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A powerful way to extend the usefulness of your Excel templates
Add your own charts
One of the huge benefits of being written in native Microsoft Excel
Types of Excel chart templates
The most popular types of charts for Lean Six Sigma are:
Purpose: to identify the 20% of problems causing 80% of your headaches —
so that you can focus your team's attention to solving the few problems that will yield the greatest benefit.
The Pareto Chart requires some sophisticated programming,
and is therefore not offered as a standard Excel chart.
How to create an Excel Pareto Chart
- Copy a picture of your Pareto Diagram that can then be pasted to ANY other document
(e.g. PowerPoint, Word, etc.)
- Use Insert Sheet to copy a Pareto Chart to ANY other Excel workbook
in a way that allows you to optionally link your data
so that your Pareto Chart automatically changes instantly every time that your data changes
Purpose: to graphically illustrate the probability distribution of something happening.
And to determine whether your data fits a normal distribution curve.
And to evaluate whether your process is capable of meeting your specifications.
How to create an Excel Histogram Chart
Usually a histogram uses continuous, rather than discrete data.
For a true histogram, use your Histogram template (Histogram.xlsx)
If your data is discrete, rather than continuous...
then here is a link to Microsoft's training for how to create a Histogram
using the free Data Analysis Toolpak.
To make your Toolpak histogram look like our example:
- Get rid of the Legend (right-click the Legend > Clear)
- Change the background color to white
(right-click the Plot Area > Format Plot Area > select the color white)
- Get rid of the gaps between bars
(right-click a bar > Format Data Series > Options tab > Gap Width = 0)
also known as Excel Line Chart
Purpose: to analyze data over time.
You're looking for trends and patterns over time in the variability of a process.
Things to look for include:
- Long "runs" of data points above or below the standard, average, or median
- The total number of such runs in the data set
- Extended trends — up or down
Your Systems2win templates come with 3 types of run chart templates:
- Your Run Chart template
is the easiest way to create a quick line chart
- Your Trend Charts Scorecard template
is the best choice when you want a clean system to
organize, archive, and analyze your data
in ways far more useful than one little run chart
that only has a few days of historical data.
- Your Cycle Time Observations template
has special features to make it as easy as possible
to observe process cycle times
How to create an Excel Run Chart
It is far easier to use one of your Systems2win templates (above),
or you can create a rudimentary one on your own.
- Create your data
similar to our sample data
- Select your data, then Insert > Chart > Line Chart
You can optionally format your Chart Area, Plot Area, each Axis, each Data Series, and other Chart Options by right-clicking them.
aka Statistical Process Control SPC Charts, Shewhart charts, quality control charts
Purpose: To determine whether a process is in a stable state of control.
Statistical Process Control Charts perform the same purpose as a simple run chart,
but with additional lines for upper and lower control limits.
Control Charts require sophisticated programming,
and are therefore not included within standard Microsoft Excel.
How to create an Excel Control Chart
Use your Systems2win Control Chart template (ControlChart.xlsx)
- Very easy to continue to enter or import unlimited data
while your chart displays only the most recent data for your specified Number of Rolling Periods.
- User-defined threshold to switch between flat or wavy control lines
- Update Chart button makes things extremely easy. Learn more
- Use Copy Chart to copy a picture that can then be pasted to ANY other document
PowerPoint, Word, e-mail, etc.
Purpose: to analyze the relationship between two sets of data
For example, the relationship between the inputs to a process
and the resulting outputs from that process.
A scatter chart is similar to a line chart,
but without connecting lines between the data.
And they have different purposes.
A line chart shows trends over time.
Excel Stratification Chart
A scatter plot shows correlations
between two (or more) things.
One common use of a scatter diagram
is the Stratification Diagram
to make patterns visible
when data is coming from a wide variety of sources.
How to create an Excel Scatter Chart
Use your Scatter Plot template (ScatterPlot.xlsx)
Or... to create a less capable one from scratch...
- Create your data
similar to our sample data
- Select the data for your first data series,
then Insert > Scatter
in our example, the 2 columns of data for Machine 1
- If you have multiple sets of data, then Add Series
to define each of your additional sets of data
You can optionally format your Chart Area, Plot Area,
each Axis, each Data Series, and other Chart Options
by right-clicking them.
Other types of Excel charts
Select Insert > Charts and look around. Experiment.
