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How to create Excel contour chart in C#, VB.NET?

3 mins read

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

What is a contour chart?

Contour charts represent the 2-D top view of surface charts. The color bands represent specific range of values and the lines connect the interpolated points of equal value.

Create Contour Chart in Excel

Contour Chart

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

Steps to create contour chart

Step 1: Initialize chart

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


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


Step 2: Assign data and select chart type

1)To plot the series values in column and categories in row, set chart’s IsSeriesInRows property to false.

2)Set a range of data from the worksheet to chart’s DataRange property before specifying the chart type.

3)Specify the chart type to ExcelChartType.Surface_Contour 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_Contour
chart.ChartType = ExcelChartType.Surface_Contour;



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

Step 3: 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 = "Contour Chart";
//Set Legend
chart.HasLegend = true;
chart.Legend.Position = ExcelLegendPosition.Bottom;


Additional applicable properties of contour chart in Excel

To modify the depth axis of contour 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 Syncfusion Excel (XlsIO) library, please refer the documentation.

The following C#/ VB.NET complete code snippet shows the creation of contour 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_Contour;
                chart.IsSeriesInRows = false;
                //Apply chart elements
                //Set Chart Title
                chart.ChartTitle = "Contour Chart";                
                //Set Legend
                chart.HasLegend = true;
                chart.Legend.Position = ExcelLegendPosition.Bottom; 
                //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_Contour
                chart.IsSeriesInRows = False
                'Apply chart elements
                'Set Chart Title
                chart.ChartTitle = "Contour Chart"                
                'Set Legend
                chart.HasLegend = True
                chart.Legend.Position = ExcelLegendPosition.Bottom 
                '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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