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Make a Thermometer Chart in Excel

By Edited Oct 6, 2016 0 0

A thermometer chart is used to track progress towards a target or goal. It uses a single cell that contains a percentage completion towards a target.

Thermometer chart in Excel

The image below shows sales over a 10 day period working towards a target of £10,000. Cell B17 contains the percentage completion towards that target.

Data to be used by the Thermometer Chart

To make a thermometer chart in Excel, you first insert a column chart and then apply various formatting techniques to it to achieve the desired look.

Insert the Column Chart

  1. Select cell B17
  2. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon
  3. Click the Column button in the Charts group and select the Clustered Column from the list
Initial column chart

The chart does not look very good at this stage but will very soon blossom into a beautiful thermometer chart.

Remove Chart Elements

The next step is to remove a few unnecessary chart elements. The quickest way to remove these elements is to select them on the chart and use the Delete key on the keyboard.

If you find it difficult to select these chart elements, click the Layout tab under Chart Tools and use the list in the Current Selection group.

Current Selection group on the Ribbon
  1. Delete the Chart Title
  2. Delete the Legend
  3. Delete the Category Axis
  4. Delete the Major Gridlines
Chart with elements removed

Add the Thermometer Chart’s Frame

  1. Select the chart’s Plot Area
  2. Click the Format Selection button in the Current Selection group of the Layout tab
  3. Click the Border Color category on the left of the dialogue box
  4. Select the Solid Line option and choose your desired colour
  5. Click Close
Format the Plot Area

Remove the Chart Area’s Border

  1. Select the Chart Area
  2. Click the Format Selection button in the Current Selection group of the Layout tab
  3. Click the Border Color category on the left of the dialogue box
  4. Select the No Line option
  5. Click Close

Remove the Gap

  1. Select the column in the chart (data series)
  2. Click the Format Selection button
  3. Click the Series Options category from the left
  4. Reduce the Gap Width by dragging the marker to 0%
  5. Click Close
Reduce the gap width

The chart is beginning to look like a thermometer chart. 2 steps to go

Smile
Column chart with no gap

Format the Value Axis

  1. Select the Vertical (Value) Axis for the chart
  2. Click the Format Selection button
  3. Click the Axis Options category from the left
  4. Set the Maximum option to Fixed and enter 1 in the box provided
  5. Click Close
Format the axis to display 100%

Finally

Resize the chart as necessary and add any extra formatting you desire.

Your thermometer chart will adjust as sales are entered allowing you to track progress to a target.

Watch the Making a Thermometer Chart in Excel Video

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