How to Create Overlapping Bar Chart in Excel (with Easy Steps)

There are various types of charts you can create in Excel. In this article, you will find two easy steps to create an overlapping bar chart in Excel. The latter part of this article will also teach you how to create a stacked bar chart with subcategories.

Excel Overlapping Bar Chart: with Easy Steps

There will be two easy steps for this topic. Firstly, we will select our dataset and insert a double-clustered bar chart inside the custom combination chart window. Then, we will tweak the chart elements to reach the goal of this article. Moreover, to make the overlapping bar chart in Excel, we will use the dataset below.

Steps to Create Overlapping Bar Chart in Excel

1st Step: Create Custom Combo Chart

In the first step, we will create a combo chart using the dataset. Then, we will add two clustered bar charts and plot one chart on a secondary axis. Lastly, we will format the chart to make it an overlapping bar chart. Without further ado, let us jump into the steps.

  • Firstly, select the dataset.
  • Secondly, select “Create Custom Combo Chart” from the “Insert Combo Chart” menu under the Insert tab.

Create Custom Combo Chart to Create Overlapping Bar Chart in Excel

  • Then, the Insert Chart window will pop up.
  • After that, change the Chart Type of both series to Clustered Bar.
  • Afterward, for the Target series, select Secondary Axis.
  • Next, press OK.

  • Then, the following chart will appear. This concludes the first step.

Read More: Excel Bar Chart Side by Side with Secondary Axis

2nd Step: Edit Chart Elements

To create the overlapping bar chart in Excel, we will modify the chart components in this section.

  • Firstly, select the chart and click on the Chart Elements icon (the green plus sign).
  • Secondly, select the Axis Titles.
  • Thirdly, deselect Gridlines.
  • Fourthly, double-click on the titles to change them.

Edit Chart Elements to Create Overlapping Bar Chart in Excel

  • Afterward, double-click on the “Target” Axis and set the Maximum Bounds to 100.

  • After that, double-click on the “Target” bar chart.
  • Then, set Gap Width to 30% from the Series Options tab. Here, this value reduces the gap between the bars, you should change it according to your needs.

  • Then, keep selecting the “Target” bar chart and go to the Fill & Line tab.
  • After that, select Solid fill under the Fill section.
  • Then, select your desired fill color inside the Color and we have chosen blue.
  • Afterward, set the Transparency to 70%.

  • After that, the chart will look like this.

  • Afterward, change the “Achieved” bar chart’s fill color.
  • Lastly, enlarge the chart to make it better visually. Consequently, this will complete the creation process of the Excel overlapping bar chart.

Excel Overlapping Bar Chart

Read More: How to Create Construction Bar Chart in Excel

How to Create Stacked Bar Chart with Subcategories in Excel

In this section, we will use the “Stacked Bar Chart” feature to create a stacked bar chart with subcategories in Excel. We have a dataset that shows sales and profits for four different products at a specific store that has two locations in Texas and Missouri to illustrate the process.


  • To begin with, we have the following dataset.

How to Create Stacked Bar Chart with Subcategories in Excel

  • Then, select the dataset.
  • After that, from the Insert tab, select Stacked Bar from the Insert tab, which is under the Insert Column or Bar Chart menu.

  • Then, a basic chart will appear.

  • After that, we will insert a chart title, add data labels, decrease the series gap width, and resize the chart for better visualization.
  • Thus, the goal of creating an Excel stacked bar chart with subcategories will be completed.

Read More: How to Create a 3D Bar Chart in Excel

Download Practice Workbook

You can download the Excel file from the link below.


We have shown you two quick steps on how to prepare the overlapping bar chart in Excel. Moreover, there is a practice section in the Excel file. You can use that to follow along with this article. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions or concerns about these techniques. However, remember that our website implements comment moderation. Therefore, your comments may not be instantly visible. So, have a little bit of patience, and we will solve your query as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, keep excelling!

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Rafiul Haq
Rafiul Haq

Rafiul Haq worked as an Excel and VBA Content Developer in Exceldemy for over two years and published almost 200 articles for the website. He is passionate about exploring new aspects of Excel and VBA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Production Engineering (MPE) from the Islamic University of Technology. Rafiul furthered his education by obtaining an MBA in Finance from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at the University of Dhaka. Apart from creating... Read Full Bio

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