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How to create Excel 3D surface chart in C#, VB.NET?

Platform: WinForms |
Control: XlsIO

This article explains how to create a 3D surface chart in Excel using Syncfusion Excel (XlsIO) library.


What is a 3D surface chart?


3-D Surface chart shows a 3-D view of the data, which can be imagined as a rubber sheet stretched over a 3-D Column chart. It is typically used to show relationship between large amount of data that may otherwise be difficult to see. Color bands in a surface chart indicate the difference between values.


Create 3D Surface Chart in Excel

                3D surface chart created using XlsIO

To create a 3D surface chart in Excel using XlsIO, you need to do the following steps.


Steps to create 3D surface chart


  1. Initialize chart


Create a chart object by calling the worksheet.Charts.Add method.


//Create the chart
IChartShape chart = worksheet.Charts.Add();


  1. Assign data and select chart type


  • To plot the series values in column and categories in row, set chart’s IsSeriesInRows property to false.
  • Set a range of data from the worksheet to chart’s DataRange property before specifying the chart type.
  • Specify the chart type to ExcelChartType.Surface_3D enum value.


//Set chart series in column for assigned data region
chart.IsSeriesInRows = false;
//Set region of Chart data
chart.DataRange = worksheet["A1:D7"];
//Set chart type to Surface_3D
chart.ChartType = ExcelChartType.Surface_3D;



For creating a 3D surface chart, the series count must be greater than or equal to 2. The series should be set before selecting the chart type.


  1. Apply basic chart elements


Add the basic elements like chart title, data labels and legend.


  • ChartTitle of chart object.
  • Set TRUE to chart’s HasLegend property, to show the legend.


//Apply chart elements
//Set Chart Title
chart.ChartTitle = "3D Surface Chart";
//Set Legend
chart.HasLegend = true;
chart.Legend.Position = ExcelLegendPosition.Bottom;


  1. Apply 3D chart elements


Add the 3D chart elements like Rotation, Elevation and Perspective.


  • Rotation, Elevation and Perspective of chart object.


//Set Rotation and Elevation
chart.Rotation = 20;
chart.Elevation = 15;
chart.Perspective = 15;


Additional applicable properties of 3D surface chart in Excel


To modify the depth axis of 3D surface chart, use the PrimarySerieAxis  (Depth Axis) property.


Download Complete Sample


Download input file with data


To know more about creating charts with various settings using XlsIO, please refer the documentation.


The following C#/ VB.NET complete code snippet shows the creation of 3D surface chart using XlsIO.




using Syncfusion.XlsIO;
using System.Reflection;
using System.IO;
namespace ChartSample
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            using (ExcelEngine excelEngine = new ExcelEngine())
                IApplication application = excelEngine.Excel;
                application.DefaultVersion = ExcelVersion.Excel2016;
                //Open existing workbook with data entered
                Assembly assembly = typeof(Program).GetTypeInfo().Assembly;
                Stream fileStream = assembly.GetManifestResourceStream("ChartSample.InputTemplate.xlsx");
                IWorkbook workbook = application.Workbooks.Open(fileStream);
                IWorksheet worksheet = workbook.Worksheets[0];
                //Initialize chart and assign data
                IChartShape chart = worksheet.Charts.Add();
                chart.DataRange = worksheet["A1:D7"];
                chart.ChartType = ExcelChartType.Surface_3D;
                chart.IsSeriesInRows = false;
                //Apply chart elements
                //Set Chart Title
                chart.ChartTitle = "3D Surface Chart";                
                //Set Legend
                chart.HasLegend = true;
                chart.Legend.Position = ExcelLegendPosition.Bottom;
                //Set Rotation and Elevation
                chart.Rotation = 20;
                chart.Elevation = 15;
                chart.Perspective = 15; 
                //Positioning the chart in the worksheet
                chart.TopRow = 8;
                chart.LeftColumn = 1;
                chart.BottomRow = 23;
                chart.RightColumn = 8;
                //Saving and closing the workbook
                Stream stream = File.Create("Output.xlsx");



Imports Syncfusion.XlsIO
Imports System.Reflection
Imports System.IO
Namespace ChartSample
    Class Program
        Public Shared Sub Main(ByVal args As String())
            Using excelEngine As ExcelEngine = New ExcelEngine()
                Dim application As IApplication = excelEngine.Excel
                application.DefaultVersion = ExcelVersion.Excel2016
                'Open existing workbook with data entered
                Dim assembly As Assembly = GetType(Program).GetTypeInfo().Assembly
                Dim fileStream As Stream = assembly.GetManifestResourceStream("ChartSample.InputTemplate.xlsx")
                Dim workbook As IWorkbook = application.Workbooks.Open(fileStream)
                Dim worksheet As IWorksheet = workbook.Worksheets(0)
                'Initialize chart and assign data
                Dim chart As IChartShape = worksheet.Charts.Add
                chart.DataRange = worksheet("A1:D7")
                chart.ChartType = ExcelChartType.Surface_3D
                chart.IsSeriesInRows = False
                'Apply chart elements
                'Set Chart Title
                chart.ChartTitle = "3D Surface Chart"                
                'Set Legend
                chart.HasLegend = True
                chart.Legend.Position = ExcelLegendPosition.Bottom
                'Set Rotation and Elevation
                chart.Rotation = 20;
                chart.Elevation = 15;
                chart.Perspective = 15; 
                'Positioning chart in the worksheet
                chart.TopRow = 8
                chart.LeftColumn = 1
                chart.BottomRow = 23
                chart.RightColumn = 8
                'Saving and closing the workbook
                Dim stream As Stream = File.Create("Output.xlsx")
            End Using
        End Sub
    End Class
End Namespace


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