Create Dynamic Range for your Charts

Hi guys recently I got an email where the sender has requested to create chart in such a manner that graph adjusts itself to the changing figures in the table or data. I provide him a solution which look something like the below image.
Download the file from here: DYNAMIC RANGE

Now the real question here comes is, how this was done? For that I have used Name Manager from Formulas tab.  Don't worry I will tell you step by step process to create this chart and dynamic data input range for it.

Suppose I have a table like given in the image below and I want to create a chart for this table in such way that if I enter Budget and Actual sales in column C & D, these values will automatically get reflected in my chart.
Now first I will name my ranges to be plotted in charts. For that click Formulas > Name Manager > New

For Budget column name it as Budget_data or whatever you like and in refers to box at the bottom write the formula as =OFFSET(Sheet1!$C$5,0,0,COUNT(Sheet1!$C$5:$C$16)). Similarly for 2011 data name it as Actual_data and refers to =OFFSET(Sheet1!$D$5,0,0,COUNT(Sheet1!$D$5:$D$16))  have a look at the image below.
Before moving ahead I want to explain what the above formula is doing.  To put it in layman language, OFFSET is helping us to select the range starting from C5 and COUNT function is helping the formula to decide the height of range by counting the number of data entered in the table.

Once we're done naming ranges now we'll create charts and do edits required to make it dynamic.
Select your data to be plotted, here select B4:D15 and click Insert > Charts > Column > Clustered Column.  It will give you a chart appearing as in 1 of image below.

Now right click in your chart and select change series chart type as in 2 of the image.  Select Line chart type.

You can also change the layout of your chart and tittle as done in 3 of the image.

Now in 4 comes the most important part of this trick.  Here we will adjust the data source for our chart and define the two series shown in the chart.
As shown in 4 of the above image, when we click Select Data it will open Select Data Source Box where under Legend Entries (Series) we'll edit Series1 & Series2.  In the following image below we have made edits to Series1 by referring Series name to cell C3 & Series values to "Budget_Data" which we named above.  Similarly for Series2 we referred Series name to cell D3 & Series values to "Actual_Data".
What this will do is make our chart responsive to the data we enter in table range B4:D15.  When we enter figures for any month it will automatically plot the same in the corresponding chart.  And that exactly was our goal as well.

Hope you learned something out of this trick.  "HAPPY LEARNING"


  1. it is awesome Prakash!!

    Need to Learn more from You

  2. Anytime, you can drop me an email whenever you have any query or concern. I'll try my level best to support you.

  3. Dear Pakash

    I have to understand INDIRECT Formula to be used for files are in different folder with half identical and half unique files names viz., January / vijay inv 058.xls
    February / Vijay Inv 079.xls

    I want to summarise them month month easily.

    Please advise how to go about.
    Vijay Perepa