Excel doesn't have a predefined chart category for slopegraphs, but you can modify a line chart to create one. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to create slopegraphs in Excel.
What is a slopegraph?
Slopegraphs are good for displaying transitions between two points, which can be time values, categories or even rankings.
A slopegraph draws lines from left to right between labels. Since these labels are placed according to the corresponding numeric values, lines between the left and right labels create slopes, which make it easier to understand the difference between items.
Creating slopegraphs in Excel
Data plotted on a slopegraph should include data sets with two numeric values. The difference between these values will make the slope on the lines connect on each side.
Creating a line chart
A slopegraph is a form of line chart. But since Excel doesn't support it, you can use a line chart to mimic a slopegraph.
- Start by selecting your data or a cell in the data and click Insert > Insert Area or Line Chart (in Charts section) > Line with Markers in the Ribbon.
- Since a slopegraph lists its labels horizontally (y-axis direction), you need to switch the line chart. Click on the Switch Row/Column icon in Chart Design (or just Design) contextual tab.
Note that you must select the chart to see the contextual tabs.
- Once you switch the data, the line chart will start to resemble a slopegraph.
Line chart to slopegraph
From this point, we will modify our line chart by adding and removing some parts to create a slopegraph. Most of the steps are for cosmetic purposes.
- Our slopegraph has a legend, but doesn't need one. So, it can be removed by clicking on the legend and pressing Delete
- y-axis and gridlines can also be removed the same way as in the previous step.
- Adding a title will make the chart easier to understand.
- Right-click on a line and select Add Data Labels > Add Data Labels to display labels on chart.
- Click twice on the label on the left to select only one label.
- Once a single label is selected, double-click on it to display the properties pane on the right.
- Open Label Options.
- Mark Series Name while leaving Value.
- (Optional) Select (space) for Separator.
- Set Label Position to Left to move the label away from the line.
- Select the label on the right. This time, only set Label Position to Right without adding Category Name.
- Since each line represents a unique data series, you must repeat these steps for every one of them. At the end, the chart will look like this:
This is the end of our how to create slopegraphs in Excel article. One last tip may be using the same color on all lines except those that you want to highlight.