How to Highlight Maximum and Minimum Data Points in Excel Chart

As they say, a picture worths a thousand words, this is true in all fields. Knowing the highest and lowest value in a data set is essential in almost all kind of reports. But in line and column Excel charts, it often gets difficult to identify, which value is highest and which value is lowest. It is always a good idea to highlight the key values on the graph so that the max and min values can easily be spotted visually.

In this article, we will learn how to highlight the top and bottom values on excel Line charts and Column Chart both.

How to Highlight Max and Min on Excel Line Graph

Here I have a data set of sales of different months of a year in Excel Table. I want to have a line graph that highlights the top sales and bottom sales in the year.

Follow these steps:

1: Add Supporting Columns for Max and Min Values

To highlight maximum and minimum values in the excel line chart, we need to add two supporting columns.  1 to for Maximum and another for the minimum.

The Formula in Max column will be:

=IF(MAX([Sales])=[@Sales],[@Sales],NA())

Note: Here we are using structured names. This property is available with Excel tables Read about it here in detail. 

If you have a normal table then use the normal range formulas but it will not be dynamic.

=IF(MAX(B3:B14)=B3,B3,NA())

This formula will return the maximum value in the relevant cell, all other cells in the column will be #NA.

Similarly, in the Minimum column, write this formula:

=IF(MIN([Sales])=[@Sales],[@Sales],NA())

Finally, our table will look like this.

Now we are ready to insert a chart.

2: Insert a line chart with markers from the table

Select the data-range and go to insert --> Charts--> Line--> Line with markers

Now we have this chart:

You can see that the highest value on the line is highlighted with an orange dot and minimum value with a grey dot.

So the basic chart for highlighting the maximum and minimum value on the range is ready. You can use it as it is if you want. Or you can do a little bit of formatting to make your chart look attractive.

Why #NA? The reason we use #N/A instead of 0 or blank is to avoid 0 values markers. If we have used 0 or blanks, you will get markers at the bottom of the chart.

3: Formatting the Chart to Highlight Maximum Value and Minimum Value:

Right-click on the orange marker and click on the format series option.

In markers options, choose built-in. Choose an oval marker (you can choose any shape you like).

Increase the size of the marker. I increased the size of the Maximum Marker to 10.

From the Fill option, choose No-Fill.

From the border, choose a solid line and color of line Green. Thicken the line if you like.

Do the same for the minimum value data series and change the color of the border line to anything that depicts low. I have chosen red. Finally, your chart will look like something this.

Now you can do a little bit more formatting of components of the excel graph if you want or leave at it is. I have changed the colors to suit my dashboard.

How to Highlight Max and Min on Excel Column Chart

To highlight the highest value in a bar or column chart we use almost the same technique as the excel line chart. The only difference is in formatting.

1: Select the Data and Insert a Column Chart or Bar Chart

Select the entire data set, including the supporting columns. Go to insert tab --> Charts --> Clustered Column Chart or Clustered Bar Chart.

You can see an orange column and a grey column adjacent to the max and minimum values respectively.

2: Overlap 100% Max And Min Series 

So the idea is to cover the Sales series with max and min series so that it looks like the max and min columns or bars are highlighted by different colors. But in reality, they are just hiding the actual series.

Right-click on the max series and click on the format series option. In series option, make the max series overlap value 100%. Do the same for the minimum series.

3: Decrease the Gap width to make columns look bulky

To make the columns a little bit thicker, reduce the gap width.

4: Show data labels of max and min values:

Select the max series individually --> click on the plus sign and check data labels. Do the same for the minimum series.

5: Format the chart to suit your dashboard:

Select the different segments of the chart and format it as per your requirements.

And it is done. You have your column chart ready that highlights the highest value and lowest values on the chart. You can download the template file to highlight the maximum and minimum values on the chart below.
image 48

So yeah guys, this how you can highlight maximum and minimum values on a graph in Excel to make it pop on screen. I hope I was explanatory and it is helpful for you. If you have any doubts regarding this article or any have other excel VBA related doubts, ask in the comments section below. We are eager to hear from you and w reply frequently to your comments.

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