Floating a Column in Excel


Floating column charts more adequately represent minimum and maximum values compared to stacked charts that are better suited for cumulative totals. However, creating a floating column chart starts with a stacked chart that displays the minimum and maximum values as differently colored sections in the same column. By rendering the lower section invisible, the column is no longer anchored to the X axis. The end result is a floating column that represents a range of values.

  • Enter the individual data labels in column A, the minimum values in column B and the maximum values in column C. As an example, if you wanted to illustrate the minimum and maximum costs of a product, you might enter "Widget 1" in cell A1, "$150" in cell B1 and "$250" in cell C1. To create additional columns on your chart, add additional rows of labels and values on the spreadsheet.

  • Click and drag your mouse to select all labels and data you wish to include on the chart.

  • Click the "Insert" tab, select the "Insert Column Chart" icon from the Charts group and choose the "Stacked Column" or "3-D Stacked Column" option.

  • Right-click the bottom portion of any column, and then select "Format Data Series."

  • Click the "Fill & Line" option (indicated by a paint bucket in the Format Data Series sidebar), expand the "Fill" option and select "No Fill." Click "X" to close the sidebar.

  • Right-click the "Series1...Series2" label at the bottom of the chart, and then select "Delete" to remove this unnecessary element. You can also select the chart title and type a new title for your chart.

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