Imagine you have a worksheet with lots of charts. And you want to make it look awesome & clean.
Simple, create an interactive chart so that your users can pick one of many charts and see them.
Today let us understand how to create an interactive chart using Excel.
PS: This is a revised version of almost 5 year old article – Select & show one chart from many.
A demo of our interactive Excel chart
First, take a look at the chart that you will be creating.
Feeling excited? read on to learn how to create this.
Solution – Creating Interactive chart in Excel
- First create all the charts you want and place them in separate locations in your worksheet. Lets say your charts look like this.
- Now, select all the cells corresponding to first chart, press ALT MMD (Formula ribbon > Define name). Give a name like
- Repeat this process for all charts you have, naming them like
- In a separate range of cells, list down all chart names. Give this range a name like
- Add a new sheet to your workbook. Call it “Output”.
- In the output sheet, insert a combo-box form control (from Developer Ribbon > Insert > Form Controls)
- Select the combo box control and press Ctrl+1 (format control).
- Specify input range as
lstChartTypesand cell link as a blank cell in your output sheet (or data sheet).
[Related: Detailed tutorial on Excel Combo box & other form controls]
- Now, when you make a selection in the combo box, you will know which option is selected in the linked cell.
- Now, we need a mechanism to pull corresponding chart based on user selection. Enter a named range –
- Press ALT MMD or go to Formula ribbon > Define name. Give the name as
selChartand define it as
=CHOOSE(linked_cell, Chart1, Chart2, Chart3, Chart4)
PS: CHOOSE formula will select one of the Chart ranges based on user’s selection (help).
- Now, go back to data & charts sheet. Select Chart1 range. Press CTRL+C to copy it.
- Go to Output sheet and paste it as linked picture (Right click > Paste Special > Linked Picture)
- This will insert a linked picture of Chart 1.
[Related: What is a picture link and how to use it?]
- Now, click on the picture, go to formula bar, type =selChart and press enter
- Move the image around, position it nicely next to the combo box.
- Congratulations! Your interactive chart is ready 🙂
Video tutorial explaining this chart
Watch below tutorial to understand how to make this chart.
Download Interactive Chart Excel file
Click here to download interactive chart Excel file and play with it. Observe the named ranges (selChart) and set up charts to learn more.
More Examples of Dynamic & Interactive Charts
If you want to learn more about these techniques, go thru below examples.
- Interactive sales analysis chart using Excel
- Use analytical charts to make your boss fall in love with you
- Making a dynamic chart with checkboxes
- How to make your charts & dashboards interactive – Detailed how to guide
- Lots of examples, tips & downloads on interactive & dynamic charts in Excel
Do you use interactive charts?
Dynamic & interactive charts are one of my favorite Excel tricks. I use them in almost all of my dashboards, Excel models and my clients are always wowed by them.
What about you? Do you use interactive charts often? What are your favorite techniques for creating them? Please share your tips & ideas using comments.