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Charley's Swipe File #46

You'll need to 'cheat' to set up this chart, which uses arrows to show jumps in your trend lines when a value rises or falls by a specified amount.


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

Charley's Swipe File #46When you create a time-series chart, itís often useful to highlight large jumps in the values. This information can alert your readers to major changes in the trend.

This chart, for example, uses custom markers to display an arrow when the Index value rises or falls by a value of at least 0.3.

Because Excel doesnít allow us to adjust the size of custom markers, I created seven sizes of arrows for each of the two colors, from tiny to fairly large. This set of Swipe Files includes those 14 arrow images.

If youíve used large markers very much, this chart might surprise you, because markers always appear on top of lines in charts. Well, except for this chart. On this chart, the markers are behind the line.

How did I do it? I cheated.

At first, I created the arrows to be 50% transparent, which isnít cheating. With transparent arrows, the line is visible even when the arrows are on top of it. I recommend that you try this approach first, because itís easier to set up than my cheating approach.

In some cases, several arrows overlapped each other and also the line. This made the line virtually disappear behind the multiple semi-transparent arrows. So I had to cheat to get around this problem.

(Continued in the documentation.)

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