How to Format 3-D Pivot Charts in Excel

By Stephen L. Nelson, E. C. Nelson

If you choose to create a three-dimensional (3-D) pivot chart in Excel, you should know about a couple of commands that apply specifically to this case: the Format Walls command and the 3-D View command.

Formatting the walls of a 3-D chart

After you create a 3-D pivot chart, you can format its walls if you want. Just right-click the wall of the chart and choose the Format Walls command from the shortcut menu that appears. Excel then displays the Format Walls pane.

The Format Walls pane provides the expected fill, line, line style, and shadow formatting options as well as a couple of formatting options related to the third dimension of the chart: 3-D Format and 3-D Rotation.

In Excel 2007 or Excel 2010, when you choose the Format Walls command, Excel displays a dialog box and not a pane. The dialog box works just like the pane, however.

The walls of the 3-D chart are its sides and backs — the sides of the 3-D cube, in other words.

Use the 3-D Format options to specify the beveling, illusion of depth, contouring, and surface of the 3-D chart. Use the 3-D Rotation options to specify how you want to rotate, or turn, the chart to show off its three-dimensionality to maximum effect. Note that the 3-D Rotation options also include buttons you can click to incrementally rotate the chart.

Using the 3-D View command

After you create a 3-D pivot chart, you can also change the appearance of its 3-D view. Just right-click the chart and choose the 3-D View command from the shortcut menu that appears. Excel then displays the Format Chart Area dialog box.