In a previous entry I talked a little bit about an old way to embed create charts inside Excel cells (as appose to having the charts float on top of the sheet). In this entry I will demonstrate the Sparklines cool ability. Sparklines are built-in ability to do the same but much simpler and much nicer. I believe Spaklines are relatively new and were introduced in Excel 2010.
The goal of the feature is to embed a mini-chart inside a cell so your datasheets become more visually pleasing without going to the extra sophisticated workarounds that we’ve all developed over the years.
So this is how it works…Let’s say that we have a simple Year-Over-Year datasheet and we want to add column E with embedded charts:
Select cell E2 and click on the Ribbon menu on “Insert”. You can see that right next to the Charts option there is a box called Sparklines. Like this:
Click on the line option. You will be prompt to a Data Range dialog so specify A2:D2 like the following:
Copy the same from E2 to the rest of the E column and you should get the following result:
You can as easily do the same with Column chart:
The nice thing is that this is part of the Excel Sheet and not an overlay. It is also very easy to do and provides your Excel Sheets a little bit more clarity and visual representation.