Microsoft Excel

Bubble and Stock Charts

Bubble charts

Think of a bubble chart as an XY chart that can display an additional data series, which is represented by the size of the bubbles. As with an XY chart, both axes are value axes (there is no category axis). Bubble charts are listed in the Other Charts category.

Stock charts

Stock charts are most useful for displaying stock-market information. These charts require three to five data series, depending on the subtype. This chart type is listed in the Other Charts category. Usually, these charts show how a stock value changes over a series of days. The twist is that the chart can display information about the daytime high and the daytime low of the stock, along with its opening and closing value. Excel uses all this information to draw a vertical bar from the stock's low point to its high point on a given day. If you're really ambitious, you can even add volume information (which records the number of shares traded on a given day).

Stock charts are more rigid than most other chart types. In order to use a stock chart, you need to create a column of numbers for each required value. The type of columns you need and their order depends on the stock chart subtype that you select. Here are your choices:

  • High-Low-Close
  • Open-High-Low-Close
  • Volume-High-Low-Close
  • Volume-Open-High-Low-Close

In each case, the order of terms indicates the order of columns you should use in your chart. If you select Volume-High-Low-Close, then the leftmost column should contain the volume information, followed by another column with the stock's daytime high, and so on. (Technically, you can use the Chart Tools : Design > Data > Select Data command to specify each series, even if it's not in the place Excel expects it to be. However, this maneuver is tricky to get right, so it's easiest to just follow the order indicated by the chart type name.) No matter which subtype you use, a stock chart shows only values for a single stock.

The simplest stock chart (High-Low-Close) is also occasionally useful for charting variances in scientific experiments or statistical studies. You could use a stock chart to show high and low temperature readings. Of course, you still need to follow the rigid stock chart format when ordering your columns.