Sparkline Horizontal Axis Technique

Excel Sparkline charts don’t have a horizontal axis. Here is a technique that creates one in the cell above or below the Sparkline. This works best for the Column Sparkline.

I shared this tip in my November 2023 article for CPA Australia which covers several other Excel Data Visualisation techniques – check it out here.

You can download an example file at the bottom of the post.

Amendment Dec 2023: thanks to a suggestion from Diarmuid Early on LinkedIn. If you use the Consolas font, which is a fixed width font, it improves lining up with the columns. I have added another file to download with the new font and some new images at the bottom of the post.

In the image below we can see the solution and the formula in the Formula Bar from cell F1.

As you can see the lining up of the day name with the columns is not perfect, but it is close. This helps the reader relate the column to the day.

The formula in cells F1 and F4 is.


The TEXTJOIN function enables you to combine text from a range. Because we used the LEFT function, we are combining the first three characters from each day from the range A6:A12.

The delimiter character (the first argument in the TEXTJOIN function) is what is called the “Pipe” character. This separates the three letter cell entries from the range. The “Pipe’ character key is under the Backspace key and you use the Shift key to select it.

I have used the standard Calibri font with 11 as the font size.

You may want to experiment with different fonts and sizes.

Months example

Here are a couple of other examples using months.

As you can see, we can use either three characters or one to display the month name. The formula in cell O1 is.

=" "&TEXTJOIN("|",1,LEFT(H6:H17))

If you have a series of Sparkline charts one above the other, then having the axis above and below can improve the readability.

Amendment Dec 2023

Here are some images using the Consolas font.

Note: you no longer need the leading space in the month formulas below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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