May 22, 2023
3 min

Exploring Column Settings in Designing Column Charts

PlotSet teamwriter

When do we use a column chart

A Column Chart is one of the most widely used types of data visualization. It is excellent for:

  1. Comparing categories
  2. Showing trends over time
  3. Highlighting ranking or order
  4. Presenting discrete data
  5. Emphasizing comparisons and variances

Working around the Columns

Creating a column chart with PlotSet is very easy. However, there are some things you should know about the column settings. Let's dive in.

In the 'Bar Style' section, you can change the general settings of each bar. Keep the 'Bar width' on auto if you want to finish your work fast. But remember that you have the ability to choose the width as you like. 

'Bar Radius' makes the tips of each bar curvier. Add a few points to the Bar Radius to make them look smoother unless you wish to keep them pointy, which is also acceptable.

You can add borders to your bars too, which makes the columns look more distinctive than the rest of the plot.

You can add 'Backgrounds' to the columns, and then, if you like, you can add borders to the backgrounds. In case this option doesn't match your design, you can keep it off.

You may not like to display labels since the Y-axis displays the units that are close to the real numbers. But remember that showing the labels helps a lot in reading your data visualization. Labels make your chart look more professional. 

You can put these labels in two places: In the bars or after the bars. If your choice is in the bars, a few more options will appear for you.  First, how would you like to orient these labels? Horizontal or vertical?

Then, where exactly inside the columns would you like to place them? The starting point, in the middle, or the ending?

You might as well place the labels after the bars. 

After you finalized the position, you can customize the labels by changing their font, size, and color.

The Column settings for this column chart can be applied to other types, like Stacked Column Charts, as well.

Have fun charting with PlotSet!

We, the PlotSet team, are enthusiastic to spice up your storytelling world using data visualization, and we will show you how to do so through various blogs. If you’re into data journalism or you just want to present your data to an audience, we strongly suggest taking a look at what we have prepared for you here. Enjoy reading!

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