Add Target Line to Excel Chart

Excel Charts are one of the best tools at our disposal in terms of the virtual presentation of our data. When we want to present the achieved results, we often want to have a certain threshold value or a target to compare the results with.

In the example below, we will show how to add a target line to Excel Chart.

Add Target Line to Excel Chart

We will first create a table with sales data achieved in a particular month:

We will create a simple graph from these numbers, by selecting the table and then going to Insert >> Charts >> Recommended Charts:

On the Recommended Charts window, we will choose Clustered Column:

Excel will neatly present us with the Chart that we are actually going to get, so when we click OK, we will end up with the same chart that we see in the picture above.

Now we need to add an actual target to our sales figures, to see if the sales results are above or below the targeted figure.

Our target figure will be $400,000, and we will insert this number in column C, and it will be the same for all months:

We have two ways in which we could add target figures to our chart. The easiest one is to click on the Chart, and then drag the chart data to include column C as well:

By doing so, our chart will significantly change, and another bar will be added for the target:

We could have also used the Chart Design tab to add our column. We would need to choose Select Data from it:

We would basically have to add the target to our series, or change the chart data range to include column C as well:

Although we do have all the data needed at this point, it would be better to present the target on a line, rather than in bars. To do this, we will right-click on the chart, and then choose Change Chart Type as an option:

Under the dropdown menu, we will choose a Combo chart, and put our Target in one Line, which will give us a nice visual presentation:

When we click OK, we will have the same chart presented in our Excel file, as it was presented in the picture above:

Tomasz Decker is an Excel specialist, skilled in data analysis and financial modeling.