How to add Dividers to the chart

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 2004 - 2005 and 2008 - 2009:

Chart with a Decorative Element in Excel 2007

If you have next data:

Example in Excel 2007

To create one chart with separator, follow these steps:

    1.    Insert a blank row between separated parts of chart (in this example - A13).

    2.    Select the data cells (in this example A4:B22).

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

Charts in Excel 2007

Choose Clustered Column:

Chart in Excel 2007

    4.    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 Axis Options tab, under the Axis Type label, click the field Text axis (to hide the period between 2006 and 2008):
    Text Format in Excel 2007
  • Choose the Number tab, change the field Format Code (in example to show only years) and click the Add button:
    Add Format Code in Excel 2007

    5.    In the source data (A4:B20) 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 2007

    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 in Excel 2007

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