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Excel Waterfall Chart Template

Download our free Excel waterfall template

How to create an 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.  Finally, at the bottom of the article, you can download our Excel Waterfall Chart Template.

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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 the 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.

excel waterfall chart example


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 on the column area, you will notice that the invisible section is just a column stacked under the colored column.

Additionally, you may want to decrease the series gap width and remove the grid lines.


Step 4 – View your Final Product

Here is a screenshot of the completed product, ready for you to use in your own financial analysis.


Excel waterfall chart template


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Waterfall Chart Template

Download the free Excel template now to advance your finance knowledge!


These charts can be especially effective for making professional powerpoint presentations and pitchbooks.



More Excel Resources

This has been a free Excel Waterfall Chart Template guide. Check out more of our resources to take your Excel skills to the next level:

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