Using Decorative Dividors in Charts

Most reports and presentations contain a lot of boring charts that describe the state before and after some event, action, etc. However, using simple visual tricks you can shake up the audience and draw an attention to the essence of your presentation.

For example, you want to demonstrate the changes in sales due to the company policy during 2009 - 2011 and 2013 - 2015:

Chart with a Decorative Element in Excel 2016

To create one chart with separator, follow these steps:

    1.    Insert a blank row between separated parts of chart (in this example - B14).

    2.    Select the data cells.

    3.    On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, choose the Column button:

Column charts in Excel 2016

Choose Clustered Column:

Column chart with gaps in Excel 2016

    4.    Open Format Axis on the Format task pane, in which:

  • In the Axis Options section, choose the field Text axis (to hide the gap period):
    Axis options in Excel 2016
  • In the Number section, change the field Format Code (in example to show only years) and click the Add button:
    Add Format Code in Excel 2016

    5.    In the source data (B5:C23) clear the duplicate years. As you clear an entry in the worksheet, the corresponding entry along the chart axis disappears.

You can then make any other adjustments to get the look you desire.

Format chart in Excel 2016

    6.    Select the chart. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, choose the type of object what you want to add in the chart:

Illustrations group in Excel 2016