How to Create a Thermometer Chart in Excel

When you want to create a chart that tracks your progress towards reaching a goal – e.g. Monthly Sales Goal – use a Thermometer Chart in Excel. This is a fairly easy chart to create. However, there are a few “got’cha” steps along the way to avoid. Here are the key points to consider when creating a thermometer chart in Excel:

  • Base the chart on one cell. This cell contains the formula =”month to date number” / goal – formatted as a percentage.
  • Be sure to clearly separate this one cell from the other cells – e.g. insert a blank row about the formula cell.
  • Begin with a Column Chart Type.
  • Format your Vertical Axis on the chart – the percentage values. Set the Minimum Value to be “fixed” at 0.0 and the Maximum Value to be “fixed” at 1.0
  • Add a Data Label to your chart – there are several options for placing this on the chart.
  • Continue to format your chart as desired.

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You can learn more about creating and formatting charts on my DVD, “The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007.” Click here to add this to your secure shopping cart.

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