I've never seen anything allowing for line breaks in custom formats, that could be a good post for the Ideas section of the forums. (along with line breaks in axis titles and headers).
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What if you created a calculated field similar to the following?
left(datename('weekday', [Order Date]), 3) + ' ' + str(datepart('month', [Order Date])) + '/' + str(datepart('day', [Order Date]))
Then, place this in place of your date field and sort it by the date field.
Hope this helps!
Great suggestion! You can also replace the ' ' with a CHAR(10) and I think that will actually cause the line break.
In my specific case, I don't think I'll be able to use a calculated string field due to the complexities of my visualization. It's two Gantt charts overlaid on top of each other, with some serious calculations going on along the date axis to get the lengths and colors of the bars correct, and vertical reference bars for date boundaries and the current time. I'm pretty sure most of it would break if I try to switch to a string-based axis.
I'll definitely keep this technique in my back pocket for any more straight-forward visualizations though.
In the meantime, I'll follow Jonathan's suggestion and add this to the wishlist forum.