How to add deviations into your chart

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

To create a chart with deviations, do the following:

   1.   Select the data range (in this example, B4:D11):

Using deviations in charts in Excel 2016

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

Line charts in Excel 2016

Choose the Line Line in Excel 2016 chart.

   3.   Do one of the following:

  • Under Chart Tools, on the Chart Design tab, in the Data group, choose Select Data:
    Select Data in Excel 2016
  • Right-click in the chart area and choose Select Data... in the popup menu:
    Select Data in popup menu Excel 2016

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

Select Data Source in Excel 2016

   5.   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 2016
  • 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...:
More Error Bars Options in Excel 2016

   6.   On the Format Error Bars pane:

  • In the Vertical Error Bar section, choose:
    Format Error Bars in Excel 2016
    • 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:E11):
      Error Bars range in Excel 2016
  • In the Line section, change the Width of line, and select arrow settings:
    Format Error Bars line in Excel 2016

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

See also this tip in French: Comment ajoutez des écarts dans votre graphique.

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