How to add deviations into your chart

Sometimes you can give your charts more impressive view by showing deviations of some real process from its expected flow.
Deviations in the chart in Excel 2007

To create a chart with deviations, do the following:

    1.    Select the data range (in this example A4:C12):

Using deviations in charts in Excel 2007

    2.    On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, choose the Line button:

Charts in Excel 2007

Choose Line.

    3.    Right-click one of the years along the category axis. In the popup menu select Format Axis...:

Format Axis in Excel 2007

In the Format Axis dialog box, choose the Number tab, change the field Format Code (in example to show only month and year) and click the Add button:

Add Format Code in Excel 2007

    4.    Right-click in the chart line. In the popup menu select Format Data Series...

    5.    In the Format Data Series dialog box, on the Line Style tab, click the Smoothed line checkbox:

Format Data Series in Excel 2007

    6.    To add deviations, do the following:

   6.1.  Select the line in which you want to add deviations.

   6.2.  On the Layout tab, in the Analysis group, choose Error Bars list:

Analysis in Excel 2007

   6.3.  Excel propose several error bars, also you can use More Error Bars Options...:

More Error Bars Options in Excel 2007

   6.4.  In the Format Error Bars dialog box, on the Vertical Error Bars tab, choose:

Format Error Bars in Excel 2007
  • In the Display group:
    • the Plus option - to show the actual data point value plus a specific error amount;
    • the No Cap option - to display error bars without end caps.
  • In the Error Amount group, the Custom: option, and then click the Specify Value to use values in a worksheet range that you specify as error amounts (in this example D4:D12):
Error Bars range in Excel 2007

   6.5.  In the Format Error Bars dialog box, on the Line Style tab, change the Width of line, and select arrow settings:

Format Error Bars in Excel 2007

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

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