just confined to numbers - the other spreadsheets are just as bad). Good luck. You may be able to put the time in any order, and also have multiple y columns (dependant variables). I may get back to you on this one.

  • 2
    This is correct. Just to emphasize the tip, don't use a "label column" for the date (i.e. the shaded cells). That's what I was doing because that is the default table type and it was preventing me from using that column as a the X Axis data set without it automatically setting the Y Axis data set to the same column. It was weird and frustrating. Dec 13, 2020 at 20:44

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