Smart Chart Tools for everyone! Lately there was relatively few words said about charts, sometimes we tend to forget about them.

Although we shouldn’t for they form an elemental part of excel.

Finally the time came to present a few little less known tricks in our article that could be to your advantage in the business life or even in your work at home.

We know that dashboards and reports can be professional, but no need to create a complex excel report for spectacularly displaying some data. Let’s see three examples we trust can be helpful making your life easier.

Let’s see the first trick!

Smart Chart Tools – Comparing Yearly Sales

Interesting and usually relatively common task when have to compare the data of 3 consecutive year in the way that differences may be seen, the growth or maybe decrease on one chart. Fortunately we have a good solution for this.

On the picture you can see that we have presented the year 2015 data on a column chart and the two previous year data with the help of line charts.

What makes this template really unique is that with the application of the checkbox we can choose what year’s data will be on the current chart.


We can choose that at one time we present 1, 2 or 3 year’s achievements. If we leave the square blank or not checked by the year 2013, than we can only see the line chart of 2014 and the column chart of 2015, we can compare these two years.

If we check both squares checked, than we can compare three consecutive years. We wouldn’t waste any more words on this, check out this little animation that will help you understand the bottom line in a short time.

Smart Chart Tools – Data in Focus


On the left hand side of the illustration we summed up the data we will portray on the chart. The Spot the Company field contains a drop-down list.

After choosing a company a red circle will indicate the current one out of the point of the chart. The technical realization is not difficult; you will see this after you download the template.

It can be very useful to underline / highlight the current data this way (or display key performance indicators) , so our eyes focus on the important point. Just imagine how much more elaborate it would be to search for the right data-point.

A further little trick that the data of the currently chosen company automatically shows in the chart, conditional formatting takes care about this.

Smart Chart Tools – Negative values

The third chart addresses a very simple but even more interesting question. We all know that negative values not always easy to portray.

We not going to overcomplicate this simply have to set the following unique format:



Smart Chart Tools – Conlusion and Downloads

Finally we recommend the following. Always choose between dashboard and chart in the light of the current task.

If you have to tackle complex work than it’s worth the relatively long and thorough planning, creating a structure and then make a dashboard.

But if you have to be quick and use relatively few data and the years to be examined not many (usually between 1 and 5) than it’s worth to use the excel chart tips just shown. Wish you great work and have fun! Download the three excel chart templates here!