Using Arrows in a Chart

Excel 365 2013 2010 2007 2003
The Expressiveness of business graphics sometimes determines the success or failure of the presentation, and you can achieve a better perception of the audience by using in charts intuitively obvious representation of data by arrows.

For example, if you have good news to report about consistent growth, you might want to replace the columns in the chart with arrow shapes to indicate the positive growth further:

Chart with Arrows in Excel 2016

To convert columns to arrows, follow the next steps:

   1.    Create a column chart showing a single series:

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

Column Charts in Excel 2016

Choose the Clustered Column Clustered Column Charts in Excel 2016 chart.

Excel creates the new chart:

Column Chart in Excel 2016

   2.    In an empty section of the worksheet, do the following to insert a new block arrow shape:

  • On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, choose the Shapes button:
    Shapes in Excel 2016
  • Choose the Up Arrow (or/and Down Arrow) from the Shapes list:
    Arrows in Excel 2016

   3.    Select the arrow and press Ctrl+C to copy the arrow to the Clipboard.

   4.    Click a column in the chart to select all the columns in the data series (you can also select only one column).

   5.    Press Ctrl+V to paste the arrow. Excel fills the columns with a picture of the block arrow.

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

   6.    After creating the chart, you can delete the arrow created in step 2 by clicking the arrow and pressing the Delete key.

See also this tip in French: Utiliser des flèches dans un graphique.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.