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Make info-graphics with shape fill technique [Charting Tip]

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make info-graphics in excel with shape fill technique

This is a quick, fun and elegant way to make info-graphics in Excel. Learn how to use shape fill technique for charts in MS Excel to create engaging output. You will learn how to make something like this:

sample info-graphic in Excel - sales of houses by month

How to create such info-graphic charts in Excel?

The process for creating these charts is very simple. I made 8 minute video explaining the process for making info-graphic charts in Excel. Watch it below or read on for step-by-step tutorial.

Step-by-Step tutorial – Making such charts:

Step 1: Setup your data

Let’s say you have the data as shown above. To create the house styled chart, simply add 3 columns. We can keep a constant value for Base and Top series and calculate floors by =Value-Base-Top formula.

Step 2: Create regular column chart

This is simple. Just select the three columns we just calculated and insert a stacked column chart. You will get this:

Step 3: Fill it up with shapes

Now go ahead and import (or draw) shapes for top, floors and bottom part of the house.

Once you have three images / shapes, select each image, press CTRL+C to copy it and select the corresponding chart element and press CTRL+V to fill it up.

You will get this:

Step 4: Stack the shape fill

Whenever you apply shape fill to charts, Excel will automatically stretch the image. But we need to stack it. Select the chart series and go to format options (Ctrl+1).

Here, change the fill option from “Stretch” to “Stack and Scale with” and specify a number that suits your images. For the house example, we can use 100 (as each floor would be same height as the bottom or top floors).

Step 5: There is no step 5. You are done!

That is it. Our chart is ready. Slap an interesting title and caption you are good to go.

info-graphic-in-excel-howto

More examples:

Here are two more examples of this technique.

Download sample info-graphics in Excel workbook

Please click here to download sample workbook with info-graphic style charts in Excel. You can examine all the steps, data, formulas and charts in the file. Feel free to customize or reuse the concept for your work.

More Excel Charting Tips

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Do you like shape-fill technique? Share your feedback

Do you like this technique? I love it, but in moderation. Such info-graphic style charts can engage your audience and present data creatively. That said, if you use wrong shapes or symbols, it can quickly become annoying.

What about you? Do you like this idea? Please share your feedback in comments.

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#awesome trick – Extract word by position using FILTERXML()

This is CRAZY!!!. I stumbled on a weird use for FILTERXML() while reading a forum post earlier today. So I couldn’t wait to test it. I am happy to share the results.

Say you have some text (sentence / phrase / keyword etc.) in a cell and you want to extract the nth word. Unfortunately Excel doesn’t have SPLIT() formula. So we end up writing obscenely long array formulas or use gazillion helper columns.

Here is the super sneaky trick. Use FILTERXML() instead.

9 Responses to “Make info-graphics with shape fill technique [Charting Tip]”

  1. Santosh says:

    Very nice idea.Thanks lot.

  2. Gopakumar Nair says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    Your Charting and Power BI tips are excellent and helps a lot. Do you have a complete collection or book on this, if so please let me know how to buy.
    Thanks and keep it up, enjoy your posts!

    Regards
    Gopa

  3. Sonali says:

    Awesome idea... I used it for by budeting exercise

  4. Azaz says:

    Great...Thanks

  5. Nguy?n ??ng Minh says:

    Thank You Very Much!

  6. GS says:

    Thanks. I have always found Excel charts a little bland. This looks easy to understand and relatively simple to apply. Well done!

  7. ankit Gupta says:

    Hiii Chandooo ji,

    I want to learn macros coding on visual basic platform. Plz guide me for same.

    Thanks Regards,
    Ankit G

  8. Sai says:

    Excellent , great change from mundane charts.
    Thanks for exploring and publishing these

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