How do I create a waterfall chart step by step? How do I add sums, connecting lines or other properties to a waterfall chart? We will show you how to create, label, and edit a waterfall chart yourself via Excel or directly in PowerPoint.
A classic waterfall chart is read from left to right. You see a so-called running total, whose values are added or subtracted. The categories on the horizontal x-axis usually represent a time period, such as months or quarters. This allows you to evaluate, for example, whether a month ended positively or negatively and what the current balance looks like.
Since Office 2016, a waterfall chart is included as a basic chart type in both Excel and PowerPoint. In this article, you will learn how to create a waterfall chart in addition to:
Do you want to insert data from an Excel spreadsheet into PowerPoint and display it as a waterfall chart? You just need to follow these 4 steps:
Do you want the presentation to update itself as soon as data in the Excel file changes? No problem, in our article “Automatically update PowerPoint Excel links – save time and money” we show you how to do it.
Learn how to edit a waterfall chart. We will show you how, using a diagram in PowerPoint, but in Excel the editing steps work the same.
In the example chart you see there are no subtotals. We show you how to set totals e.g. for each Quartal.
Example: Subtotals and final total are displayed "floating" instead of "standing".
Do you want to represent a column as a sum of the previous values? So that it grows starting from the x-axis and does not flow? Then simply right-click on the column and select "Set as Total" from the list. The other way around, you can click on columns and right-click to select "Clear Total". This will automatically adjust your waterfall chart.
Example: Subtotals and total are displayed correctly.
Double-click on any column in your waterfall chart so that the editing window appears on the right. Now you can check or uncheck the box "Show connector lines".
If your data is in the minus range, a negative range is automatically displayed on the Y-axis.
The columns are color-coded so you can distinguish the positive and negative numbers. However, if you are not satisfied with the preset colors of your waterfall chart, you can select a suitable color by double-clicking on a column.
Even easier is the global adjustment of colors. For example, all negative values should be displayed in red, all positive values in green, and totals in gray. Double-click on the respective legend and select the appropriate color. Then all associated columns will be colored at once.
You can also choose from suggested color palettes or layouts in the Diagram Design ribbon menu.
Your charts should always match the colors, fonts, and features of your corporate design. With the PowerPoint add-in empower® you can completely automate such tedious work. We show you how to comply with your corporate design in every presentation with just one click, in our article “Corporate Design Check with empower® slides”.
The PowerPoint add-in empower® charts offers you more functionalities and types for waterfall charts directly in PowerPoint. The add-in simplifies the creation of design-compliant charts and saves you time.
For example, use the waterfall chart with stacked columns or create a waterfall chart in landscape with bars.
You can insert breaks if the proportions of your displayed values are too different.
It is also possible to add growth arrows, value lines, or other visualizations to strengthen and simplify your chart.
You have a wide range of new possibilities to design your waterfall chart with just a few clicks. Our best practice video gives you an overview of the easy implementation.
With empower® charts you can create all your PowerPoint charts easily, consistently, and efficiently. With a free trial/demo version you can try out the features of empower® charts. Learn more about this topic on our empower® homepage.