Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Sparklines: Mini-Charts with Big Impact
Figure 5–70. Sparklines—mini line charts
Eyes misting with nostalgia? Sentiment aside, those yellow cells contain Sparklines.
Apart from their placement in specific cells, Sparklines differ from conventional Excel charts in
some other important ways:
They contain no textual information—no titles, axis data, or legends.
They can only characterize one data series at a time.
They permit far fewer formatting options.
Thus in view of these limitations, you’re likely ready to ask what’s the up side—that is, why turn to a
Sparkline when a typical Excel chart seems to offer so much more? The answer is that Sparklines can
easily fill a range of cells with their data-capturing magic, allowing for numerous, concise charts keyed
individually to a large span of columns or rows—like our gradebook. As such, they give a quick,
illustrative, graphic read on your data.
So let’s see how Sparklines work. We can return to our set of grades, entered in cells C8:I20. Note
this range includes the class averages as well as the Student name in C9 I warned you about earlier this
chapter (Figure 5-71):
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