Make Sparklines in Excel in Office 2011 for Mac - dummies

Make Sparklines in Excel in Office 2011 for Mac

By Geetesh Bajaj, James Gordon

If you’re really in a hurry, or if space on your Excel 2011 for Mac worksheet is at a premium and you want a quick visual representation of your data, sparklines are worth investigating. It only takes a few seconds to make sparklines. Here’s what to do:

  1. Select the data range.

    Don’t select any column or row headers in your data range — just the actual data.

  2. On the Ribbon’s Charts tab, find the Insert Sparklines group and choose a sparkline style.

    You get three choices for sparkline styles:

    • Line: Displays a mini-line chart of your data in a cell.

    • Column: Displays a mini-column chart of your series.

    • Win-Loss: Displays a bar above the cell’s midline for positive numbers, or a bar below the midpoint for negative numbers.

    After you choose a sparkline style, the Insert Sparklines dialog.

  3. Drag over the empty cells that you want to display your sparklines.

    Usually you want an adjoining range of empty cells.

  4. Click OK to close the Insert Sparklines dialog.

    Your sparklines display.


Now you have sparklines, but the rows are too skinny to display them properly. You need to increase the row height and center the text in the cells. Here’s what to do:

  1. Drag over the row numbers to select the rows you want to format.

    As you drag up or down to select a set of entire rows, the mouse cursor should be a right-pointing arrow.

  2. Drag any divider between two row numbers down within the selected rows to increase the row height.

    As you drag, the mouse cursor is a double-pointed arrow, and the row height displays as you drag. All selected rows heights are increased at once.

  3. Reselect the data range.

  4. On the Ribbon’s Home tab, go to the Alignment group and click Align Text Middle.

Notice that when you select a sparkline cell or cell range, the corresponding data lights up in your data range, and if you look up at the Ribbon, there’s a Sparklines tab you can click.