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Great critique. Can I ask what the advantages are of a profile chart over a bar chart? It seems to me that viewers expect a continuous line to imply a continuous series (time, for instance). Wouldn't a bar chart fulfill the same function without the danger of misleading viewers about the x-axis data?

Rick Wicklin

I was confused by the vertical axes on your profile chart. I think the axes you show are proportions. Multiply by 100 if you want to show percentages, to agree with the vertical label.


Chris: If you click on the profile chart archive, either from the link in the post or on the right column, you will find many explanations of why profile charts are better than bar charts. The best reason is that how one reads a bar chart is to trace a line from the top of each bar to the next bar, which is to say one's eyes trace a profile chart.

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