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Rulers and Reference Lines

Rulers provide the capability to add reference lines and customize the markers used on the metric axis.

Use reference lines to mark limits, thresholds, critical values, and so on. Reference lines can mark both positive and negative values on an axis and multiple lines can be added in a chart.

Rulers also let you change the (metric) axis range in a chart along with the markers along the axis. Customizing this range may help you focus your data exploration to specific data points. You can set min and max values for your axis, define the steps, enable gridlines, and use a logarithmic scale.

The Rulers functionality is available only for Bars , Bars: Multiple Metrics , and Lines chart group.

Click Rulers on the left rail menu. The Rulers pane is displayed. The pane consists of two sections: the (metric) axis range and reference lines.

Figure 1


The axis range will display the min and max values for the metric used in the chart. Use Rulers to configure the default values for Min, Max, and Step. When the Rulers pane is initially opened, these settings are set to Auto . For example, in Figure 1, the Volume metric has a Min value of 0, while the Max value is 20.

To customize this range, clear the Auto checkbox and then enter your custom value in the fields. Customizing the axis in this way can create a view into your data that drills into specific information, explore anomalies, and otherwise explore more relevant information.

You can further this exploration by specifying the Step for the tick marks along the axis. This step can be specified down to the tenth place, or one decimal point. For example, you can step the tick marks by .5 tenths.

If have specified the step, which can not be displayed on the axis, the default minimal step value will be applied.

Gridlines provide a visual cue between data elements and metric ranges in the chart. They are displayed as light gray lines on the canvas and from each axis:

  • Extend from the tick marks on the metric axis
  • Go through the center of the data element on the attribute axis

Gridlines may help you to analyze and compare the data elements in your chart. To enable gridlines, select the Gridlines checkbox for the corresponding axis.

Figure 2

The Log Scale function changes the metric axis based on orders of magnitude of the selected metric. A log scale is nonlinear and best utilized when there is a large range of quantities. Keep in mind that log scales can only be used for positive values. Negative values will be displayed as ‘1’ in the metric axis. In addition, when this option is selected, the Auto option is enabled for Min, Max, and Step.

The scale will be built for whole the data range.

Figure 3

Select the Log scale checkbox to enable.

Figure 4

When you save or export your chart, the settings configured in Rulers will be saved or exported respectively.


To add a reference line to your chart, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Reference Lines section, click Add Line . The reference line will be displayed on your chart.

Figure 5

  1. Fill in the following fields as needed:
  • Position - By default, the reference line is added to the middle of the visible axis. You can specify a different position on the axis by either entering a specific number value or using the slider. The reference line will change its position depending on your input.
  • Title - specify the name for the line. The default name of the line is Reference line #.
  • Color - select the desired color for the line.
  • Width - specify the line’s thickness: enter a specific value or use the slider.
  • Line type - select from the following types: Solid, Dashed, or Dotted.

You can add multiple reference lines in a chart.


You can edit the reference lines both from the Rulers pane and directly on the chart.

To edit the line on your chart, click on it to open the Edit Reference Line dialog box. It contains the same options as the Rulers pane.  All the changes will be applied automatically.

Figure 6


To delete a reference line, you can either find it in the Rulers pane or open the Edit Reference Line dialog box on your chart and click Delete .

Figure 7