Custom Charts in Excel :: Thermometer Chart

Posted: May 1, 2013 by MaxFraudy in Excel
Tags: , ,

Thermometer Chart

Thermometer Chart

Continuing the series of custom charts in Excel, today I’m sharing the so-called ‘Thermometer Chart’. This chart lets you see sort of ‘how hot you are’ on a scale. This is what it looks like:

Don’t let the looks of this incredible looking chart scare you. It can be created in 7 easy steps using very basic excel charting skills. But if you don’t want to do all the dirty work, just download the ready template Thermometer Chart.

How to Read the Chart?

As in the thermometer, the inner bar is the actual value of the metric that you are measuring and the outer bar is the reference that you are measuring it against.

How to Create the Chart?
  1. Set up the data – First, you need to decide the scale that you want to use. I have used 0 to 10 and plotted two thermometers. The first column is where you can define what you want to refer as the normal temperature. In the third column, enter the actual temperature (The second, fourth, fifth and sixth columns are all calculations).
  2. Plot a Stacked Column graph using columns 1 to 4. You’ll end up with something looking like this:

    Setting Data

    Stacked Column Chart

  3. Move Series 3 and Series 4 to the secondary axis. For these series, go to ‘Format Data Series‘ -> ‘Series Options‘ and move the slider to ‘Large Gap‘.

    Series 3,4 on Secondary Axis & Gap Increased

    Series 3,4 on Secondary Axis & Gap Increased

  4. Choose your fill colors and format them as you wish. I have used standard thermometer colors.
  5. For the bulb at the bottom, add another series, this time X-Y Scatter chart. Use column 5 as X-values and column 6 as Y-values. Format this data series, Choose a round marker and increase its size (mine is 31).
  6. Format the primary and secondary axis so that they have same minimum and maximum values.
  7. The skeleton of the chart is ready. Just dress it up and use it. I have added some shadow and 3-D format and formatted gridlines.

    Final Look of the Chart

    Final Look of the Chart

Do let me know if you found it useful or if you have suggestions to make it better.

More in Custom Charts:

Custom Charts in Excel :: Heatmap Inspiration

Custom Charts in Excel :: How to Reuse Without Recreating it Time and Again




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