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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:

  1. Revenue from the local pizza joint:Revenue
  2. Daily stock prices:Daily Stock Prices
  3. The win-loss records for the last 10 games for four baseball teams:Win-Loss Records

Here are some things to know about sparklines:

  1. 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.
  2. Sparklines are great for spotting trends.
  3. Hidden cells don't show up on sparklines.
  4. You can autofill sparklines.
  5. Sparklines are just plain cool.

Inserting Sparklines

To insert a sparkline in a cell:

  1. Select the cell you want to insert a sparkline in.
  2. 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:Sparklines Group
  3. 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:Create Sparklines Dialog Box

Customizing Sparklines

When you insert sparklines into a cell or select a cell that already has sparklines, the SPARKLINE TOOLS DESIGN tab appears:Insert Sparklines

There are many ways to customize sparklines, including:

  1. Change the type. You can always change the type of the sparkline by selecting a different type in the Type group:Change the Type
  2. Highlight key points. You can draw attention to key (high, low, first, last, negative) points by selecting them in the Show group:Show Group
  3. 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:Marker Color Drop-Down Menus
  4. Change the axis. You can change the axis using the Axis drop-down menu:Change the Axis