I'm trying to make a scatter plot in Numbers but can't get it to work. If I select column A & B and have it make a scatter plot it uses column A for both axes. If I click on the plot and go to Series, it shows the values used for x and y, See the image below.

enter image description here

The above image is what I get when I select columns A and B to try and plot. If I go into that setting box and manually change the y-axis to column B it changes it back to A when I click plot. I tried this several times changing either the x-axis or the y-axis and the same thing happens. It keeps plotting the same values for both x and y.

I can't use a line plot because a line plot assumes the points on the x-axis are evenly spaced and distorts your plot.

An example of the numbers I am trying to plot is given below.

X-values 1,2,5,7,8,9

Y-values 43,56,103,156,215,300

I just want a simple x,y plot... Can anyone do this in numbers?

I've looked at previous questions but none of those answers help me.


  • Did you figure out what the problem was? I can't see a solution in the accepted answer. I have the same problem on the latest version of Numbers (10.0).
    – Oion Akif
    Commented May 3, 2020 at 1:17

3 Answers 3


Yes, it is possible to create a scatter chart in Numbers as you described.

However, sometimes creating a chart in Numbers turns out to be cumbersome for some reason in my experience as well, but, in this case, I could not replicate the problem you are describing. So I am unable to tell you what possibly the problem is in your case.

In addition, I tried a few slightly different procedures, including the one described in this Apple support page, to create a scatter chart using the numbers you have given as an example and all turned out to be successful. I am attaching below the outcome of one of these trials.

enter image description here

  • what version of Numbers are you using?
    – Natsfan
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 15:38
  • I made the successful trials I mentioned above using both Numbers v6.1 and v6.2.1. The picture above is from the file created with v6.1.
    – Alper
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 16:34
  • Thanks, if I can get this to work I'll certainly except your answer. Thanks again...
    – Natsfan
    Commented Mar 27, 2020 at 17:40

I had this problem, and for me the resolution was to set "number of header columns" to 0. My conjecture is that Numbers can't make graphs out of header rows or header columns. The series were columns in my case: if you are plotting rows, presumably it would be "header rows". I suppose you could also copy the data from the row or column to a non-header row or column.

  • 1
    To whoever just edited this answer: "Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged". If you have a substantive change, go ahead, but changing "conjectured" to "supposed" is not helpful. I know what I mean, thanks.
    – jcoxhead
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 19:43
  • 1
    "I conjecture" is quite odd to me and I was about to edit it out entirely, but we will let you choose the words as the OP. The editor in question has a sterling reputation for making good edits. Please keep in mind that even as the OP, you may get over-ruled at some times on word choices. Especially when your grammar is incorrect since conjecture is not a verb - it's a noun.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 19:59
  • conjecture transitive verb 1: to arrive at or deduce by surmise or guesswork : GUESS scientists conjecturing that a disease is caused by a defective gene 2: to make conjectures as to conjecture the meaning of a statement <merriam-webster.com/dictionary/conjecture>
    – jcoxhead
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 20:34
  • Thanks - I'm wrong in the verb. Appreciate the link! Still sounds very irregular, but that's fine if you want to revert my edit
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 19, 2023 at 21:14
  • This was exactly my problem. The header column prevented creating a proper 2D scatter plot. I suspect that's the actual problem the person seeking help was facing as well and not a general problem with the feature, which the accepted answer addresses.
    – sas
    Commented May 26, 2023 at 7:18

I was searching the answer as well and suddenly solved, hope this could help:
click on edit data reference

unselect Share X values

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Thinkr
    Commented Jul 11, 2023 at 17:16

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