This chart shows quarterly sales, broken down by quarter into four regions that are stacked, one on top of the other. Stacked column charts can work well when the number of data series and categories is limited. This chart also shows how to use a custom number format ([>=1000]#,##0,"K";0) to show values in thousands.

The data used to plot this chart is shown below:

Data used to plot quarterly sales in stacked regions

See also: Same data in a clustered column chart.

How to make this chart

  1. Select the data and insert a column chart:
    Click the insert column chart icon on the ribbon
  2. Select the stacked column option
    Select the stacked column option
  3. Initial chart:
    Initial stacked column chart as inserted
  4. Switch rows and columns to group data by quarter:
    Switch rows and columns
  5. After switching rows and columns:
    After switching rows and columns
  6. Move legend to top:
    Move legend to top
  7. Add data labels:
    Add data labels to chart
  8. Select data labels, fill white, then apply custom number format for thousands:
    Apply custom number format to all data labels
  9. Select axis and apply same number format:
    Apply custom number format to primary axis
  10. Set series overlap and gap width:
    Set series overlap and gap width 
  11. Final stacked column chart:
    Final stacked column chart

At this point, you can finalize the chart by setting a title, and adjusting the overall chart size and font size for text objects.


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Dave Bruns

Hi - I'm Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.