Impress Your Colleagues with Excel Dial Charts

If you’re looking for a modern way to visualize your data, check out the Excel dial chart. Dial charts are a natural fit for dashboard-style interfaces and are also referred to as speedometer charts because of the visual similarity to a car’s speedometer.

Dial charts work well for indicating performance or completion thresholds.

Step-by-Step:

    1. Create a column called “Dial” and input 180 as the first value in the column. Then input the range of values indicating performance, starting with negative values. This must be a fraction of 180. If you have values that are a percentage, you can convert it by multiplying the value by 180 and dividing by 100.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 1
    2. Select the Dial column and create a doughnut chart. To create a doughnut chart, expand the Charts menu on the Insert ribbon by clicking the arrow in the lower right corner.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 2
    3. The Insert Chart dialog box appears. Click the All Charts tab and select Pie from the sidebar. Choose the Doughnut chart and click OK.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 3
    4. Your chart will appear. It will require some styling to look like a real dial chart. Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 4
    5. Select the Series Dial Point 2. From the Format Data Point menu, change the Angle of First Slice to 90°.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 5
    6. Select Series Dial Point 1. Change the Fill to No Fill from the Format Data Point menu.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 6

It’s starting to look like a dial chart. Now you need to add a dial!

To add a dial, you will need to create a second chart.

Step-by-Step:

  1. Create a column and input a value of 2. In the row below, input 358. If you prefer a wider dial, increase the first value and decrease the second value.
  2. Select the column and create a pie chart by following steps 2 and 3 of this tutorial and choosing Pie instead of Doughnut.
  3. Click on the larger section and change the Fill to No Fill andchange the Border to No Border using the Format Data Series menu.
  4. Select the smaller section, which will become your dial, and change the Border to No Border. You may want to change the color of the dial by selecting a different fill color under Solid Fill.
  5. Click the chart’s background to bring up the Format Chart Area menu. Change the Fill to No Fill.
  6. Remove the chart title and legend by clicking the + icon next to the chart. This brings up the Chart Elements tooltip. Uncheck the Chart Title and Legend options.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 7
  7. Now place your dial over your chart adjust the Angle of First Slice to position it.Fred Pryor Seminars_Excel Dial Chart_Figure 8

 

Voilà, you have just created a dial chart.

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