Waterfall Chart Add-in

By Chris Newman •  Updated: 03/06/23 •  4 min read
Waterfall Chart Creator Help

Installing This Add-in Inside Excel

The Waterfall Chart Creator Excel add-in installs just like any normal Excel add-in (.xlam) file. If this is your first time installing an Excel add-in you can view step-by-step instructions on how to get the file set up in this instructional post:

How to Install and Uninstall A VBA Add-in File For Microsoft Office

Entering Your License Code

  1. Open the Add-in Info dropdown menu
  2. Select the License button within the menu
  3. Enter in the License Code provided to you via your download email
  4. Read the End User License Agreement and click the I Accept & Activate button
License Activation

Setting Up Your Waterfall Chart

The first thing you will need to do in order to start building your Waterfall chart is to insert the chart template. To do this, you simply need to click the Insert button within the add-in's Ribbon interface (inside the TSG Ribbon Tab). You should immediately see a new worksheet added to your workbook called "Waterfall Chart Creator" and built into that worksheet will be your Waterfall Creator Interface.

While viewing the interface, you will see there are a couple of sections. The left section of the worksheet contains all your customization options. The right side of the spreadsheet will contain your Waterfall chart and the data table that feeds into it. There will be default values automatically populated within this interface to get you started.

Waterfall Chart

The chart itself is linked to the Excel Table below the chart area. This is where you will enter in your data points. There are three input columns to the table that you will be able to modify (the rest of the columns are fancy formulas that you do not need to touch).

  • X-Axis Label - These values will be displayed at the bottom of the chart beneath the X-Axis
  • Bar Type - The values in this column can either be "End Point" or "Variance". Choose from the in-cell drop-downs to determine which type of bar should be graphed in the chart
  • Figure - This column holds your numerical data points. You can link your numbers from outside worksheets or calculate the figures from within the Waterfall Chart Creator tab. Be sure to check that the math works as you walk from end point to end point. I like to use formulas inside this column to ensure the math is always working.

If you need fewer figures charted in your graph, just leave the column values blank. The Row Count within the grey Chart Setup area will tell you how many rows of data the Waterfall chart will graph once it is re-created.

Customizing Your Waterfall Chart

  • Good Guy - Determine if favorable variances are Positive or Negative values
  • Y-Axis Min - Choose what value the Y-Axis will begin at (this is typically going to be 0)
  • Gap Width - Gives you the ability to decide how wide the bars in the chart will be (0% - 500%)
  • Font Size - Enter the numerical font size to apply to both the Data Labels and X-Axis Labels
  • Font Type - Change the cell's font name to incorporate a specific typeface (ie Calibra)
  • Row Count - A formula-driven cell that tells how many data points have been currently entered

In order to reflect most of these setup options, you will need to use the Rebuild button in order to create a new Waterfall Chart according to your new specifications

Chart Setup



Rebuilding (Updating) Your Waterfall Chart

Rebuilding (Updating) Your Waterfall Chart

Exporting Your Chart

If you need to send your Waterfall Chart to a colleague or just move it to a new Workbook, you can use the Export button to send your Waterfall Chart and Data Table into a blank Excel workbook.

Pull Dimensions

By clicking the Pull Dimensions button, you can record the coordinates & size of your waterfall chart on your spreadsheet. This can be useful if you need to use the Rebuild button but want to retain the precise size and position of your current Waterfall Chart.

You are also able to manually adjust the dimensions by modifying the cells within the blue Chart Dimensions section.

Save Settings

Clicking the Save Settings button will save all the format settings and data within the Waterfall Chart Data Table. Your saved settings will be reflected the next time you click the Insert button.

Still Need Help?

If you were unable to find the answer you were looking for within the above documentation or think you have found a bug in the software, please feel free to reach me through the form below.

Chris Newman

Chris Newman

Chris is a finance professional and Excel MVP recognized by Microsoft since 2016. With his expertise, he founded TheSpreadsheetGuru blog to help fellow Excel users, where he shares his vast creative solutions & expertise. In addition, he has developed over 7 widely-used Excel Add-ins that have been embraced by individuals and companies worldwide.