Databases - MS Access Charts

Simple - I created a table of gas prices and the associated dates.
Then I wanted to plot the data.


Though MS Access does not provide a charting (graphing) component, there are 2 methods to start a wizard. Fill in what ever seems to make sense. (It really doesn't matter, it probably won't work.)

Well, I did all this, and selected an xy plot. The stupid wizard created a plot where the data HAD to be summed or averaged or some other such nonsense.

"All Data fields must be summarized [...] when a date field is used in the Axis or Series."
Well, I tried plots which did not contain dates and got the same crap. It really doesn't matter, once the object is created you can modify the query to get rid of it.

When I tried to view the graph, all I got was a bunch of dots in a vertical column. (Hey, that's pretty worthless.)

Well, of course, there is no help at all.

The chart component is implemented via Microsoft Graph which appears to have all the features of MS Excel graphing. There is even a fair amount of help. However, the help does not say anything about how to get data from MS Access. Instead, there is information on how to provide information from a "datasheet" (a grid which sort of looks like a spread sheet). The problem is that I don't want to type data into the datasheet, I want it to come from a database (like, duh).

After several hours of experimenting, I discovered that the problem was that the application defaults to expect each row of the datasheet to be a series. However, MS Access delivers each series in a column. Simply changing the graph to expect this fixed the main problem.

Once this was done, the query attached to the Row Source property (back in MS Access) was modified to provide the data I wanted to plot.

Microsoft Graph

I have a system where the wizards won't run (not really sure why, don't really care). Another way to graph data is to select and fill in the properties. Be sure to select the chart type and set Data / Series in Columns while still in Microsoft Graph.

Back in MS Access, set the Row Source Type and Row Source.

Actually, this was much easier than using the wizard.

Hint: Be sure not to include the table's auto index field in your plot ... unless you really want it.


The queries attached to the Row Source property should be standard select statements which return 2 or more values. Normally, the first value is used to label the x-axis - in an xy plot, the first value is the x-value.

Producing an xy Plot

To produce an xy plot,

Short Comings

There is no way for the user to interact with the graph. Specifically,

Author: Robert Clemenzi -
URL: http:// / user / clemenzi / technical / Databases / MSAccess / Charts.html