Creating a Waterfall chart

The waterfall chart is normally used for understanding how an initial value is affected by a series of intermediate positive or negative values. Usually the initial and the final values are represented by whole columns, while the intermediate values are denoted by floating columns.
Waterfall chart Excel 2003

To create a simple waterfall chart, do the following:

    1.    Add three columns with "Y empty" data, "Y plus" data and "Y minus" data (you can add a column for empty data and a new column with independent data for every unique color in you waterfall chart), where:

C: =IF(B5>B4,B4,B5), D: =IF(B5>B4,B5-B4,0), and E: =IF(B5>B4,0,B4-B5)

    2.    Add rows with empty "Y" data, if necessary (in this example 5, 7, 8, 11, 13, 14 and 16) and then add two columns for continuous line (see in the bottom of this tip).

Waterfall chart data

    3.    Select the data range (in this example C4:E17).

    4.    Click the Chart Wizard Chart Wizard button (or choose Insert -> Chart...).

    5.    In the Chart Wizard dialog box, choose a Column type and the Stacked Column sub-type and then click Next >:

Chart Wizard Step 1

    6.    In the Step 2 of Chart Wizard, check the data and click Next >.

    7.    In the Step 3 of Chart Wizard:

  • Remove Major gridlines on the Gridlines tab
  • Remove the legend on the Legend tab.
    Legend

    8.    In the Step 4 of Chart Wizard, click the Finish button.

    9.    Right-click in the any of first series column and choose Format Data Series...:

popup

    10.    In the Format Data Series dialog box, on the Patterns tab, check the None option in the Border group and check the None option in the Area group:

Format Data Series

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

To add the continuous line, do the following:

  1. Right-click in the chart area and choose Source Data... in the popup menu:
    popup
  2. In the Source Data dialog box, on the Series tab, click the Add button and select the data range in the Values field (in this example G4:G17):
    Source Data

  3. Right-click in the chart area and choose Chart Type... in the popup menu.
  4. In the Chart Type dialog box, choose the XY (Scatter) type and the Scatter with data points connected by lines without markers sub-type:
    Chart Type
  5. Edit data source for add "X" points (repeat steps 1-2):
    Source Data
  6. Format this line.

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