Excel 3D Plot (Table of Contents)
3D Plot in Excel
3D Plot in Excel is used to plot the graph for those data set which may not give much visibility, comparison feasibility with other data set and for plotting the area when we have large sets of the data point. 3D Plot in Excel is the creative way of change simple 2D graph into 3D.
How to Plot 3D Graphs in Excel?
Plotting 3D graphs in Excel is very easy and useful when we want to convert data, pie charts, graphs into 3D format. Let’s understand how to plot 3D Graphs in Excel with some examples.
3D Plot can be accessed from Insert menu under the Charts section.
3D Plot in Excel – Example #1
We have data of where we have measured the distance climbed by some athletes in Meters. The distance covered with an instance of an hourly basis. For consecutive 5 hours, each athlete has climbed some distance and at the end most distance covered, that athlete wins the game. So by seeing the data, we might not come across conclusion or we even cannot compare. If we plot this data in 3D graphs then it will be easy to validate the case situation.
Now creating 3D Plot for the above data set, first select the data.
Then go to Insert menu tab and under the chart select column chart. Once we click on it, we will get a drop-down menu of it. From there select 3D Column as shown below.
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After selecting the 3D Column option, we will get a 3D plot with Column as shown below. Here we can add Data labels, Axis Titles, Heading and even change the design of 3D columns.
As we can see the above graph, whole data is mapped in Columns and these columns are parallel framed with data. The height of columns have mapped and height parameters are shown above on each column.
Let’s map this data again in a different 3D plot. We will now plot 3D graph. For this first, select the data and then go to Insert menu tab, under Charts section, select Waterfall, Stock, Surface or Radar chart as shown below. (And for other excel versions select Other Charts option)
Once we do that we will get a drop-down menu of Stok, Surface and Radar chart as shown below. From there select 3D Surface.
Once we do that we will get the 3D Surface Plot as shown below.
Above data shows the distance climbed by athletes by crest and trough and different color region represents the distance range. By this, we can try some more 3D Plot available in Excel as per our use.
3D Plot in Excel – Example #2
Let’s consider that data of surface height from some defined points and the height is measured in each 10 Meter gap. Somewhere there is a huge spike in surface height and in other, there is a huge drop in it. The data is shown below.
Now for plotting 3D graph for the above example, first select the complete data. Then go to Insert menu and under Charts section, select column chart as shown below. Once we click on it, we will get a drop-down menu of it. From there select 3D Column as shown below.
After selecting the 3D Column option, we will get a 3D plot with Column as shown below.
As we can see, there are a few huge towers and some flat blocks. Plotting this kind of data in 3D charts gives visibility where there are peaks and downs in the process. We can add data labels here.
Let’s plot another 3D graph in the same data. For that select the data and go to Insert menu, under Charts section, select Line or Area Chart as shown below.
After that, we will get the drop-down list of Line graphs as shown below. From there, select 3D Line chart.
After clicking on it, we will get the 3D Line graph plot as shown below.
This is the most feasible, simple 3D plot. And it is very easy to understand as well. As the data in this plot in quite separated with each other. And the variation in data is also clearly visible. Use of 3D Line plot is good when we have the data where we can easily see the separation.
Above shown example are some of them from the 3D plot category. We can create a 3D plot for Pie Chart, Area Chart, Bar Chart, and Combo Chart, if the data which we have, allows us to represent differently and required views.
If we create a Pie chart for the data which we considered for above-shown examples, then we might not be able to get the desired view on a 3D plot. So it is better to understand first what we want to see, later we can map it with the desired 3D plot.
Pros of 3D Plot in Excel
- Even the data is presentable, but by using 3D Plot the visibility becomes wider when data has dimensions.
- Modification done in backend can be easily updated with these 3D graphs or with simple graphs as well.
- When we have the data of surface heights, then we can plot contours graphs as well.
Things to Remember
- It is not always necessary to plot a 3D graph in Excel when we have a simple data structure.
- While pasting the graph in different files, always paste with the image to avoid any changes in the final graph.
- Data should be in the proper format so that any changes required to be done in a graph, can be done easily.
- Do not add data labels in 3D Graphs, because the plot gets congested many time. Use data labels when it is actually visible.
This has been a guide to 3D Plot in Excel. Here we discussed How to plot 3D Graphs in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You can also go through our other suggested articles –