Need help with a simple Excel graph

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Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby mango » Tue May 31, 2011 10:46 am

Hi all,

I know this isn't hard, because I used to make Excel graphs at work, but I can't remember how!

Here's what I want to do (this time to track weight loss):

I want a simple two-line graph. Horizontal axis will be time. Vertical axis will be weight.
I would like one line to go from starting weight to goal weight over a specific time period and stay fixed. I won't be changing this one.
I would like the other line to map my actual weigh-ins (progress) against that first line.
Does that make sense?

Can anyone help?
ST?

:D
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We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby Scenario Thinker » Tue May 31, 2011 1:13 pm

I can't show you a visual because I'm at work and I can't get to any photo or visual uploading sites (otherwise I'd do a screen print), but I can describe.

First, figure out the line for the starting and ending weights. I'll use me as an example. I'm about 210 and say in a year I want to weigh 159. That turns out to be a pound per week. (210 - 159 + 1 = 52 weeks).

So, create one column (column A) from 210 to 159:

Goal
210
209
208
.
.
.
161
160
159

Create a second column (B) with the actual results:

Actual
210
208
207
205
.
.
.


Then (in Excel 2003), click on Insert/Chart. It will highlight the data by default (hopefully). One column will be the Goal and the other the Actual (you can add column headers). Of course click through the wizard. If you've done this before, this part should come back to you.

Then, as the weeks progress, just keep adding to column B.

If you enter say 52 rows like I did, the X axis will default from 1 to 52.
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby mango » Tue May 31, 2011 1:49 pm

Thanks, ST!
I'll let you know how it turns out.
'Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.
We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

-- Agnes de Mille
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby SquarePeg » Tue May 31, 2011 2:46 pm

Yes, I can do that easily. Explaining how to do that might take some doing.

Okay, suppose you're planning to track your weight for eight weeks. Set up a spreadsheet with three columns like this:

Week # Target Weight
1 165 165
2 164
3 163
4 162
5 161
6 160
7 159
8 158
9 157
10 156


Column A is the week number and will serve as the horizontal axis.

Column B is the fixed target. It will be linear between Week 1 and Week 10.

Column C is the column in which you enter your weight each time.

After you click the Chart button, select Line as the type of chart and click next. Then select the range of the data, which will be the cells in column B from 165 to 156. It should automatically choose "Data in Columns" for you.

Then click the Series tab to add the weigh-in data. Click Add to add a series, then click in the Values box and select the cells in the next column so that the same number of rows are selected.

Click Next again and enter any labels and titles if you which.

I've done a weekly weigh-in since November of 2008:
http://square--peg.blogspot.com/2010/11 ... mmary.html
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby SquarePeg » Tue May 31, 2011 2:47 pm

Well, I started typing this 2 hours ago, then got interrupted....
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby Scenario Thinker » Tue May 31, 2011 4:07 pm

The only difference between SquarePeg and me is that if you had left off column A 1 thru 10, Excel would fill that in for you (as long as you had ten values filled in for the goal weight). The problem could come if you wanted to deviate from 1 thru X and wanted specific values instead like 11 thru 20, or 53 thru 104, etc.
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby mango » Tue May 31, 2011 7:43 pm

I did it!
It's just what I needed.
Thank you both!

:D
'Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how.
We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.'

-- Agnes de Mille
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby Unity » Wed Jun 01, 2011 5:29 am

Well done Mango.

I think this has given me an idea that I am going to use on the other thread.
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Re: Need help with a simple Excel graph

Postby SquarePeg » Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:35 am

Scenario Thinker wrote:The only difference between SquarePeg and me is that if you had left off column A 1 thru 10, Excel would fill that in for you (as long as you had ten values filled in for the goal weight). The problem could come if you wanted to deviate from 1 thru X and wanted specific values instead like 11 thru 20, or 53 thru 104, etc.
Right. I actually use dates in Column A, and I choose the "Scatter" chart type. I lost my train of thought a few times while typing that post....
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