Replacing Data Markers with Pictures in Microsoft Excel

Jazzing up charts with interesting shapes makes a strong visual statement when displaying results. There are times when we need to show charts with markers. You can add letters to data markers in any order you like or replace data markers with flags or anything else; just use your imagination.


To replace data markers with pictures, let us first create a chart with Profit report for last 5 years.

Following is the snapshot of sample data:




Following is the snapshot of Scatter Chart:




The next step is to create pictures of arrows in upside & downside direction from Shapes




To replace the markers, starting from year 2009 as a base year, we need to copy the upside (green) arrow where the profits are going upward & we will copy the downside (Red) arrow to year 2012 as the profits have been decreased.




  • To select pictures as Data Markers
  • We can select any existing marker & right click on it & select Format Data Series




  • Click on Fill & Line
  • Select Marker
  • Under Marker Options select Built-in




  • In Type option, click on the drop down & select the last option (Pictures icon)
  • Select the type of your selection & you can increase or decrease the size of the marker.




  • It will open Insert Picture dialog box asking for selecting the picture as data markers



We can make custom pictures & show them in the charts; in the manner we feel is the best.


image 48


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  1. This is a cool trick, but sometimes the picture is is so stretched out that it's unrecognizable. To fix this, right click the data series and select "Format Data Series". On the "Patterns tab", click the Fill Effects button. Then select "Stacked".

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