Use Dividers to Mark Significant Events in Excel Dashboards - dummies

Use Dividers to Mark Significant Events in Excel Dashboards

By Michael Alexander

One of the most common concepts used in Excel dashboards and reports is trending. Some of your trending components may contain certain periods in which a special event occurred, causing an anomaly in the trending pattern.

Every now and then a particular event shifts the entire paradigm of your data permanently. A good example is a price increase. The trend shown in this figure has been permanently affected by a price increase implemented in October. As you can see, a dividing line (along with some labeling) provides a distinct marker for the price increase, effectively separating the old trend from the new.


Although there are lots of fancy ways to create this effect, you’ll rarely need to get any fancier than manually drawing a line yourself. To draw a dividing line inside a chart, take the following steps:

  1. Click the chart to select it.

  2. Click the Insert tab on the Ribbon and click the Shapes button.

  3. Select the line shape, go to your chart, and draw the line where you want it.

  4. Right-click your newly drawn line and select Format Shape.

  5. Use the Format Shape dialog box to format your line’s color, thickness, and style.