Dawn Bjork Buzbee
The Software Pro®
Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT)
Certified Microsoft Office 2010 Specialist (MOS 2010) Master Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office 2007 Specialist (MOS 2007) Master Instructor
Microsoft Certified Application Specialist (MCAS) Instructor
Certified Microsoft Office Expert
Certified Women's Business Enterprise (WBE)
WOSB (Women-Owned Small Business) Certified
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Although Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 share many features, one of the
new additions in Excel 2010 are Sparklines. As many Excel users know,
charts are a great way to get a picture of your worksheet numbers to
more easily summarize trends, changes, and other important key data.
Sparklines are charts with a twist--they are tiny charts that actually
fit inside one cell. You can place them near, or even behind, the data
itself, so they act as a handy and compact reference. You can also use
them to highlight maximum or minimum values. Although Sparklines look
like mini charts, and can sometimes take the place of a chart, this
feature is completely separate from the more robust charting feature in
Sparklines Show a Quick Snapshot or Trend
Look at the examples below of Sparklines in Excel 2010. In the first
example, Line Sparklines were added to chart trends for the years (far
right) and the regions (top row). A new style and high and low point
markers were added. The second example of Sparklines charts the
variation of results for six months using a column Sparkline style.
How to Insert a Sparkline
To insert a Sparkline into an Excel 2010 worksheet:
- Select the range that contains the data you want to graph as one
or more Sparklines. The data for each Sparkline must be in a single
column or row. (You can also highlight the data from the Create
Sparklines dialog box).
Insert tab in the Ribbon, then pick the Sparkline type you
want in the Sparklines group (Line, Column, Win/Loss).
- The Create Sparklines dialog box opens where you select
the cell or range where you want to insert the Sparkline. Verify or
change the data range you want to work with.
- When you click OK, the Sparklines appear in the location you
Once you add Sparklines to your worksheet, you can change the
formatting to show different points, styles, colors, markers, and other
visual references. For instance, you might want to show the high point
and low point markers on a line chart. These can even be formatted with
specific color choices such as green for high and red for low.
To change the look of a Sparkline:
- Click a cell in the range with your Sparklines.
- Select the Sparkline Tools Design contextual tab if needed
- Pick a new style or change other formatting options from the
choices in the Ribbon.
- Click into a different worksheet cell to continue your work.
Sparklines can be a great and useful visual improvement to your work
Find out more about Sparklines and other new features in Excel 2010
in my new book, What's New in Microsoft Office 2010?
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© Dawn Bjork Buzbee, MCT, The Software Pro®
Dawn Bjork Buzbee
is The Software Pro®
and a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) as well as a certified Microsoft Office
Specialist (MOS) Master Instructor, certified Microsoft Applications Specialist
(MCAS) Instructor, and a certified Microsoft Office expert. Dawn shares smart
and easy ways to effectively use software through her work as a software
speaker, trainer, consultant, and author of 8 books.
This article and
more can be reprinted at no charge in your publications and website with
copyright and attribution.
more about how easy it is to share these valuable tips, tricks, and techniques.
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Double-click in a cell for quick "in
|A workbook in Excel
2010 or Excel 2007 can have up to 1024 worksheets.