Thermometer Chart in Excel

How to Create a Thermometer Chart in Excel?

Excel Thermometer Chart is the visualization effect used to show the “achieved percentage vs targeted percentage”. This chart can be used to show employee’s performance, quarterly revenue target vs actual percentage, etc.… Using this chart we can create a beautiful dashboard as well.

You can download this Thermometer Chart Excel Template here – Thermometer Chart Excel Template

Follow the below steps to create a thermometer chart in excel.

  1. Create a drop-down list in excel of employee names.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-1

  2. Create a table like the below one.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-2

  3. Apply VLOOKUP for a drop-down cell to fetch the target and achieved values from the table as we select the names from the drop-down list.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-3

  4. Now arrive Achieved % by dividing the Achieved numbers by Targeted numbers.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-4

  5. Next to the Achieved column, insert one more column (helper column) as Target and enter the target value as 100%.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-5

  6. Select Achieved % and Target % cells.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-6

  7. For selected data, let’s insert a column chart in excelInsert A Column Chart In ExcelColumn chart is used to represent data in vertical columns. The height of the column represents the value for the specific data series in a chart, the column chart represents the comparison in the form of column from left to right.read more. Go to the INSERT tab, and insert 2 D Column Chart.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-7

  8. Now, we will have a chart like below one.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-8

  9. Select the chart, go to the Design tab, and click on the option “Switch Row/Column.”

    Thermometer chart Example 1-9

  10. Select the larger bar and press Ctrl + 1 to open the format data series option.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-10

  11. First formatting we need to do is to make the larger bar as “Secondary Axis.”

    Thermometer chart Example 1-11

  12. Now, in the chart, we can see two vertical axis bars. One is for target, and another one is for achievement.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-12

  13. Now, we need to delete the Target Axis Bar.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-13

  14. Now select the Achieved % axis bar and press Ctrl + 1 to open the format data series window.

    Click on “Axis Options” >>> Set the Minimum to 0, Maximum to 1, and Major to 0.1. Now our chart can hold a maximum of 100% value and a minimum of 0%. Major interval points are 10% each.


    Thermometer chart Example 1-15
    Now our chart can hold a maximum of 100% value and a minimum of 0%. Major interval points are 10% each.

  15. Now, we can see the only red-colored bar, select the bar, and make the FILL as No Fill.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-16

  16. For the same bar, make the border the same color as we can see above, i.e., Blue.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-17

  17. Now you can see the border.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-19

  18. Make the chart width as short as possible.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-20

  19. Remove excel gridlinesExcel GridlinesGridlines are little lines made of dots to divide cells from each other in a worksheet. The gridlines have slight faint invisibility; you can find it in the page layout tab. This option has a checkbox; for activating the gridlines, you can tick on it and untick if you wish to deactivate gridlines.read more from the chart.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-21

  20. Now again, select the vertical axis bar and make the major tick marks as “Inside.”

    Thermometer chart Example 1-22

  21. Remove the horizontal axis label as well.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-23

  22. Select the chart and make Outline as “No Outline.”

    Thermometer chart Example 1-24

  23. Now, our chart looks like this now.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-25
    We are almost done. The only thing left is we need to add a base for this excel thermometer chart.

  24. Go to the Insert tab from shapes chooses the “Oval” shaped circle.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-26

  25. Draw the Oval shape below the chart.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-27

  26. For the newly inserted Oval shape, fill color as same as the chart bar and make an outline as no outline.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-28

  27. You need to adjust the oval shape to fit the chart and looks like a thermometer chart.

    Move the shape change width, top size to fit the base of the chart.


    Thermometer chart Example 1-29

  28. Select both chart and shape, group it.

    Thermometer chart Example 1-30

We are done with charting, and looks a beauty now.

meter Example 1-31

From the drop-down list, as you can change, the numbers chart also will change, respectively.

Insert Custom Heading For the Chart

One last thing we need to do is to insert a custom heading for the chart. The custom heading should be based on the employee selection from the drop-down list.

For this, create a formula like the below in any one of the cells.

Target achieved Example 1-32

Now insert a rectangular shape from the Insert tab.

Rectangular Example 1-33

Fill the color with no color and change the border to black color.

No color Example 1-34

Keep selected the rectangular shape, click on the formula bar, and give a link to formula ,cell, i.e., B8 cell.

formula Example 1-35

Now we can see the heading text on top of the chart.

Thermometer chart Example 1-36

So, now the heading is also dynamic and keeps updating the values as per the changes made in the drop-down list.

Things to Remember

  • Drawing the shape under the base of the chart is key
  • Adjust the oval-shaped circle to fit the chart and make it look like a thermometer chart.
  • Once the oval-shaped circle is adjusted, always group the shape and chart together.
  • Border of Target %, Bar of Achieved %, and the base of the thermometer chart should be the same color and should not contain any other colors.

This has been a guide to Thermometer Chart in Excel. Here we will learn how to create a dashboard using a thermometer chart in excel along with examples and with a downloadable template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

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