Waterfall chart using Error bars

The waterfall chart is normally used for understanding how an initial value is affected by a series of intermediate positive or negative values. As we have shown Creating a Waterfall chart it can be created using a combination of Excel Bar charts. This tip will show you how streamline this process using Error Bar chart. The waterfall chart is normally used for understanding how an initial value is affected by a series of intermediate positive or negative values.
Waterfall chart Excel 2016

To create the waterfall chart using Error bars, do the following:

    1.    Add two columns with "X Errors" data and "Y Errors" data:

Waterfall chart data Excel 2016

D5=B6-B5 and E5=C5, E6=C6-C5

    2.    Select the data range (in this example B5:C11).

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

Scatter Charts in Ecxel 2016

Choose simple Scatter.

    4.    On the Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, click the Add Chart Element icon, select Error Bars list and then choose Series 1 X Error Bars:

More Error Bars Options in Excel 2016

    5.    In the Format Error Bars task pane:

Format Error Bars in Excel 2016
  • In the Direction group, select Minus
  • In the End Style group, select No Cap
  • In the Error Amount group, near the Custom click the Specify Value button.
    Custom Error Bars in Excel 2016

    In the Custom Error Bars dialog box, choose the Y Errors data range (in this example E5:E11). See Adding error bars for more details about Error bars.

    6.    On the Format Error Bars task pane, right-click in one of the Error Bar Options and choose Format Error Bars... in the popup menu:

Format Error Bars popup in Excel 2016

In this Format Error Bars task pane:

  • In the Display Direction group, select Minus
  • In the Display End Style group, select No Cap
  • In the Error Amount group, near the Custom, click the Specify Value button and then, in the Custom Error Bars dialog box, choose the X Errors data range (in this example D5:D10).

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

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