Dynamic Column Chart with Category Labels Auto Highlighted

Use this conditionally formatted dynamic column chart PowerPoint template to highlight and report below budget/target values.

Chart Template for PowerPoint

This template is conditionally formatted to automatically identify category values below specified budget / target / threshold and highlight the X-axis category labels in different color to draw attention to under-performing categories. 

Chart Type

Column Chart (Vertical Bar Chart)

Chart Function


How to use and edit this chart template

To edit this chart template, execute following steps.

  1. Right click on the chart to open chart menu. Click Edit Data. This will open the linked Excel sheet (see video below).
  2. Enter target / budget / threshold value in row 2.
  3. Enter categories in column A (plotted on X-axis) and corresponding series data in column B (plotted on Y-axis).
  4. You can add your data manually or copy data from Excel or any other data source.
  5. Close the Excel sheet.
  6. Restyle and customize to change text, fonts, colors etc. to match your brand guidelines, corporate identity / corporate design and preferences.
  7. This dynamic column chart (also known as vertical bar graphtemplate for PowerPoint is conditionally formatted to automatically change the font colors of categories / X-axis labels, when the values representing the columns fall below specified budget/ forecast / target. 
  8. Modify the template for your own use case, industry or job function. Easily change, add or delete categories and corresponding data series, if you have more/less data than provided in this ready-to-use template.
  9. File format: PPTX. Compatible with PowerPoint 2010 and above.

Watch the following video for;

  • Dynamic functioning X-axis label font colors based on values above and below budget / target / threshold.
  • How to edit chart data.
  • How to change chart colors easily.
  • How to change currency.

Use case example: Actual sales against target

The dynamic column chart in above example compares number of units sold in each month from January to December. The budget/target/threshold is set to 2750 units. X-axis category labels for months where the number of units sold are less than 2750 are highlighted in red font.

If we plot the same data in a normal chart, it would be quite difficult and time consuming to separate good months from the under-performing ones. But using this conditionally formatted chart template, you can instantly make out that January, April, June and November are under-performing months.

The dynamic font color distinction based on data values helps in highlighting and differentiating the under performers from the rest, at a glance. It instantly draws audiences’ attention without a need to compare the heights of columns. This helps in decreasing the cognitive load and process the data faster.

You can use this dynamic chart for monthly report and dashboard.

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Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.

Stephen Few

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