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Excel 2010 New Features
Illustration by Neil Webb

Inserting Sparklines


From:

Excel 2010 New Features

with Bob Flisser

Video: Inserting Sparklines

Let's face it; spreadsheets aren't the most exciting things in the world, but the feature I want to show you in this movie is a really cool new feature. Sparklines are like tiny little charts that fit in a cell. They are fairly easy to use, and they have some nice features, so let's check them out. The idea is this. We have all our data here, and we have some space over here. So we'll put the charts, the little sparklines, in this column. So let's start. I'll click the first number, scroll down. I'll click the last number, and sparklines are things that you insert.

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Excel 2010 New Features
1h 51m Appropriate for all May 12, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Excel 2010 New Features author Bob Flisser demonstrates the powerful new characteristics and capabilities in Excel 2010. This course covers Excel's Backstage view, improved sharing and collaboration capabilities, its graphics features, and enhanced data analysis and visualization tools. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Using the Slicer feature for dynamic PivotTable filtering
  • Sharing workbooks via e-mail, the Excel Web App, and SharePoint
  • Using Paste Preview for more effecient copying and pasting
  • Inserting Sparklines to see patterns in data
  • Taking advantage of enhancements to the Conditional Formatting feature
  • Analyzing data from multiple sources using the PowerPivot for Excel add-in
  • Maintaining file compatibility with older versions
Subject:
Business
Software:
Excel
Author:
Bob Flisser

Inserting Sparklines

Let's face it; spreadsheets aren't the most exciting things in the world, but the feature I want to show you in this movie is a really cool new feature. Sparklines are like tiny little charts that fit in a cell. They are fairly easy to use, and they have some nice features, so let's check them out. The idea is this. We have all our data here, and we have some space over here. So we'll put the charts, the little sparklines, in this column. So let's start. I'll click the first number, scroll down. I'll click the last number, and sparklines are things that you insert.

So let's go to the Insert tab, and over here is the Sparklines group. Let's start of with Line, so click Line. And we already have the data range, in fact if you click up here in Data Range you can see the marching ants. So I'll go down here to Location Range. I'll click the first cell there in H5, scroll down, and I'll Shift+Click down at the bottom there, and then click OK, and boom, it's just put them in. So I'll just click to deselect. The width of the column could be anything we want. If we stretch it out, the lines get more flat. If you make it really narrow, they get more pointed. I'll just move them back to where they were.

We can also modify where the data are coming from, and here's what I mean by that is when we go over here to Edit Data and choose Edit Group Location & Data, we can change where we want the sparklines to go or where we want the Data Range to be. So you can modify any of this. I am just going to cancel out. Also, let me go back here to Edit Data. If we want to edit the location of one specific sparkline, right now I have this one sparkline active, cell H7, when I click here Edit Single Sparkline's Data, if you wanted to, you could redirect the data to pick up cells somewhere else.

I am not going to do that. I just want you to see it. So I am going to cancel out. Let's scroll back up here. Now I said that you could also choose where the lines are going to go first and then pick up the data, so let me show you how to do that. Now you can't simply delete. What you do is you make sure that any one of the sparklines are selected and up here make sure that the Sparkline tools, and the Design tab is selected and go over here to Clear, and just choose Clear Selected Sparkline Groups, and they are gone. So let's do the reverse.

We'll select the range first where the sparklines are going to go and then the data. So let's go up here to H5, I'll go down here, and I'll Shift+Click on H29, and again, we'll go back to Insert tab. I'll go to insert a line, and here it has a location range, and now we'll choose the Data Range. So click at the top, Shift+ Click at the bottom. Click OK. So it's a same difference. Really, doesn't matter which way you like to do it. Let's do a little bit of formatting here. Now because this is a group, you don't have to have the whole thing selected; as long as anyone of these Sparklines are selected, you'll end up formatting the whole thing.

So we could look at things like the First Point, the Last Point. You see the little dots are coming on there, if you want to see the High, the Low, if you have Negative Points and if you'd want to see every little marker, that is every little data point, every change, you can click Markers over here. So you could turn these on and off as you like. Change a couple of other things. Let's change the Color. Let's change the Weight, make these a little thicker. And maybe let's change the Marker Colors, over here. And from that you have all these different styles that you can choose from.

So you really have a lot of control over it. We have some negative values, so I may remove some of these points here, so just the negative points are sticking up. So you can see them, and they are okay, but I'm going to show you a way of seeing much more clearly where the negative values are. So instead of having lines, maybe you want to have columns. So let's just click over here on a column, and boom there you are, and we could do the same thing, like with any of the others we can change the colors and the Markers and so forth.

But what I really want to show you is Win/Loss. So click over here, Win/Loss. Again, we make sure that anyone of these is selected. Now the negative ones, you can see the lines are a little bit below that, but that's really hard to see. So let's go over here to Marker Color, and let's turn Negative Points into something else. So here if they are bright yellow or some other bright color, now they really stand out. So if all you are concerned with is positive value and negative value, this, I think, is the best way to do it, and you can still change any of the other formats that you like.

So my advice is: Go play around with them, and I think you are going to enjoy the new feature.

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