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Create a gauge chart in Excel to show a job's progress

A useful way of conveying what percentage of a job is complete is to create a gauge chart in Microsoft Excel. Even though a gauge chart is not listed in the default chart types, you can still create one based on the pie chart type.

When you want to show what percentage of a job is complete in comparison to what is left to be done, you may choose to create a pie chart since that is the best solution among Microsoft Excel's standard chart types. However, a gauge chart would better show the job's progress. Even though a gauge chart is not listed in the default chart types, you can still create one based on the pie chart type.

For example, say you enter Widgets Completed in cell A1 and 200 in B1; then, you enter Widgets In Progress in A2 and 100 in B2. A3 contains Total Widgets, while B3 contains a formula that totals B1 and B2. To create the gauge chart, follow these steps:

  1. Select A1;B3.
  2. Click the Chart Wizard button.
  3. Click Pie under Chart Type.
  4. Click the Next button twice.
  5. Under Chart Title, enter a title, such as Widgets Completed For Week Ending 6/3/05.
  6. Click the Legend tab and clear the check mark in the Show Legend box.
  7. Click the Next button, and then click Finish.
  8. Click the pie chart, and then click the Series 1 Point "Total Widgets" slice. Right-click the selected slice and choose Format Data Point.
  9. Click the Options tab and under Angle of the first slice, click the up arrow until the slice is below the other two slices of the pie.
  10. Click the Patterns tab, and under Border, click None. Under Area, click None, and then click OK.
  11. With the pie chart still selected, right-click the Series 1 Widgets Completed slice, and select Format Data Point. In the Data Labels tab, click category name and percentage. Click OK.
  12. Right-click the Series 1 Widgets In Progress slice, and select Format Data Point. In the Data Labels tab, click category name and percentage. Click OK.

Now, you can make any other formatting changes to the chart or chart area as needed.

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