How to create area chart with up / down colors?Area chart with positive / negative colors - KING OF EXCEL

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Monday, August 3, 2020

How to create area chart with up / down colors?Area chart with positive / negative colors

How to create area chart with up / down colors?Area chart with positive / negative colors

Ever wanted to make an area chart with up down colors, something like this? Then this tip is for you.
Area chart with two colors for up & down values - Excel charting trick

How to create area chart with up / down colors?

Simple. You need,
  • Data with positive & negative values.
  • optional: A cup of coffee or a cold beverage of your choice.
Start by creating a regular area chart. You will get this:
regular area chart
Now, select the are and go to format settings (use shortcut CTRL+1).
Go to fill color for the area and change it to gradient fill.
Set it to one of the default gradient fills, you will see a screen like this.
gradient fill settings for area chart

The last step: Setting two color gradient

We are nearly there. Take a victory sip out of that coffee cup or cold beverage. First calculate the mid point for our gradient stops. This will be =maximum up value / (maximum up value + maximum absolute down value)
For example, if your data has +5 has maximum positive value and -5 as maximum negative value, then the gradient stop will be 50% since 5 divided by (5+5) is 50%.
Take another sip and set the gradient stops as shown below.
  • Create 4 gradient stops (most of the default gradient settings have 4 stops)
  • Set stop 1 & 2 to positive color (say blue)
  • Stop 3 & 4 to negative color (say red)
  • Adjust the position of 2 & 3 to the gradient stop calculation you have done earlier.
  • Make sure Gradient is linear with 90 degrees
gradient stop settings for area chart with up down colors
Done. Your area chart with positive / negative colors is ready. Admire its beauty while finishing your beverage.

Watch video tutorial: Area chart with positive / negative colors

If you are not sure about the whole gradient color trick, check out this video. I explain clearly the idea with few examples (plus there is a bonus trick in there).

Download Example File

Please click here to download a sample file with up down colors for area charts. Play with the data, examine the chart settings to understand this better.
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