How to add deviations into your chart

Excel 365 2016 2010 2007 2003
Sometimes you can give your charts more impressive view by showing deviations of some real process from its expected flow.
Deviations in the chart 2013

To create a chart with deviations, do the following:

   1.   Select the data range (in this example B4:D10):

Using deviations in charts in Excel 2013

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

Line charts in Excel 2013

Choose Line.

   3.   Right-click in the chart line. In the popup menu select Select Data...:

Select data in Excel 2013

   4.   In the Select Data Source dialog box, select data for series and for horizontal (category) axis:

Select Data Source in Excel 2013

   5.   Open Format Data Series on the Format task pane, then in the Line Style tab, click the Smoothed line checkbox:

Format Data Series in Excel 2013

   6.   Select the chart to add deviations, then do one of the following:

  • Click on the Chart Elements button, check the Error Bars checkbox and then choose More Options...:
    Chart Elements in Excel 2013
  • Under Chart Tools, on the Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, click Add Chart Elements. Then in the Add Chart Elements list, select Error Bars and choose More Error Bars Options...:
Error Bars in Excel 2013

In the Add Error Bars dialog box choose first data series.

   7.   On Format Error Bars opened in the Format task pane, do the following:

  • In the Vertical Error Bar section, choose:
    Format Error Bars in Excel 2013
    • In the Direction group choose the Plus option - to show the actual data point value plus a specific error amount.
    • In the End Style group choose 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 E5:E10):
      Error Bars range in Excel 2013
  • In the Line section, change the Width of line, and select arrow settings:
    Format Error Bars line in Excel 2013

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

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