Budgeting & Finance

Excelling with Microsoft Excel 5: Excel 2010 (Sparklines and Tables)

I am almost through with the Alison online Excel 2010 course with four modules left to complete. Remaining modules are on macros, if functions, Microsoft Office security, working with dates in Excel and planning payments and savings in Excel.

If you have missed my earlier posts on tips I have come across in my Excel 2010 e-learning journey, you can check them out here:

Excel 2010 tips for today


  1. Sparklines make it easy to spot patterns and trends. It is especially useful for management reporting. I use sparklines for our monthly financial reporting at work mainly for the income statement and expenditure analysis section of the report. You should try it!

sparklines final 2
2. For column sparklines, to make it readable you can play around by making edits to the vertical and column axis.

column sparklines

Steps to make edits to the axis of column sparklines

  • Click on any area within the sparkline.
  • The design sparkline option would pop up to the far right of the displayed options.

design sparkline popup

  • Click on the design tab, then select axis. All options under the axis are available for you to explore to know the impact of each option on your sparkline.



1. Always convert data to table to make it easier for excel to work with. Working with this option automates sections of your data for you which saves time plus makes additional options available. How can this be done?

Steps to convert data to table

  • Click on any cell within the data.
  • Click “Insert” and select “table”.
  • A window will pop up to enable you select the data range.
  • A table would be automatically created. Voila! You are done.

2. Removal of duplicates is an additional option available when you work with your data using tables as indicated above.

How to remove duplicates

  • Click on any area within the table.
  • The design option would pop up to the upper right of your sheet.
  • Click “Design”, then select remove duplicates. This would only be possible if your data is in a table format.



Explore the options under the design tab in your free time.

That’s it for today, hope you picked up something new to apply for work and personal use.

You are welcome to share your tips and feedback with us.