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Welcome to Microsoft Excel Tips & Tricks

Creating a twin or double thermometer chart

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For example, the worksheet contains data from two teams to track monthly progress towards the goal: 1,000 new sales during the year. Cells C17 and D17 contains the goal value, and cells C19 and D19 contains a simple sum formula:


C19: =SUM(C5:C16) and D19: =SUM(D5:D16)

Cells C21 and D21 contains a formula that calculates the percent of goal:

C21: =C19/C17 and D21: =D19/D17

As you enter new data in column C or D, the formulas display the current results.

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

   1.   Select data C21, D21 if you want to create an percentage axis or select cells C17, C19, D19 if you want to create an volume axis.

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

2016column chart

Choose Clustered Column.

   3.   Remove the (x) axis, gridlines, legend and the title.

   4.   To sort the columns in a different order, follow next steps:

   4.1.   Right-click in the chart area and select Select Data... in the popup menu:

2016 select data

   4.2.   In the Select Data Source dialog box, choose the data series and click Up or Down:


   5.   To make marks for axis, do the following:

   5.1.   Right-click in the chart area and select Change Chart Type... in the popup menu:


   5.2.   In the Change Chart Type dialog box, select the Secondary Axis for the Series1:


   5.3.   In the popup menu of axis choose Format Axis.... On the Format Axis task pane, in the Axis Options tab:

  • In the Axis Options group, set the Minimum to 0 and the Maximum to 1 (in you use an percentage axis) or to 1000 (for this example):
  • In the Tick Marks group, select the Inside option for Major type and for Minor type:

You can also hide the zero point in the axis (see How to hide points on the chart axis).

   5.4.   To make columns occupy the entire width of the plot area, right-click the column and choose Format Data Series... in the popup menu. On the Format Data Seriestask pane, in the Series Options tab, change the Gap Width setting:


   6.   On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, select Shapes:


   7.   On the Shapes list, in the Basic Shapes group, choose the shapes that you want to add in your chart. Format shapes and insert the data label if you want (see How to insert cell content to the shape).

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

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