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 2003

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

C4=A5-A4 and D4=B4, D5=B5-B4

    2.    Select the data range (in this example A4:B10).

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

    4.    In the Chart Wizard dialog box, choose a XY (Scatter) type and the Scatter sub-type and then click Next >:

Chart Wizard Step 1

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

    6.    In the Step 3 of Chart Wizard:

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

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

    8.    In the popup menu choose Format Data Series....

In the Format Data Series dialog box:

  • On the X Error Bars tab:
    • In the Display group, select Plus
    • In the Error Amount group, select Custom: and in the + section select data range (in this example C4:C10).
    X Error Bars
  • On the Y Error Bars tab (see Adding error bars for more details about Error bars):
    • In the Display group, select Minus
    • In the Error Amount group, select Custom: and in the - section select data range (in this example D4:D10).
    Y Error Bars

    6.    Right-click in one of the vertical Error bars and choose Format Y Error Bars... in the popup menu:

Format Y Error Bars popup

In the Format Error Bars dialog box, formal Y Error bars.

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

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