What is an Overlapping Bar Chart

In multi-series bar charts, side-by-side Grouped Bars often use too much real estate area, and Overlapping Bars may come to the rescue. The overlapping bars leave the impression that 2D columns or bars are one behind the other. They allow you to see portions of the hidden columns or bars behind.

We can properly show up to 5 bars partially hidden one behind the other. There are also cases in which you still want to see more of the hidden bars, in which case you can choose a semi-transparent drawing style.

Overlapping Bar charts in 3D are called Manhattan Bar Charts, as they look like skyscrapers. All bars have the same width in 3D, as you may see them by rotating the chart.

Steps to Create an Overlapping Bar Chart

Start Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor. Connect to a database. Create or design a SQL query. Run the query and check the results.

  1. Display and enable the Chart query builder.
  2. Select or replace Bar types in columns with Bar ChartsOverlapping Bar charts.
  3. Select an optional column as Label.

Overlapping Bar Chart Demo Queries

Look for the ready-to-use Overlapping Columns Chart generated query under the Queries > Demo Queries > Charts > Bar Charts folder. Click on the “add demo queries” command link, if not there.

Overlapping Columns Chart
Generated demo queries must work for any database, with no restriction. They use constant values generated on-the-fly and your database SQL engine, but do not depend on data from your tables, and never alter your database in any way.

Manhattan Bar Chart

Overlapping Bars have the same width in 3D, as you may see them by rotating the chart. Overlapping Bar charts in 3D are called Manhattan Bar Charts, as they look like skyscrapers.

Manhattan Bar Chart

Customize your Overlapping Bar Chart

  1. Show horizontal bars instead of vertical columns.
  2. Change the bar drawing style.
  3. Show custom markers.
  4. Click on legend items to hide some of those series with all their bars.
  5. You may also switch to 3D for the equivalent Manhattan Bar Chart.

Custom Overlapping Bars

Conclusion

  • Creating Overlapping Bar Charts in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast and easy: set your numeric data columns to Overlapping Bar, instead or Bar, and add an optional column as Label. The 2D bars or columns will appear as one behind the other, with portions of the bars behind always visible, as they are slightly larger.
  • Switch to 3D for an equivalent Manhattan Bar Chart, with all bars having the same width.
  • All builtin powerful features of these chart type are common to most other charts: filtering series through the legend items, interactivity, monochrome or grayscale colors, rich axis and data label selections etc.
  • Switch to another builtin chart theme, or customize your own, for any possible color or other styles.