For her PhD dissertation, my friend, Leslee Goldstein, did research teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique to Ugandan women who were part of an NGO (non-governmental organization) program that taught them skills to help them support themselves, such as sewing. These women had been subjected to a huge amount of stress in their lives and this stress made progress difficult.
She did 3 pre- and post-tests that are commonly used in this situation and got great results. But when she created the chart in PowerPoint, she had a problem.
As you can see, by default PowerPoint puts the horizontal axis labels near the axis. Usually, this works, but when you have a combination of positive and negative numbers, the bars interfere with the labels. While the results for the Self-Efficacy Scale and Medical Outcomes Survey increased, the Perceived Stress Scale numbers decreased.
Here’s how to fix this problem:
- Select the chart.
- Right-click the horizontal axis text and choose Format Axis.
- In PowerPoint 2013: In the taskpane on the right, click the arrow next to Labels to expand that section.
- In PowerPoint 2007, 2010 and 2013: Click the Label Position or Axis Labels drop-down list and choose High. (Another option that works in some situations is Low.)
Here’s the result.
Much better, right?
Do you have frustrations getting charts to look right in PowerPoint? Leave a comment!