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Excel 2010: How to show trends with mini charts inside cells

A very useful new feature in Excel 2010 is something called thumbnail charts. In previous versions of Excel, you could, for example, use conditional formatting to produce data bars to illustrate the values.

In the new version, however, it is about small but “genuine” diagrams that fit in a normal spreadsheet cell. The thumbnail chart makes it possible to quickly and easily illustrate trends alongside the values ​​in the spreadsheet.

Inserting a thumbnail chart is child’s play. Just click on the menu tab Insert and then select the desired chart type in the ribbon Thumbnail Chart.

1. Insert a thumbnail chart. Start by selecting the cell you want the thumbnail chart to be placed in. Then click the menu tab Insert. In the ribbon Thumbnail Chart then click on the desired chart type, in our example Line.

2. Select data range. In the dialog box Create thumbnail charts you start by selecting the cells that contain the values ​​that the chart will use. Since you have already selected the cell the thumbnail chart should be in, you then click on OK.

3. Copy the chart. Now a line chart will be inserted into the cell. Since we want more thumbnail charts, we make sure to copy it down by clicking and dragging the handle at the bottom right of the cell.

4. Format the chart. In the ribbon Show begins
you by selecting the option Markers so that each point in the diagram is highlighted. Then just select the desired option in the ribbon Format template.

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