Create Financial Charts in Excel

With some financial data, historical trends are as important as the values in any given year. You can spot trends in a series of values effortlessly with a line graph. A pie chart handily illustrates your portfolio asset allocation, whereas a stacked area chart can emphasize the changes in your asset allocation over time. Regardless of the type of financial data you want to visualize, it’s easy to build a chart from data in Excel spreadsheets using Excel’s Chart Wizard. You don’t even have to get the chart right the first time. After the Chart Wizard adds the chart to a worksheet, you can right-click the chart and choose commands from the shortcut menu to configure and format every aspect of the chart until it looks exactly the way you want.

Using the Excel Chart Wizard

The Excel Chart Wizard walks you through each step of chart configuration and provides options to make your financial data as comprehensible as possible. If the chart doesn’t turn out the way you want, you can choose from several methods to correct the chart after the fact.

You can simplify the chart creation process before you start the Chart Wizard by setting up your data in a way that Excel understands. The Chart Wizard is easier to use when you structure your data in the Excel worksheet following these rules:

  • Enter row titles in the left column of the data area.

  • Enter column titles in the top row of the data area.

  • Don’t type data into the upper-left cell of the data area. Otherwise, ...

Get Online Investing Hacks now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.