Use Sparklines to Display Trends in Excel

A sparkline is a tiny chart in the background of a cell. When you use a sparkline, you can easily see the relationships between it and its underlying data. And, you can copy sparklines to adjacent cells by using the Fill Handle. Sparklines are printed as-is when you print a worksheet that contains them, unlike charts that may require special print handling.

Insert a Sparkline

  1. Select the cells that contain the data you want in the sparkline chart.
  2. Select the type of sparkline you want from the Sparklines group [A] on the Insert tab.Sparkline Trend figure 1Sparkline Trend figure 2
  3. In the Create Sparklines dialog box, the cell or range you have selected will be filled in the Data Range: text box [B].
  4. Type where you want your sparkline to go in the Location Range text box [C], or click the destination cell. A selection box will appear around it.
  5. Click the OK button.
  6. The sparkline will appear in the position you designated [D] and the Sparkline Tools highlighted ribbon [E] will become available when the cell is selected.Sparkline Trend figure 3Sparkline Trend figure 4
  7. Copy the sparkline to additional rows or columns using the Fill Handle.
    • Select the sparkline you want to copy, then hover over the Fill Handle until your curser turns to a cross [F].
    • Drag the handle over the cells you want to fill. Sparklines will appear in each of the cells [G].Sparkline Trend figure 5Sparkline Trend figure 6

Pro Tip: Use the Quick Analysis tool to quickly add a sparkline to your data.