How to Add Secondary X Axis in Excel (with Quick Steps)

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If you are searching for the solution or some special tricks to add secondary X axis in Excel. Then, you have landed in the right place. While using Excel charts, there is one horizontal axis by default. But sometimes you may need to add a secondary X axis to plot another data set. There is a quick way to add secondary X axis in Excel. This article will show you each and every step with proper illustrations so, you can easily apply them for your purpose. Let’s get into the main part of the article.

Suppose, You have a dataset showing the values of the 2nd and 3rd power of numbers. And you want to plot a graph showing the pattern of the graph. In addition, you want to show X2 values on the primary horizontal axis and X3 values on the secondary horizontal axis.

How to Add Secondary X Axis in Excel

So, in this section, I will show you the quick and easy steps to add a secondary X-axis in Excel on Windows operating system. You will find detailed explanations of methods and formulas here. I have used Microsoft 365 version here. But you can use any other versions as of your availability. If any methods won’t work in your version then leave us a comment.

Step 1: Creating a Scatter Chart in Excel

At first, you have to make a scatter graph with the available series of data. As there are two columns depending on the value of X then you have created two series in the scatter chart.

Make a Scatter Chart

Step 2: Enabling Secondary Horizontal Axis

  • Now, click on the chart and you will find a plus(+) icon on the right-top side of the chart.
  • Then, the chart elements will appear. You will see the Axes box is marked by default.
  • Click on the arrow in the Axes option and you will find the Secondary horizontal axis. Mark the checkbox to enable and show it in the graph.

Enable Secondary Horizontal Axis

Read More: How to Add Secondary Axis in Excel

Step 3: Adding Axes Titles to Secondary X Axis in Excel

Now, to add the axis titles, go to the chart elements again, click on the arrow in the axis titles, and mark the secondary horizontal option.

Give Axes Titles

Now rename the axis titles by simply clicking on them.

How to Add Secondary X Axis in Excel

Read More: How to Combine Graphs with Different X Axis in Excel

Excel Not Showing Secondary Horizontal Axis Option

Sometimes you will not find any options to add a secondary horizontal axis. Then, you have to do some extra steps.


  • For example, here you are seeing there is no option for secondary horizontal axes.

When Don’t You Find the Option?

  • To enable showing the secondary axes options, you have to enable it manually.
  • For this, right-click on one of the graphs and select the Format Plot Area

When Don’t You Find Secondary Horizontal Axis Option?

  • Now, you will see the Format Data Series window will appear on the right side of the worksheet.
  • Here, select the Secondary Axes option in the Series Options.
  • By this, you have enabled the secondary vertical axis.

When Don’t You Find Secondary Horizontal Axis Option?

  • Now, go to Axes options again from the Chart Elements Here, you will find secondary axes options that weren’t before.

When Don’t You Find Secondary Horizontal Axis Option?

Read More: How to Hide Secondary Axis in Excel Without Losing Data

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here:


In this article, you have found how to add a secondary X-axis in Excel. You can download the free workbook and practice it yourself. I hope you found this article helpful. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.

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Osman Goni Ridwan
Osman Goni Ridwan

OSMAN GONI RIDWAN is a marine engineer who loves exploring Excel and VBA programming. Programming, to him, is a time-saving tool for efficiently managing data, files, and internet tasks. He is proficient in Rhino3D, Maxsurf, C++, MS Office, AutoCAD, Excel, and VBA and goes beyond the basics. Armed with a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, OSMAN has transitioned into the role of a content developer. Specializing in creating technical content exclusively centered around Excel... Read Full Bio

  1. Thanks for this tutorial. How can I enable a secondary horizontal axis on an Excel chart embedded in a PowerPoint slide? The option to click on that “plus sign” on the top right corner of the chart does not seem to exist.

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