Creating a rainbow thermometer chart

Creating a thermometer chart you are not limited to a single color bar. Instead you can specify different colors for different value intervals. This tip shows you how to create a rainbow thermometer chart. E.g., working on some goal you can specify risk zones for it: red zone - risk of the fail is high, yellow zone - success/fail is unknown, green zone - success is not far enough.
The thermometer Chart Excel 2010

For example, a worksheet set up to track daily progress towards a goal: 1,000 new sales in a 10-day period. Cell C16 contains the goal value, and cell C17 contains a simple sum formula:

=SUM(C5:C14)

Cell C19 contains a formula that calculates the percent of goal (see Creating a simple thermometer chart):

=C17/C16

Data for thermometer Chart Excel 2010

To create the chart like this one, do the following:

    1.    Add additional data to see different colors for different intervals (in this example, cells C20:C24):

Additional data Excel 2010

    2.    Select cells C20:C24.

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

Column Charts in Excel 2010

Choose 100% Stacked Column.

    4.    Do one of the following:

  • Right-click in the chart area. In the popup menu select Select Data...:
    Select Data in Excel 2010

    Then in the Select Data Source dialog box, click the Switch Row/Column button:

    Add data series in Excel 2010
  • Under Chart Tools, on the Design tab, in the Data group, click the Switch Row/Column button:
    Data in Excel 2010

    5.    Remove the (x) axis and the legend. Make any other adjustments to get the look you desire (see Creating a simple thermometer chart for more details).

    6.    Right-click in the data series and choose Format Data Series... in the popup menu:

popup data series in Excel 2010

    7.    In the Format Data Series dialog box for every series choose different colors.

Choose color for data series in Excel 2010

You can choose different series:

Choose data series in Excel 2010

Make any other adjustments to get the look you desire.

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