How to create Christmas tree charts in Excel

christmas tree chart in excel

This week’s Excel 3 tip Friday is our penultimate for the before Christmas, I think even I need to take a break from Excel over Christmas!

A quick win you can learn today -

Christmas Tree charts aren’t just a bit of fun in Excel, they can be seriously useful to show the difference between two variables over different categories, and are a good visual alternative to multiple pie charts. Take this example I made, of the US 2016 presidential results:

christmas  tree chart

To create a chart like this in Microsoft Excel:

  • Start with a 3 column table, containing the categories, and 2 columns of numbers.

  • Multiply one of the columns by -1, so that it will appear on the left of the axis

  • Select the table and create a ‘Bar Chart’

  • Double click on the bars, select series overlap = 100% and gap width = 0%.

  • Set the bar outlines and labels as white

It’s pretty easy to set up, give it a try, if you get stuck, comment on this DataMinded post below.

Check more treemap charts here!

A keyboard shortcut I'm adding to my list -

This week I have a couple of easy shortcuts to speed up inserting and deleting Excel rows. Use Ctrl & + with a row selected to add a row, or with a column selected to add a column. Similarly use Ctrl & - with a row selected to delete the row, or with a column selected to delete a row.

A function I've found super useful this week -

Do you often work with Excel cells containing multiple pieces of information? Perhaps a product code that contains some text and a number, but you just need the text? Excel functions LEFT and RIGHT can be used to extract information from the start and end of a cell.


As always, I hope you find these Excel tips & tricks useful, and please do reply if you have any comments or questions!


- Martyn

Edinburgh, Scotland

December 2018

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