Creating a rainbow thermometer chart

Excel 2016 2013 2010
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 - the risk of the fail is high, yellow zone - success/fail is unknown, green zone - success is not far enough.
The thermometer Chart Excel 365

For example, a worksheet set up to track daily progress towards a goal: 1000 new sales in 10 days. 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 in Excel 365

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 365

   2.   Select cells C20:C24.

   3.   On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, click the Insert Bar or Column Chart button:

Column Charts in Excel 365

Choose 100% Stacked Column:

100% Stacked Column Charts in Excel 365

   4.   Do one of the following:

  • Right-click on the chart area and choose Select Data... in the popup menu:
    Select Data in Excel 365

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

    Add data series in Excel 365
  • On the Chart Design tab, in the Data group, click the Switch Row/Column button:
    Switch Row/Column in Excel 365

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

Format data series in popup menu Excel 365

   6.   In the Format Data Series pane, choose different colors for every series. You can choose different series by selecting each data series on the chart or in that pane by clicking the arrow next to Chart Options:

Choose data series in Excel 365

Make any other adjustments to get the look you desire.

See also this tip in French: Comment créer un graphique de thermomètre arc-en-ciel.

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

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