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Inserting Sparklines

From: Excel 2010 Essential Training

Video: Inserting Sparklines

Starting in the 2010 version, Excel has a type of line chart called Sparklines and Sparklines are little miniature charts that actually fit into the cells of the worksheet. Now you might not always want a whole table or you might not always have room for one. So Sparklines might fit the bill for you. Well, let's check it out. First, click anywhere in the data are, it doesn't matter and Sparklines like any other chart are things that we insert. So go to the Insert tab. And over here to the right of the Chart section, we have Sparklines.

Inserting Sparklines

Starting in the 2010 version, Excel has a type of line chart called Sparklines and Sparklines are little miniature charts that actually fit into the cells of the worksheet. Now you might not always want a whole table or you might not always have room for one. So Sparklines might fit the bill for you. Well, let's check it out. First, click anywhere in the data are, it doesn't matter and Sparklines like any other chart are things that we insert. So go to the Insert tab. And over here to the right of the Chart section, we have Sparklines.

Now click Line and the Create Sparklines dialog-box comes up. First thing we have to do is define the Data Range. So delete whatever is in here and let's start with the first number here. I'm not going to select the column headers. It's just the numbers. I'm just going to drag over. Now you could drag all the way down if you want. I'm just going to press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow key. It's just a much easier and faster way of selecting and scroll up. So now we have the Data Range. And now click here in the Location Range. And the Location Range is where do we want the Sparklines to go? So let's start over here in H5.

Now here we have to drag down if we press Ctrl+Shift+Down Arrow. Now there's new place for it to start and let's go ahead and let's scroll back up. So click OK. And boom! It just inserts those Sparklines and just click somewhere inside the Sparklines so you can get a better look. Now when you do that you have the Sparkline Tools in the Design tab showing up on the Ribbon bar. Before we change anything there, let's just take a look at the column itself, Column H. If we want these lines to be flattened out a little bit more, you put your mouse pointer here on the right border of Column H. Your mouse pointer turns to a two headed arrow.

Now you can click and drag out to the right and those lines flatten out. If you want them more compressed, just drag them back and now the lines are a little bit more craggy. I'm just kind of drag in a little bit to the right, a happy medium there. Well, we can do some formatting here. First, let's decide what kind of thickness we want for the lines. Go over here to the Sparkline Color. Choose Weight. And yes I know that's confusing. Why is Weight in with the Color tab? I don't know. It just is. And I'll choose the heavier line so that they stand out a little bit more.

As far as Markers go, we can display High Points, Low Points, First, Last Points and so on. So let's go over here in the Show tab and maybe choose High Point and Low Point. And now we can see with each one there's a High and Low. If you want, you can go here into Marker Color. Go over here to Markers. And we can change them as well, make them a little bit more visible. If you don't care about High Point and Low Point, maybe you just want First and Last. I'll turn those off and I'll turn on First and Last Points. And we can see those also. And I'll just turn off those Markers.

It really depends on what you need. There is no right way or wrong way. Well, even though these are called Sparklines, we also have a column variety. So over here click Column. And now we can see kind of little miniature column charts. And this might be a little bit more visible of where the high numbers are and where the low numbers are. Well, speaking of low numbers, you'll notice that some of these numbers here are negative. And here's another one. Wouldn't it be nice if we could make those negative numbers really stick out like a sore thumb? When you're looking at the data here, it's kind of hard to tell.

So click somewhere in the Sparklines, and again if you need to go back to the Design tab and choose Win/Loss. Right now, it's still kind of hard to tell. But let's click on the Style dropdown. Maybe choose a dark theme and go over here to Marker Color. Click that and for negative points, let's choose a light color. I'll choose a light green. And now we can see those negative numbers really sticking out. And you can see over here Negative numbers are turned on. And if you want, you can always turn them off. And that green goes away. Turn them on, the green comes back.

