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Area Chart

An area chart combines elements of line charts and bar charts to visually represent quantitative data over time or across categories.

Area charts excel at showing trends over time.

An example of an embedded area chart

Creating an Effective Area Chart

Below are the recommended data types to show on each axis:

  • X-Axis Dates
  • Y-Axis Numerical values

Area Chart Description

  • Data points: Similar to line charts, data points plot individual values at specific points in time or categories.
  • Lines: Lines connect the data points, reflecting the trend or progression of the data.
  • Area fill: The area below the line is filled with color or shade, highlighting the cumulative value across categories or time intervals.
  • Axes: Two axes form the chart’s foundation: Horizontal axis (X-axis): Typically represents the continuous variable, often time. Vertical axis (Y-axis): Represents the values being measured.

When to use an area chart

  • Visualize trends and variations over time: See how values fluctuate over a specific period.
  • Compare multiple datasets: Observe how different data series change in relation to each other, particularly highlighting how they contribute to the overall trend.
  • Show cumulative totals: Understand the total value across categories or time intervals by considering the combined shaded area.