How to set the upper & lower limits of a control chart

Updated April 17, 2017

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that can be used to store, manipulate, modify and compare data in a series of rows and columns. If the data is stored in a manner that allows for it, a graph can then be generated to display a visual representation of the data. A control chart consists of data that can be charted to show how something changes over time, and it always contains an upper and lower limit. Once the control chart data has been graphed, the values along the "y" axis of the graph can be set to display the upper and lower limits.

Navigate to your Excel control chart spreadsheet. Double-click the file to launch it in Excel.

Click on the top left cell that contains data to be used in your control chart, and then drag your mouse until all of the cells have been selected.

Select the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "Line" button, and then select the icon that best represents the graph that you would like to create. This will create a line chart on top of the sheet containing your selected data. If you are uncertain as to which graph to select, hovering your mouse over each icon will provide a brief description of how that graph is typically used.

Right-click on the values along the "y" axis (the vertical line) of the chart, and then select the "Format axis" option.

Select the "Format Axis" option in the column on the left, and then choose the "Fixed" option next to "Minimum." Type the value of your control chart's lower limit.

Click the "Fixed" option next to "Maximum," and then type the value of your chart's upper limit. Click the "Close" button to apply your changes.


Right-click on the values along the "x" axis (the horizontal line) in your control chart to select the "Format axis" option, and customise the appearance of that axis as well.

Things You'll Need

  • Excel file with control chart data
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About the Author

Matthew Burley has been a writer of online content since 2005. You can view many of his articles on Burley holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Arizona State and a Master of Science in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.