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About this lesson
Leveraging Micro Charts to build a very quick visual summary of your key metrics.
Download this lesson’s exercise file.Micro Charting.xlsx
Building fully functional micro charts in Excel.
When to use
Use to create tiny charts focused on specific data trends. This technique allows building many charts on one page that can be consumed very quickly.
Reminder of Charting Goals
- Every chart should tell a story, quickly and effectively
- Extra chart elements create noise, and get in the way of the story
- It is a best practice to remove as much excess ink (noise) as you can
The secret of Micro Charting
- Create your chart as you normally would
- Modify all the textual elements to use tiny fonts (6pt or 8pt)
- Set all lines to use 2pt or smaller
- Resize the chart to make it shrink
- With the smaller scale elements, it should still look great!
Hints & tips
- If you ever need to see a full-size version of the chart, select it and go to Print Preview (it will show a full-page rendition of the chart)
- This method creates real charts (not pictures) so they still react to changes in the source data
- Remember that these charts are intended to expose high level problems, not provide solutions
- Providing many charts focused on a single comparison can be faster to consume than one chart with many messages
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