Sparklines make it easy to visualize data in a worksheet. They are essentially miniature charts that appear in a cell representing data in the worksheet. (Sparklines are not available in Excel 2007.) Here are some examples:
- Revenue from the local pizza joint:
- Daily stock prices:
- The win-loss records for the last 10 games for four baseball teams:
Here are some things to know about sparklines:
- Unlike charts, which float above the grids in worksheets, sparklines live in a cell. To make a sparkline bigger or smaller, just make the cell bigger or smaller.
- Sparklines are great for spotting trends.
- Hidden cells don't show up on sparklines.
- You can autofill sparklines.
- Sparklines are just plain cool.
To insert a sparkline in a cell:
- Select the cell you want to insert a sparkline in.
- On the INSERT tab, in the Sparklines group, depending on the type of sparkline you want to create, click either the Line, Column, or Win/Loss command. You can always change the type of sparkline later:
- In the Create Sparklines dialog box, enter the Data Range (the range of cells the sparkline will chart), the Location Range (if necessary), and click OK:
When you insert sparklines into a cell or select a cell that already has sparklines, the SPARKLINE TOOLS DESIGN tab appears:
There are many ways to customize sparklines, including:
Change the type. You can always change the type of the sparkline by selecting a different type in the Type group:
Highlight key points. You can draw attention to key (high, low, first, last, negative) points by selecting them in the Show group:
Colors. You can change the color of the sparkline or of any of the key points using the Sparkline Color and Marker Color drop-down menus:
Change the axis. You can change the axis using the Axis drop-down menu: