Creating Sparklines

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 30, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

Excel 2010 introduced a new feature referred to as sparklines. They are nothing more than miniature charts that can appear inside a single cell. The graphs aren't as varied and full-featured as regular Excel charts, but they are pretty cool, nonetheless. They are especially good for showing, at a glance, the general trend of the numbers in a range of cells.

To create a sparkline, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want the sparkline to appear.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Sparklines group, click whichever type of sparkline you want to appear: Line, Column, or Win/Loss. (Each of these represents a different type of chart.) Excel displays the Create Sparklines dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Create Sparkline dialog box.

  5. Specify, in the Data Range box, the range you want charted in the sparkline.
  6. Click OK.

You should see your sparkline appear immediately in the cell you specified in step 1.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12588) applies to Microsoft Excel 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is eight more than 2?

2023-10-04 12:54:55

Dave S

Sparklines can be useful, for the reason given above. But if the end user's requirements require more than one line (for example, to show trend relative to some target value) remember that you can create your own 'sparkline' by placing a normal chart into a cell. Create the chart, delete everything apart from the lines, then snap fit chart area to a cell and finally snap fit the plot area to the cell. As it is a real chart you can change line type, thickness and colour as required.


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