Excel Charting: Building a Conditionally-Formatted Bar Chart

Most people’s charts stop at ‘hey, I made a chart!’ I always push students to format their charts to highlight some important piece of information. In this tutorial, I use a couple of functions (IF and MAX) to highlight the biggest value in the chart. When I switch from one salesperson to another, the chart automatically highlights the biggest value in orange. The secret to conditionally formatted charts is simple: duplicate your data, but with only the important points entered.

Download the spreadsheet for this exercise by clicking here.

Techniques used in this video:

  • SUMIFS function
  • Data Validation drop-down menu
  • IF and MAX functions nested together
  • Overlapping data points in a bar chart
  • Setting hidden data to show in a chart

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