For business users of Microsoft Excel Free guides and templates

Windows & Mac Excel

Charley's Swipe File #60

By default, Excel interweaves entities by date in its column charts. But this column chart groups each entity, making the data easier to understand.

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

Charley's Swipe File Chart #60This data should look familiar, because itís the same data displayed in Charley File #59, which is also a column chart.

But I thought it would be useful to compare two different methods for displaying the same data in the same basic format.

Like the previous chart, this is also from The Wall Street Journal.

But unlike Charley File #59, this figure uses only one Series formula, which is why all columns have the same color. So rather than using different colors of columns to visually separate each group of columns, the display uses strips of light and dark background colors.

I can think of at least three ways to set up that background shading. One way is to set up a second series formula that displays solid blocks of columns that have the light background color. However, when I tried that approach, I ran into many formatting problems that werenít worth the effort to solve.

Instead, I went with my second alternative...

(Continued in the documentation.)

Order Details

Excel Versions:

Excel 2007 and after, for either Windows or Mac


Instant download of zipped Excel and PDF files. If you ever need another download, you can get it at any time.


One full year, unconditional.


All prices are in US Dollar currency.


Two copies: One for work plus one for home.

Credit Cards:

Credit Cards

Only $14.95

New Excel