# How to set a date-based x-axis in Numbers with incomplete data?

I have a simple table (`date`, `value`) and I want to display that data in a chart. This is my current chart:

As you can see, I don't have a value for each day, there is about one month between the last two dates. This makes my chart looks wrong, because it creates the same spaces between two dates, irrespectively of the date value.

If I create a new table with one row per day, I get the expected chart. But I need to create all that useless empty rows:

Is there a way to create a chart with a date-based x-axis? Can I create a chart that looks like the second one, but with the data from the first table?

Thanks.

• I don't think there is an easy solution to this in Numbers. However, you can do it as you described in Excel as its charts allow displaying of values on the horizontal axis as text or dates. – Alper Mar 14 at 22:30
• Change the actual chart type from Lines to 2D (aka bars). – Yoan Mar 17 at 13:27
• @Alper Thanks, but I try to use Numbers as much as possible for my personal needs now... – Romain Linsolas Mar 18 at 14:48
• @Yoan I'm not sure to get your point. Changing the type of chart does not change the way the x-axis is displayed... – Romain Linsolas Mar 18 at 14:48

## 2 Answers

I think I have found a partial solution (partial because it is not available on most of the other chart types) to your problem: Scatter chart!

It is possible to set the data type for the x-axis in a scatter chart in Numbers. I think this solution would work the best in your case if you have only one data point per date. Also note that the scatter chart displays the data points as sorted on the x-axis values.

Below picture shows how the same data look when plotted with "2D Area" and "2D Scatter" charts which are the upper and lower charts, respectively. The settings on the right in the picture belong to the 2D Scatter chart.

As a side note, I am not exactly sure why and this seems to be a bit random but, in my experience, it is usually easier (or sometimes only possible) to point to the data references correctly for a chart in Numbers when the table to be input to the chart has only a header row but no header columns. After selecting the table, you can set the header rows and columns for the table to be input to your chart from the Table menu at the top of Numbers.

• Thanks @Alper, it's exactly what I was looking for! – Romain Linsolas Apr 4 at 17:08

You can make a plot using your x,y values and then change the x-axis to be what you want. maybe your x values only run from 0 to 5 but y-data has x-values from 0-50. Click on your plot and then click on the axis tab in the right sidebar. From here you can select the x-axis and on the panel that appears you can input the min and max x-values you wish to use. See figure below.

• Are you sure this is an answer to OP? The question seems to be about displaying the x-axis values proportionately when they are dates whereas your answer seems to describe only how to set the limits for the x-axis. – Alper Apr 3 at 13:46