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How to add a scrollbar to chart in Excel?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2014-02-27

If there are lots of data needed to be displayed in your chart, you can add a scrollbar into your chart, when you drag the scrollbar, you could view the data’s changing continuously. But, in Excel, to add a scrollbar to a chart is somewhat difficult, so please finish this task with following operations step by step.

Add a scrollbar to chart in Excel


arrow blue right bubble Add a scrollbar to chart in Excel

Supposing you have the following data range that you want to create a scrollbar chart in your worksheet:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

1. First, you can insert a chart with above data by selecting the data and clicking Insert > Column > Clustered Column, (you can insert other column chart or line chart as you need).

doc-scrollbar-chart1

2. And a column chart is inserted into your worksheet as follows:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

3. Then you can insert a scrollbar into this worksheet, click Developer > Insert > Scroll Bar, see screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

Tip: If the Developer tab is not displayed on the ribbon, you can click File > Option > Customize Ribbon and check Developer in the right section to display the Developer tab on the tab.

4. And then drag the mouse to draw a scrollbar, and right click to select Format Control, see screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

5. In the Format Control dialog, click Control tab, and then specify the Minimum value and Maximum value of your data as you need, then click -111 button to select a blank cell that you want to link to the scrollbar. See screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

6. Then click OK to close this dialog, and select the link cell that you have specified just now to create range names you will use after a while. Next click Formulas > Define Name, in the New Name dialog, enter a name for the named range (Column A) that you want to use, in this example, I will input Name, then enter this formula =OFFSET(Sheet1!$A$2,,,Sheet1!$N$5) into the Refers to field, (Sheet1 is the worksheet that you are applied; A2 is the cell that the first data in Column A without title; N5 is the linked cell that you have specified in Step 5, you can change it as you need.). See screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

7. And then click OK, go on clicking Formulas > Define Name to define a name for another range Column B as the same as step 6. In this example, I will enter these:

  • Name: Maths; (defined name for Column B)
  • Refers to: =OFFSET(Sheet1!$B$2,,,Sheet1!$N$5) (Sheet1 is the worksheet that you are applied; B2 is the cell that the first data in Column B without the title; N5 is the linked cell that you have specified in Step 5, you can change it as you need.)

doc-scrollbar-chart1

8. Then click OK to close this dialog, and the range names for the chart have been created successfully.

9. Next, you need to link the scrollbar and the chart, right click the chart area, then choose Select Data from the context menu, see screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

10. In the Select Data Source dialog, click Maths and then click Edit button, in the popped out Edit Series dialog, under Series name, click -111 button to select cell B1 and enter this =Sheet1!Maths to the Series values field, (Sheet1 is the worksheet that you are applied, and Maths is the range name that you have created for Column B), see screenshots:

doc-scrollbar-chart10
-1
doc-scrollbar-chart11

11. Then click OK to return to the former dialog, and in the Select Data Source dialog, click Edit button under Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels, in the Axis Labels dialog, enter =Sheet1!Name into the Axis label range field. (Sheet1 is the worksheet that you are applied, and Name is the range name that you have created for Column A). See screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

12. And then click OK > OK to close the dialogs, you have added a scrollbar to the chart. When you drag the scrollbar, the data will be displayed into the chart increasingly. See screenshots:

doc-scrollbar-chart10
-1
doc-scrollbar-chart11

13. At last, if you want to combine the scrollbar and the chart, you can select and drag the scrollbar to the chart, then hold Ctrl to select the chat and the scrollbar at the same time, and then right click the scrollbar, choose Group > Group from the context menu, and these two objects are combined together.

doc-scrollbar-chart1

Note: With the scrollbar chart you have created, when you drag the scrollbar to the maximum value, all the data will be displayed into the chart, and if the data is large, your data series will be crowded and difficult to view as following screenshot shown:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

In this case, you can specify the number of data appeared into the chart to view the scores of any several consecutive data. To solve this problem, you just need to specify the number of period for the chart and change the formulas of the created range names.

After inserting the scrollbar and the chart, input a number that you want to display the data in the chart per period, for instance, I will display any 10 consecutive data series into the chart.

Then select your linked cell that you have created, and define the range names for the chart, in the New Name dialog, specify a name and input this formula =OFFSET(Sheet1!$A$1,Sheet1!$N$1,0,Sheet1!$N$2,1) into the Refers to text box, (A1 is the first cell of your data, N1 is the linked cell you are created and N2 is the cell of your specified appearing number for the chart)

doc-scrollbar-chart1

And go on creating range name for another column data, in the New Name dialog, enter a range name for column B, and input this formula =OFFSET(Sheet1!$A$1,Sheet1!$N$1,1,Sheet1!$N$2,1) into the Refers to field, see screenshot:

doc-scrollbar-chart1

Then you need to link the scrollbar and the chart according to the above step9-step12. And you will get the following results, when you drag the scrollbar, every 10 continuous scores are displayed into the chart.

doc-scrollbar-chart10
-1
doc-scrollbar-chart11

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Comments (5)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is especially for teaching Fatigue and Fracture of metals/alloys it can be shown the cyclic load is applied
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
sometimes when I open my workbook the scrollers dont work.I cant figure this out since it doesnt always happen
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Step 13: =OFFSET(Sheet1!$A$1,Sheet1!$N$1,0,Sheet1!$N$2,1) Those who have been following through the page, note that $N$1 will be $N$5 and $N$2 will be the cell you input the number of names shown.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi, I am trying to do this but my data goes horizontally. How do you it that way please?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
In step 10, while editing the series, It is showing error in series value range when I write " sheet1!Maths", saying " reference cell not valid." I can name the series as Maths, but while entering the range values, it is showing error. Kindly suggest
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