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Create Target Bar in Chart

Regardless of the organization type, departments within it have goals to be met. Many of these goals involve surpassing revenue forecasts, containing costs and minimizing defects just to name a few. Using a chart to monitor these goals is common. However, one small addition to your chart can create a world of difference for all viewers of the document. Create a visible target line within your chart to quickly communicate if goals are being met. Very often people use a line from the Shapes tool to create such a target line, but another alternative is available.

1. Above is a chart monitoring costs for a particular department over the course of a year. The department would like to have costs contained below 190. However it is difficult to ascertain which months exceeded this threshold just looking at the chart.

2. Create a second series with title Target and enter 190 in the first month.

3. Copy and paste (drag for quicker replication) that 190 into the remaining months.

4. Click on the chart on with your mouse

5. Click on the Design tab in ribbon

6. Click on Select Data

7. Click Add

8. Enter the cell address for Target in the series name

9. Enter the monthly values for target in the series values

10. Click Ok

11. Edit the horizontal access, click Edit

12. Enter the range containing months to populate the Axis label

13. Click Ok

14. Click Ok

15. A new bar has been added to the graph, Click on one of the red target bars just created

16. Under the Design menu click Change Chart Type

17. Select line graph

18. Click Ok

19. A target line has been created for the chart.

A few additional steps are needed to make the target line touch the axis. Hope to handle this in a future post.


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