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There a couple of ways to change chart plot order, the order that Excel plots data in a chart. I’ll show you two examples in Excel Video 471. As we’ve discussed in previous Excel Videos, having your chart data in a Table makes life easier. It’s easy to sort data in a Table and have the chart immediately reflect your sorting choices. That works if you want to sort A to Z or Z to A, but if you want to sort some other way, you need the Select Data Source window. The advantage of using the arrows in the Select Data Source window is that you can sort in the data in whatever plot order you’d like. The downside of using the arrows is that once you sort, several of the chart tricks we’ve discussed in the past several Excel Videos go away.

If this is a one-time chart, I’d get the chart mostly the way you want it and then use the arrows to arrange the plot order. If you’re going to use the chart repeatedly over time, I’d get the source data in the order you want it to appear on the chart.