Adding High-Low Lines and Up and Down Bars

Adding High-Low Lines and Up and Down Bars

High-low lines are straight lines that extend between the highest and lowest points in a cluster. You can use them to indicate the range over which a value varies. High-low lines are available only in two-dimensional line charts.

Up and down bars are rectangles drawn between the corresponding points of two line series. Excel fills the bars with one color if the first series is higher than the last (the bars in this case are called up bars) and a contrasting color when the opposite is true (in which case they're called down bars). Up and down bars are often used in charts that track opening and closing prices of securities or commodities.

You can add either high-low lines or up and down bars (or both) by means of commands in the Analysis group on the Format tab on the Ribbon. You can format these items-for example, customize the colors that Excel uses for up bars and down bars-in the usual way, by right-clicking and then clicking the appropriate format command.

If you have more than two line series in a chart, Excel applies its up bars and down bars to the outer series-the first and fourth in a chart with four series, for example. The high-low lines are always drawn between the highest values in a set and the lowest.

A candlestick chart, such as the one shown in Figure 20-16 on page 654, combines high-low lines with up bars and down bars. The high-low lines show the full range over which a price varied in a period, and the up bars and down bars (black for down, white for up in Figure 20-16) show whether the open was above or below the close. Excel offers this chart as one of its built-in stock charts (choose Other Charts on the Ribbon; you'll find it as the second item in the Stock section of the gallery). The candlestick chart requires four series in the order open, high, low, and close. (They don't have to have those names, of course, as Figure 20-16 shows.) Excel uses the first and fourth series for its up bars and down bars.

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