So the next time you need to create some charts to display just a general overview and you don't want to fuss with the whole charting package, try using Sparklines. It can save you a lot of time.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Essential Training
Excel 2010 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 127276 viewers

Bob Flisser
Author

 
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  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Exploring three common uses for Excel
      3m 17s
    2. Touring the interface
      3m 38s
    3. Finding the commands you need
      3m 51s
    4. Using Backstage view or the File tab
      3m 25s
    5. Maintaining file compatibility
      5m 20s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Creating a worksheet
      5m 23s
    2. Techniques for copying and pasting
      3m 57s
    3. Entering data automatically with Auto Fill
      4m 37s
    4. Targeting large data groups
      4m 26s
    5. Changing a worksheet's structure
      3m 0s
  4. 47m 50s
    1. Understanding formulas and functions
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data in a worksheet
      3m 22s
    3. Adding numbers manually
      5m 1s
    4. Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum
      6m 11s
    5. Adding a whole worksheet
      1m 48s
    6. Working with numbers in columns
      4m 53s
    7. Preventing errors using absolute references
      5m 57s
    8. Working with times and dates
      3m 8s
    9. Using IF
      4m 49s
    10. Using SUMIF and AVERAGEIF
      4m 15s
    11. Naming and using cell ranges
      3m 45s
  5. 33m 57s
    1. Formatting numbers and dates
      7m 6s
    2. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      4m 35s
    3. Adjusting columns, rows, and text
      5m 2s
    4. Using conditional formatting
      4m 6s
    5. Using custom conditional formatting
      5m 49s
    6. Adding pictures and shapes
      7m 19s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Inserting SmartArt
      6m 54s
    2. Coordinating a look using themes
      3m 22s
    3. Applying built-in styles
      3m 16s
    4. Creating and sharing styles
      5m 33s
    5. Using templates
      4m 9s
    6. Creating and using original templates
      2m 13s
  7. 13m 23s
    1. Making the pieces fit
      4m 57s
    2. Inserting headers and footers
      3m 51s
    3. Printing and PDFs
      4m 35s
  8. 34m 3s
    1. Finding and replacing data
      3m 12s
    2. Freezing panes
      3m 0s
    3. Repeating row and column titles
      3m 34s
    4. Creating multiple custom worksheet views
      5m 18s
    5. Hiding or grouping rows and columns
      5m 31s
    6. Managing worksheets
      7m 23s
    7. Calculating formulas across worksheets
      6m 5s
  9. 36m 34s
    1. Importing and exporting data in Excel
      8m 2s
    2. Setting workbook permissions
      6m 44s
    3. Inserting and editing comments
      6m 49s
    4. Sharing a workbook
      1m 25s
    5. Tracking changes
      3m 5s
    6. Saving files in shared locations
      10m 29s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Splitting cell data into multiple cells
      2m 22s
    2. Joining data from multiple cells
      4m 18s
    3. Basic and multi-field sorting
      6m 30s
    4. Using tables to sort and filter data
      4m 31s
    5. Inserting automatic subtotals
      3m 46s
    6. Creating lookup tables
      6m 3s
  11. 32m 56s
    1. Using auditing to diagram
      6m 3s
    2. Using evaluation in Excel
      2m 2s
    3. Working with Goal Seek
      5m 29s
    4. Using data tables in formulas
      6m 2s
    5. Using scenarios in formulas
      5m 28s
    6. Exploring the Analysis Toolpak
      7m 52s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Discovering PivotTables
      2m 22s
    2. Creating a basic PivotTable
      2m 46s
    3. Modifying a PivotTable
      6m 57s
    4. Creating and modifying a PivotChart
      5m 56s
  13. 26m 58s
    1. Choosing chart types
      1m 55s
    2. Inserting Sparklines
      3m 54s
    3. Creating a column chart
      3m 23s
    4. Modifying a column chart
      5m 47s
    5. Creating and modifying a pie chart
      6m 45s
    6. Placing Excel charts into other Office applications
      5m 14s
  14. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding macros
      3m 5s
    2. Recording and using a simple macro
      11m 58s
    3. Editing a macro
      6m 50s
  15. 20m 33s
    1. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 30s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon bar
      8m 44s
    3. Setting Excel options
      8m 19s
  16. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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