Ever wanted to highlight maximum value in charts? Then this tip is for you.
Sample data – Highlighting max values in Charts
Let’s say you have some data like this. If you make a chart, you get the output shown to right.
To highlight values, just add extra series
Now the fun part begins. To highlight values in Excel charts, we simply need to add extra series with the values you want to highlight. Let’s say you want to highlight the product with maximum units sold. Add an extra column to calculate the values, as shown below.
Now, our chart becomes this:
But we just want one series, not two!!!
While this highlights max value in a different color, it doesn’t quite cut it. We just need to remove the original value.
Or, we could simply overlap one series on top of another, like layering.
Select the chart series and go to format series (Click on the series, press CTRL+1).
Now, set up series overlap to 100% and your maximum value is highlighted.
That is all. In just a few minutes and clicks, your chart highlights maximum value.
Another example – Line chart with maximum value highlighted
Here is another example of this technique. This time with a line chart.
Apply this idea for other situations too…
You can apply this technique to highlight various kinds of things, like:
- Minimum values
- Above average values
- Values that meet certain target
- User selection values
FREE Download – Sample file for this tip
Click here to download sample file with few types of highlighted charts. Examine the data, formulas and chart settings to learn more.
Highlight maximum value in Excel charts – Video tutorial
More ways to customize Excel charts
This is one of the many powerful but easy techniques for working with Excel charts. Here are a few of my favorite tips on charting. Check them out to learn more.
Add a reference line to charts
Create info-graphics with shape fill options
Forecasting using Excel charts
5 Responses to “How-to highlight maximum value in Excel charts? [Quick tip]”
Hi Thanks for the new tutorial. However I could not make the formula for the additional colum added, work the way showed on the video i.e. when I use the if formula, I could not get the if([unit sold....) to work. I can only get if(C4...)
Do you define the range or is it excel version issue.
Same problem over here.
Thanx and greetings,
@Ilka & Jitendra
I am using a table to hold my data. When you have data as table, you can use structural references. Else you can only use normal cell references.
For more on tables and structural referencing see this page - Introduction to Structural References
Thank you for your fast (?quick?) reply 🙂
I have a combo chart listing four weeks of a month with a column for maximum attendance allowed at five campuses identified by columns. I have data in columns listing the actual attendance at those campuses for each week represented by lines. I am struggling getting the line to go directly related to the campus represented column for each week. Each actual line starts in the middle of each week. When I click on tick marks, I loose two columns on the far left. I am quite frustrated. Any solution or advice you can recommend would be appreciated. Thanks!