Excel Waterfall Chart

Download our free Excel waterfall template.

How to create a Waterfall chart in Excel

Excel Waterfall Chart

In Excel 2016 Microsoft finally added a Waterfall chart option. It’s a great way to visually show the effect of positive and negative cash flows, on a cumulative basis.

If you’re working in Excel 2013 or earlier version, please follow the instructions below as a workaround to build your own waterfall chart using the stacked column chart feature.

Step 1 – Organize the Data

In order to build your own waterfall chart, you first have to organize your data as follows:

  1. Start Column – enter beginning value
  2. Base Column – formula calculated for you (nothing required)
  3. Increase Column – enter any increases
  4. Decrease Column – enter any decreases
  5. End Column – formula calculated for you (nothing required)
Step 2 – Insert a Stacked Column Chart

​In the “Insert” ribbon across the top select a “2-D Stacked Column Chart”.

​Then enter the 5 series listed above as shown in the image below.

Step 3 – Format the Chart

Format the chart so that the base column fill color is “no fill”, which has the effect of making it invisible. Since older versions of Excel are not designed to make waterfall charts, we have to insert invisible data series to make it work. If you click within the column area, you will notice that the invisible section is just a column stacked under the colored column.

Additionally, you way want to decease the series gap width and remove the grid lines.​

Step 4 – View your Final Product

Step 5 – Download the Template for Free

Start creating your own chart in our Free Excel Crash Course!

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