Excel Waterfall Chart

Waterfall chart is a good option for visualizing related positive and negative developments. With this chart, you can easily see how final result is achieved. Here is how to make an easy Excel waterfall chart.


Waterfall chart is basically a stacked column chart. Some data series are set to be invisible, so instead of staying on top of each other, boxes looks like they are afloat. Therefore making basic excel waterfall chart is very easy. But when you want to make it look good, than starts hard work.

Here is basic part:
Since it is a stacked column chart, all you need to do is to arrange your data before charting it. Than set certain columns as invisible.

This is our base data:

excel waterfall chart 1

And this is our arranged data which we are going to use as chart source data. This setup will ensure our significant boxes to be placed on correct coordinates on the chart area.

excel waterfall chart 2

Chart data in detail (These formulas provides interactivity. As base values changes, boxes will adjust accordingly.):

excel waterfall chart 3

Select this data as a whole and insert a stacked column chart. I should look like this:

excel waterfall chart 4

Remove legend, set series fill color and border color for bottom boxes of middle 3 series to no fill, set fill and border color for series 1-2-5 as green and 3-4 as red. Here is your very basic excel waterfall chart:

excel waterfall chart 5

If you want to enhance it to have a real nice looking chart, continue to next page.

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2 Responses

  1. Great guide! But this way good for rare using of waterfall charts. If you create waterfall charts often and in large quantities, you should automate the creation process. You can do it easy if you install Waterfall Chart Studio Excel add-in http://fincontrollex.com/?page=products&id=1&lang=en
    By the way, waterfall charts become the standard type in Excel 2016. But if you use older version of Excel, Waterfall Chart Studio will be useful for you.

  1. May 4, 2016

    […] How to create a waterfall chart with older versions of Excel. […]

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