Play with the many types of charts that comes as a standard feature of Microsoft Excel.
There are also dozens of free add-ins for additional types of charts — including:
Familiar Microsoft Excel
Use everything you know about familiar Word and Excel
for how to
Excellent training is available as part of Excel's standard Help.
And a quick Internet search
Bookmark = tips
More Tips for using
Excel Chart Templates
Video: How to use
special features to
Insert Sheet, and Link Data
Link Data — to instantly update as your data changes
One of the most common complaints
from users of MiniTab, QI Macros, and Sigma XL
is that whenever data changes, you must manually update the chart.
Your Systems2win charts have special features
to allow your charts to instantly change as your data changes.
Chart Direction Arrow
Use a Chart Direction Arrow
to indicate the desired direction of performance.
You can copy Chart Direction Arrows
from the palette of standard Systems2win shapes.
Systems2win menu > Copy Shapes
You can set your charts to include hidden data — or not.
Right-click the chart > Select Data > Hidden and Empty Cells > Show Data in Hidden Rows and Columns
Selecting what you want within a chart
You can optionally format your Chart Area, Plot Area, each Axis, each Data Series, and other Chart Options
by right-clicking them.
It is not uncommon to need to experiment with right-clicking in several places before finding the menu you're looking for.
It is sometimes easier to use the Chart tools menu, which appears above your Ribbon menu when you click
anywhere on a chart.
To select the entire chart, hold down the CTRL key as you left-click anywhere on the chart.
Bookmark = align
Aligning chart bars with row heights
When you copy, delete, move, hide, or unhide rows,
you might need to manually re-align your chart
to keep the chart bars perfectly aligned with the correct rows.
Step 1) Display Chart Labels
Use the dropdown list for 'Chart Labels' to toggle between the options for the vertical axis labels that will appear on the chart.
In older versions, select the radio button: 'With Labels'.
The newest version has 3 choices:
0 = No chart labels
1 = Just the number
2 = Full chart labels
You may need to manually re-size the chart Plot Area
When toggling between options for 'Chart Labels', it will usually automatically resize the Plot Area to make room for large, small, or no chart labels.
Due to a Microsoft bug, you may need to manually re-size the width of the Plot Area.
Click on a blank area inside the body of the chart,
Then to resize the Plot Area...
Step 2) Re-align Chart Bars with Rows
Then (with Chart Labels displayed)...
select the entire chart (including its background area),
and drag the top or bottom center handles
to increase or decrease the height of the entire chart
until the chart bars precisely align with the correct rows.
In the Gantt chart...
Notice that the first line is for the Total Project,
the second line is blank,
the third line of the chart aligns with the first task,
the second-to-the-bottom line of the chart aligns with the last task,
and the bottom line of the chart aligns with the gold row.
In the Standard Work chart...
Notice that the first line of the chart is blank
(except for the label for the process Title).
The second line aligns with the first task,
and the bottom line aligns with the last task.
The red dot indicates when the machine stops if the machine is still running when the next cycle begins. In order for the Machine Stop to properly align in the chart, all unused rows must remain hidden.
For your chart to align correctly,
row heights must be consistent.
The default row height allows 2 lines of text to be displayed (using word wrap).
Standard Work Chart:
Notice that you can word wrap beyond 2 lines,
but only 2 will show when you click the button to create a Chart sheet.
If any row has more text, you might want to manually resize the row height on your Chart sheet, so that it only displays the first 2 rows of text (so that the row height is the same as all other rows).
Rather than putting more than 2 lines of text in a row,
you might instead use any (or all) of the following options for long text:
- Refer users to see the (large) Comments textbox at the bottom of the document
- Use Cell Comments
- Use Link Icons to link to related documents
Step 3) Hide Chart Labels
In the dropdown list for 'Chart Labels', select 0 or FALSE.
You may need to manually re-size chart width (as described above).
Bookmark = copy
Your Systems2win menu includes a special utility to 'Copy Chart'
that copies a picture of your chart to the clipboard,
where it can then be pasted to any other document.
(which might be Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.)
- Select the chart you want to copy
(hold the CTRL key as you left-click to select the entire chart)
- In the Systems2win menu, click 'Copy Chart'
- Paste your chart anywhere
Tip: You can use your 'Copy Chart' feature to copy ANY chart from ANY workbook.
Even workbooks that are not created from a Systems2win template