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How to Create a Thermometer Chart in Excel?

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Thermometer Chart – A Thermometer chart is a type of chart in Excel that visually represents data in the form of a thermometer. It is a single-column chart showing progress towards a goal or target. The height of the column represents the value, and the top of the column typically has a bulb or cap that indicates the target or goal value. Thermometer charts are useful for displaying progress towards a target, such as fundraising goals, sales targets, or project milestones.

They can also be used to track the completion of a task, such as a checklist or a project timeline. Thermometer charts are easy to read and understand, making them effective tools for communicating progress to stakeholders and team members. They also allow for quick identification of whether the progress is on track. To create a thermometer chart in Excel, you can format a column chart to resemble a thermometer. You can then add data labels, a target line, or other chart elements to enhance its visual appeal and effectiveness. This article will explain the various methods to Create a Thermometer Chart in Excel.

To create a Thermometer Chart in Excel

A thermometer chart is a visual representation of data that resembles a thermometer. It is often used to track progress towards a goal or target. In Excel, you can create a thermometer chart by following these steps:

  • Open Excel and enter your data into a worksheet. For a thermometer chart, you will need a minimum of two columns of data: one for the category or label and one for the value you want to represent on the thermometer.
Data representation
  • Select the data range you want to use for the thermometer chart, including the category and value columns.
Selecting the data
  • Click on the “Insert” tab in the Excel ribbon and select the “Insert Column or Bar Chart” button.
Insert > Insert Column or Bar Chart
  • Choose a column chart type that best suits your data.
Choosing a Chart type
  • Right-click on one of the data bars and select “Format Data Series” from the context menu.
Format Data Series
  • In the Format Data Series dialog box, select the “Fill” tab and choose a color for your thermometer.
  • Select the “Border Color” tab and choose a color for your thermometer border.
Formatting Border color
Formatting Border
  • Add additional chart elements, such as a title, background color, legend, or data labels to complete your thermometer chart.
Formatting Chart Title
Formatting Chart background color
After Formatting the Chart
  • Save and share your chart with others.

By following these steps, you can create a thermometer chart in Excel that is visually appealing and effective in displaying your data.

To Create a Thermometer Chart in Excel using Kutools

What is Kutools?

Kutools is an add-in software for Microsoft Excel that provides various tools and functions to enhance productivity and simplify tasks. It includes over 300 features, such as data manipulation tools, time-saving utilities, and automation tools.

If you want to create a Thermometer Chart in Excel for your data, follow the below steps. The thermometer chart is usually used to compare the current and target values.

  • For example, we inserted current and target values in cells B2 and B3.
Selecting the data range
  • On the Kutools tab, Select the Charts option. It will open the menu.
  • Choose the Thermometer chart from the menu.
Choosing Thermometer Chart from Kutools
  • Now, it will open the Thermometer Chart dialog box.
  • Current Value – Select the cell that contains the current value.
  • Target Value – Select the cell that contains the target value.
  • Vertical Axis type – Select Auto select or Percentage as you wish.
Specifying the values
  • Hit the OK button. It will create the thermometer chart in the worksheet.
  •  The following example shows you the two types of charts. One is the Percentage type, and the other is the Auto select-type thermometer chart.
Selecting the Chart type


  • If you have calculated the percentage of the current value to the target value, you can give the percentage value to the current value. Then hit the OK button to get the chart.
Entering value to calculate the percentage
  • If you have a current value and target value as a percentage, you get the output as usual.
Output of the percentage
  • You can also manually type the current and target values and click the OK button.
Entering the current and target values
  • You can see the example thermometer chart by clicking the sample button.

Track progress with thermometer chart in excel

You can easily track progress using a thermometer chart in Excel to achieve your goals. Follow the below steps to do:

  1. Prepare Your Data: Create a table with the data you want to track. In the first column, you need to list the categories you want to track progress (e.g., sales, targetsmilestonesfundraisingsgoals). In the second column, you need to enter the current progress for each category (e.g., actual salescompleted milestonesfunds raised).
  2. Insert a Thermometer Chart: Now, you need to select the data table you created and go to the “Insert” tab on the Excel ribbon. Click the “Column” button and select the stacked column chart type. Then, right-click on the chart and select “Change Chart Type.” Select the thermometer chart type in the “All Charts” tab and click “OK.” Your thermometer chart will be inserted onto the worksheet.
  3. Format the Chart: In this step, you need to customize the chart by formatting the axislegend, and chart title to your liking. You can also change the color of the thermometer to represent progress (e.g., green for on-track, yellow for slightly behind, and red for significantly behind).
  4. Link to Your Data: Link the chart to your data table to automatically update as progress is made. To do this, right-click on the chart and select “Select Data.” In the “Legend Entries (Series)” section, click on “Edit” for the “Series Values” field. Then, select the cells that contain the progress data you want to track.
  5. Track Progress: As progress is made, update the data table with the new values. The thermometer chart will automatically update to reflect the new progress data.

Using a thermometer chart in Excel, you can easily track progress for various categories and visually represent the progress made toward achieving goals.

Advantages of Thermometer Chart

There are several advantages of using a thermometer chart in Excel, including:

  • Clear and concise: A thermometer chart is a simple and concise way to display data, making it easy to interpret and understand.
  • Effective for goal tracking: Thermometer charts are commonly used for goal tracking, as they clearly represent progress towards a target.
  • Visual appeal: Thermometer charts are visually appealing and easy to read, making them an effective way to present data to a wide audience.
  • Customizable: Excel allows for much customization when creating a thermometer chart, including the ability to change colors, font, and other design elements.
  • Compatible with other Excel functions: Since thermometer charts are created using basic Excel functions and formatting options, they can easily be integrated with other Excel tools and functions, such as pivot tables and charts.

Overall, a thermometer chart in Excel can effectively communicate data and progress towards a goal in a clear and visually appealing manner.


In this article, creating a thermometer chart in Excel is a simple and effective way to represent data clearly and concisely visually. Using a combination of basic Excel functions and formatting tools, you can create a thermometer chart that is both easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. When creating a thermometer chart, choosing the appropriate data range and formatting options is important to represent the data being analyzed accurately. Additionally, it is important to consider the audience and purpose of the chart to ensure that it effectively communicates the desired message. With a little practice and experimentation, anyone can create a thermometer chart in Excel to represent data and communicate information to others effectively. For more articles, visit our homepage. Thank you!

Video Tutorial

Here is the video tutorial for your better understanding.

To Create a Thermometer Chart in Excel


What is a thermometer chart?

A Thermometer chart is a type of chart that resembles a thermometer, where the height of the thermometer represents a value or goal. It is often used to represent progress towards a goal or target visually.

How do I create a thermometer chart in Excel?

To create a thermometer chart in Excel, you can use a stacked bar chart and adjust the formatting to resemble a thermometer. Here are the basic steps:
1. Enter your data into a spreadsheet, with one column for the category labels (e.g. “Sales”, “Expenses”, “Revenue”), and one column for the values.
2. Select the data and insert a stacked bar chart.
3. Delete the legend and any unnecessary chart elements.
4. Adjust the formatting of the chart to resemble a thermometer by changing the color and border settings for the bars and the plot area.

How do I customize the thermometer chart?

You can customize the thermometer chart in several ways, such as changing the colors, adding labels or values, adjusting the axis scale, or adding data labels. To do this, right-click the chart element you want to modify and select the appropriate formatting option.

Can I create a dynamic thermometer chart that updates automatically?

Yes, you can create a dynamic thermometer chart that updates automatically by using formulas or pivot tables to calculate the values based on your data. You can also use VBA macros to create more advanced automation and interactivity.

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