Dynamic Date Charts

How to make an Excel chart that changes as you add more cells.

In a recent article we looked at making a chart with a timeline for regular and irregular dates.

That’s OK for fixed data but often you add or remove data and want the chart to automatically update. That’s much easier these days since Excel has smarts that were missing in earlier releases.

Let’s look again at just a part of our sample data.

Apollo abbreviated data image from Dynamic Date Charts at Office-Watch.com

Now we just add the next mission by typing into the next row.

Apollo abbrevited data plus one image from Dynamic Date Charts at Office-Watch.com

Excel has automatically added the row to the chart! Long time Excel users may remember when Excel was a lot more rigid. If you added data, you’d then have to manually edit the chart ranges.

That was never really necessary because the cells and chart axis could be defined by named ranges like ‘LandedonMoon’ instead of B2:B5 . Change the cell references for the range name and the chart would update.

But these days (the above example is from Excel 2010) Excel should update charts more directly in response to adding rows.

If Excel doesn’t figure it out and the chart remains the same, right-click on the chart and choose ‘Select Data’ then change the data range.

Apollo data range image from Dynamic Date Charts at Office-Watch.com

To include another row to the chart change the end $C$5 to $C$6 .

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