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Variable width column charts and histograms in Excel

In Excel, the standard column chart will display all columns with the same width at regular intervals.  However, in some circumstances, it would be better for the width of each column to be different.  For example, where each column represents different ranges of data.  This same principle of column width also applies to histograms. Excel Read More

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3 ways to change an image based on a cell value

From stock parts to holiday villas, from employees to logos, there are many reasons you may want to automatically change an image based on a cell value.  In this post, we’ll explore 3 different methods to achieve this task: Named range + INDEX/MATCH + linked picture Chart fill + #N/A VBA User-Defined Function Each solution Read More

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Excel charting tips for when you’re in a rush

Creating advanced charts in Excel can take a bit of time, as there are so many things to change.  Recently, I had to prepare a financial presentation quickly, like really quickly.  I knew exactly which charts were required (I had been given very clear instructions) and I knew how to do them (which is always Read More

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Creating custom Map Charts using shapes and VBA

Whenever I see promotional images for expensive BI Dashboard software, they always show the same thing – a map with countries or regions highlighted in different colors.  It sends the subtle message that maps are the pinnacle of Business Intelligence (whether they are or not is a different matter altogether).  Until Excel 2016, these Map Read More

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Highlight specific bars in a bar chart

Sometimes in a chart we want to highlight certain bars so the reader can quickly see the important information.  An example would be to highlight our company when it is compared with its competitors (see the chart below). In this chart, it is very easy to see how Fox Books compares to its competitors.  There Read More

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The fastest way to create Bullet Charts

My first experience of Bullet Charts came from reading Information Dashboard Design by Stephen Few in 2007.  This was the year I started to get serious with dashboards. Initially, to create Bullet Charts I used the 3 stacked bar/column charts approach.  Later, I moved to using the two-axis stacked column where possible, but in general, Read More