TIP: In-cell bar graphs for Excel (2004/2008)

Having been forced (my monetary considerations – those people need training, too!) to work with the Windows version of Excel recently, I find myself jealous of the built-in cell-graphing capabilities in Excel 2007 for Windows versus lack of same in Excel 2008 for Mac. But here’s an old trick for any version of Excel to get in-cell graphs, which I offer as the first step in a more complicated, more sophisticated approach.

Create a pseudo bar graph with the Repeat (REPT) function: the simple formula REPT(“•”,A1) grabs the number from the cell A1 and puts that many text characters (in this case, the Option-8 bullet character) in an adjacent cell. With high numbers, of course, you have to adjust the formula to use a fraction of the number in the source cell: REPT(“•”,A1/50), for instance.

The REPT function used to make a bar graph.

The REPT function used to make a bar graph.

Check out the related tip Make Excel in-cell graphs look like bars for bar graphs that… well, look like bars.

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