Helpful chart settings

Changing your chart settings in Chartio can dramatically change and enhance your charts. To do this, click the ellipse in the upper right-hand corner of your chart and click Edit Settings.

Click Edit Settings by hovering over a chart

Chart legend

By default, all charts display a legend if there are multiple groupings in your chart. You can change this via the Show legend dropdown in the General tab of the settings. The following options are available:

  • Always: the legend will always appear on the chart.
  • Never: the legend will be hidden from the chart.
  • Auto: the legend will appear when multiple groupings are present.

The chart will automatically refresh and click Done when finished.

Horizontal Bar charts

Bar charts are helpful when comparing data across different categories. When dividing your data by ranked or non-continuous groups (basically things other than time) it can be helpful to switch to a “horizontal” bar chart. It’s more natural for Western readers (we’re used to reading lines of different lengths aligned to a left edge), and especially helpful when you have longer labels on your bars.

Make a bar chart horizontal

Rotating labels

Another way to work with long label names is to use angled or rotated labels. This is great for situations when you can’t (or don’t want to) swap the axes of your chart, or when you have long labels on both axes. Angled labels will get harder to read the more they are rotated, so only angle them as much as is needed.

Rotate labels on a bar chart

Stacked and unstacked Bar charts

Stacked Bar charts work best when you want to focus on overall total values but still want the components to be visible.

Stacked bar charts

Unstacked Bar charts allow for an equal comparison of each component.

Unstacked bar charts

Stacked Area charts

Area charts can be stacked or unstacked in Chartio, and when unstacked, information can be hidden behind other layers. To make the data more visible, unclick Stacked (under the General tab) and click Half opacity (under the Series tab).

Unstacked area charts

Percentage scale

Charts with a percentage axis are sometimes called 100% stacked charts and are useful for displaying ratios without focusing on individual values.

To do this, go to the Axis tab in the chart settings and click on Percentage.

Percentage scale to make 100% stacked charts

Logarithmic scale

There may be an instance on a bar chart or bar line chart where you want the y-axis to be displayed with a logarithmic scale.

You can enable this by going to the chart settings and checking the Logarithmic scale checkbox.

Check Logarithmic scale in Settings

If the option to select the logarithmic scale option is grayed out, you will need to unselect the “Stacked” option under the General chart settings tab and you will then be able to use the logarithmic scale.

Pie charts

Pie charts are a great way to show the contributions of data segments as a percentage of a whole. If your Pie chart has a lot of small data segments, we may automatically group these into an “Other” filter to clean up the chart output.

Customers by State chart - grouped to Other

You can set your chart to display all the various options or to filter to a different number of slices depending on your preference.

To keep all options, simply uncheck the Group to other option under the General tab of the chart settings. Unchecking this now displays all results separately as can be seen in the example below.

Remove group to other to show all options

This may not be as useful for visualization if you have a large number of results. If that’s the case, you can utilize the “Group to other” option but set a certain cutoff for the number of slices. To do this, check the Group to other checkbox and specify the number of slices wanted in the Group to other cutoff field.

Group to other and set the cutoff wanted

Donut charts

Pie charts are best used when focusing on static ratios, but you can add more information to the chart by switching it to a “Donut chart” and adding the total value in the center.

Donuts charts > pie chartsTable chart font

If your dashboards are displayed on monitors or are often printed, you may want to make the font larger within your Table charts to make them easier to read. Both the title and the body font sizes can be changed to a value between 8 - 64.

Table chart settings - Font sizesNote: Chartio dashboards are responsive, charts will also change size depending on browser width.

Different colored bars in a Bar chart

There might be a situation where you’ll have a user asking for each bar in a Bar chart to be a separate color. In the event that you find yourself needing to produce such a task, you’ll want to keep in mind using a Pivot Data pipeline step.

As an example, we’ll use the Chartio Demo Source. Say we have a user who wants to view marketing spend over time, we’ll then want to utilize the Cost and Created Date columns within the Marketing table. Since their end goal is to visualize marketing cost per month with a separate colored bar for the Bar chart, we would need to drag another Created Date dimension bucketed by month. Giving us the three columns:

Create the chart

From here, we would utilize the Data Pipeline, adding a Pivot Data step to reformat our data:

Add a Pivot Data step in the Pipeline

Then click on Apply & Close to get the following chart:

Final result

Keep in mind that the Show Legend option was turned off to give this Bar chart a more aesthetic look. To further customize aspects of this chart, such as the title font-size or refashioning the numbers on the y-axis, click on the chart settings tab.


Add a note at a specific x or y-axis value in your chart to provide your teammates with some context for the data.

Axis notes

Y-axis annotations can be useful for setting a target line.

y-axis annotations

Add an annotation

From the dashboard, hover over your chart and click the gear icon to open its context menu. Select Edit Settings.

Edit settings

Switch to the Annotation tab, and click +Add New Annotation.

Choose which axis you’d like to add the annotation to, and enter the axis value where the annotation should be placed. Enter your note in the Label text field.

Uncheck Show annotation labels on chart to display annotations only on hover, in the tooltip.

Show annotation labels

Unrounded tooltip values

By default, Chartio rounds values in the hover tooltip to two digits. If you’d like to display the unrounded value instead, simply open the chart’s settings menu and uncheck Round tooltip values in the General tab.

In Chart Settings, uncheck Round tooltip values

Our chart now displays the raw values on hover.

Unrounded values final result

Axis Label Format

Customize the format of the axis labels on your chart.

To edit, navigate to Chart Settings > Axis tab. Select the desired format from the Label format dropdown.

You can select the format for your label in the settings

Datetime labels

Choose from the following formats:

  • Default (ex. Jan 1, 2020)
  • ISO-8601 (ex. 2020-01-01)

Numeric labels

Choose from the following formats:

  • 1K (default)
  • 1000%
  • $1,000.00
  • 1,000.00
  • 1000.00
  • 1 000,00
  • 1000,00

Note: if your chart values are integers, labels will be integers as well.

X-axis date labels

If Chartio isn’t recognizing your dates as a time series, it won’t know that it can group the date values to display the series better.

Read on if your x-axis looks like this:

Does your x-axis look like this?

When it should look like this:

Your x-axis should look like this

This could be happening for a few different reasons. Here are the most common solutions:

1. Try zero-filling the data

This is the most common fix. If there are dates missing from your date series, zero-fill will fill in the missing dates so Chartio can recognize the dates as a series. Add a Zero Fill Data step in the Data Pipeline.

Zero fill data

2. Sort your dates

If your dates are out of order, Chartio can’t group them as a series. Try sorting your dates. Click the date column name to open its settings pop-up, and select Ascending from the Sort dropdown.

Zero-fill the data

3. Look for discrepancies in your data.

It’s possible there is a null value in your dates, or your dates are not formatted correctly. View the raw data being returned to look for any discrepancies. If applicable, filter out for null dates or format your dates in SQL Mode according to your database’s syntax.

To view your raw data, open the chart ellipsis menu and select View Chart Data. This will open up a table view of your chart’s data on the dashboard. Alternatively, click on Edit Chart Data from the dashboard and switch your chart to a Table temporarily to view all of your data.

View raw chart data

4. Verify date format in SQL Mode

To recognize dates as dates, Chartio requires that they are formatted in a certain way. Ensure that your charts are using the correct date format in SQL Mode. For more information, please see our documentation on date formatting options in charts.

Look for discrepancies in your data