6.795 m = 22.293 ft

Yes, we did it !!

On December 11th at 1 PM, after 3 days on the mountain, we reached the summit of Mount Pissis (6.795m), the 3rd highest mountain of Americas and second highest volcano on earth.

As Aconcagua's -6992m- season had not started and distant Ojos del Salado - 6880m- was under strong winds.. we probably were the highest men on earth that day...
Great moments indeed, but certainly one he hardest thing I've ever done.

More pictures here and here.

Back to work... and to Sparklines.

UDF, add-ins and sharing files

Here is one comment posted recently :

"I am having some trouble with sharing files.
If I pass my file to a co-worker who has installed the add-in,all the formulas fail to work and checking them , cell formula changed to :
='C:\Documents and Settings\myusername\ApplicationData\Microsoft\AddIns\Sparklines_3.2.2.RNO.xla'!linechart('PI Data2'!I11:I299,,0,150,G13/24)"

Annoying indeed...

The first versions of sparklines were Excel files that could be used as templates, with the advantage that the VBA code was embedded into the file, so no problem to share those files.

This no longer the case with add-ins.
The *.xla file, containing the code is saved in your add-in library, which location changes for each different user :C:\Documents and Settings\myusername\ApplicationData\Microsoft\AddIns\

To solve this, the add-in release I just posted (3.2.3 for XL2003 + 3.2.6 for XL2000) will now be installed in C:\Program files\Sparklines... and nowhere else !

This should satisfy many users, but I already can hear "I am working wit Citrix", "I have not admin rights, I cannot install anything on C:"... one step at a time, we'll address that later.

PS : Remember to uninstall the previous versions of the add-in (last option of the Sparklines menu) before installing this new release.

PS2 : I'll be off-line for 2 weeks... absolutely unreachable (yes, it is still possible !), mountain climbing in Argentina between Mount Incahuasi (6.610m) and Pissis (6.795m)... see ya!

First example file

Nixnut posted an example workbook on how to use Sparklines for Excel functions in dashboards.

This file mimics the winning dashboard of the 2006 Data Visualization Contest.

You can read Stephen Few's analysis of the original dashboards here.

Release 3.2.3 for Excel 2003

I just posted a new release for Excel 2003 here.

This version includes logarithmic horizontal scales (required for the OECD file of my previous post).

It also brings some changes on Nixnut last statistical functions : StripeChart and SpreadChart used to analyze a population distribution.

It solves a clipboard issue (the clipboard was erased whenever the "Sparklines" menu was re-created).

I hope you will find those improvement helpful.
In the future I will post some samples on how to use the function, individually or organized within a dashboard.

How to use BoxPlot charts

Jon Peltier wrote a post on his blog regarding a chart from The Economist on “Income distribution by decile in selected OECD countries”.

Here is a simple interpretation of this chart using "boxplot" charts with standard and logarithmic scale :

You can download the excel data file here and use it once the Sparklines for Excel add-in is installed on your computer.

Release 3.2.5 for Excel 2000.

I have had a great deal of help from Holland during the last weeks.

Nixnut is using XL-2000. He is very knowledgeable about statistics, and rewrote some (big) parts of the code.

Here is Nixnut last
XL-2000 version of Sparklines for Excel.

This release bring some new charts :
StripeChart : It shows a vertical marker line for each value in the range and optionally a taller red line for the average mean. The result is a graph with the distribution of the values in the range.

SpreadChart : A lot like the StripeChart except it shows the frequency distribution of the values in the range in one of three styles: stacked (default), spread or jittered.
It uses dots for the data points.

XBoxPlot (Extended Boxplots). A bit experimental. These boxplots take a range as input and calculate values for whiskers, hatch marks, boxes and outliers as necessary.
There are different classes of boxplots:
Tukey (default), 5NS (five number summary), 7NS (seven number summary), and Bowley.
There are also two styles: Classic (default) and Neo.
The Neo style shows bars instead of whiskers.

Visible enhancements of existing functions :
  • Forecast marker for Bulletchart and RevBulletChart
Invisible enhancements :
  • Improved "Redraw" and "Delete" routines.
  • Version number not included in file name, for easier upgrade.

A great deal of very useful Sparklines, dense, self explanatory and easy to embed in dashboards.

This new version is not documented yet...

Well, it seems that I will have to catch up with the XL2003 version... any volunteer for XL2007 ?

New set of Sparklines UDF

Sparklines v3.2.2 is available on Sourceforge.

This new version can be used as a stand alone workbook(*.xls) or as a permanent Excel add-in (*.xla).

Creation of sparklines is made available through a menu and a toolbar, or by typing the function directly in a cell.

Get a copy of the file here . last Version 3.2 for Excel 2003 - October 24th 2008

Several versions are available for download :

To insert a Sparkline, use the Sparkline Menu or Toolbar.
Fill the function argumentsin the Function Wizard.

Some Sparklines do not display properly when first created with the Function Wizard.
Just update them with the "Redraw Sparklines" option of the menu or toolbar.

Please give me some feedback, share
your ideas and I will do my best to improve the functions.


It is now possible to create arrays of PieCharts, of variable sizes and colors, through the Heatmap() function.

In addition to the disc position in the array, 3 variables are displayed :
  • Color scale
  • Size variation
  • Size of the slice
Obviously I do not recommend using it for large arrays, but I believe that it works pretty well up to 5 x 5 arrays and 4 colors.

Versions log

Sparklines v 3.2

New Features
  • Possibility to install as an add-in for Excel. Take care if you want to distribute files created with the add-in, the Sparklines function will not work on other users' PC.
  • Menu and Toolbar - All functions can be accessed via those 2 means
  • Vertical ScaleLine - Display a a vertical measure scale next to Linecharts, BarCharts or Heatmaps. Choose left or right size.

Minor Changes

  • Heatmap - now includes the possibility to create arrays of piecharts, with variable size and colors
  • LineChart - Corrected error handling of min and max values
  • StackedChart - Reviewed the display of legend, in order to fit in segments
  • Pareto- Reviewed the display of legend

Sparklines v 3.0
  • All charts - added possibility to embed intermediary formulas inside the UDFs)
  • All charts - Each Sparklines is properly renamed (Type, active sheet and position)
  • PieChart - New type of chart Heatmap - New type of chart, suitable for 2D and 3D heatmaps (Size + Color)
  • Boxplot - New type of chart
  • BarChart Added one new parameter (color) to choose the color of the bars
  • LineChart - Added parameters for colors of lines
  • BulletChart - Added possibility to choose a color scheme
  • ScaleLine - Added 3 text zone (Left ; center ; right) and choice of font size
  • VariChart - Added possibility to choose a color scheme
  • Color Scales pdf file- 2 separate sheets with well balanced color scales.
  • Macro to delete Sparklines on the active sheet, but Sparklines only.

Scaleline() specifications

ScaleLine and InvScaleLine now have 3 zones for text + the possibility to change the text size (default=6)

Pareto() specifications

Pareto() sparklines are really meaningful when stacked like here.

BulletChart() and RevBulletChart() specifications

BulletCharts colors can be modified via additional parameter "ColorScheme"

For metrics like "cost" or "claims", where a high value represents a poor performance, use RevBulletChart().

LineChart() specifications

Lines color can be customized, using additional parameters "ColorLine1" and "ColorLine2"

Barchart() specifications