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Charley's Swipe File #13

This professional-quality Excel display is based on a figure from CFO magazine. It combines a dot-plot chart and a table in one display.

by Charley Kyd, MBA
Microsoft Excel MVP, 2005-2014
The Father of Spreadsheet Dashboard Reports

Charley's Swipe File #13(Most of my swipe files use Greeking, which is fake Latin. It helps you ignore the textual content and focus on the actual charts and tables.)

Each set of swipe files comes with two PDFs for documentation: a general, eight-page "Getting Started" document, and a two-page document specific to the current swipe file.

Usage Ideas

This display is based on a figure from CFO magazine. It would make a great display for a Word, PDF, or Web display.

You could easily add a couple of columns of data, or remove the existing “GAP” column. You also could adapt this figure to a full-page Excel display. But the body color might be too intense for a full page, so be ready to make both shades of brown even lighter.

From the documentation for this swipe file...

By default, Excel offers us a choice between charts and tables.

Most of the time, this seems like a reasonable approach. If we want a chart, we insert one. If we want a table, we use a spreadsheet. No problem.

But what if we want to combine a chart and a table within the same figure? 

Here, for example, the figure begins with a column of titles and descriptions. Then we have a dot-plot chart. Then we have a column of data.

From an Excel perspective, a dot plot is typically a scatter chart that displays its data using circular markers, with its lines hidden. The markers for each series are evenly spaced from point to point, so that they appear to be in the same row.

(Because Classic Excel’s circle markers are rather ugly, you might choose to change the “dots” in that version to squares.)

You see this type of display in many business magazines and newspapers. This figure does it in Excel.

Here’s the key to combining charts and tables like this in the same figure:

(Continued in the documentation.)

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