My company asked me to make a sort of chart with the x-axis being product parameters and the y-axis being the names of different products, something like this:
enter image description here

I tried to create one in Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 with the Insert -> Chart tool and got something like this:
enter image description here
But every bar starts from 0, whereas I need them to start from somewhere I designate, just like in the first image (you can see the bar for "Crosslink NX (w/o Tx)" roughly starts at a bit over 15).

My question is what type of chart is the first image called, and most importantly, how can I create a similar one? What tools should I use and how do I do it?


Edit: I would like to further improve my graph to something like this:
chart of cookie brands But this chart was created with a workaround. It started from a vertical bar chart in Excel, and I had to manually rotate all the text:
enter image description here
Then I copied the chart as an image, pasted it to where I needed it, and manually rotated the copy-pasted picture.
I'd like to have the cookie numbers axis at the bottom of the rotated chart, not the top where it currently is, and furthermore, is there a more straightforward method to create such a chart?
Thanks again!


3 Answers 3


Every bar needs 2 numbers: The start and the stop. No chart where one bar needs only one number will do. You can cheat by using the usual tiled bar chart in spreadsheets. This is the default output:

enter image description here

After removing the fill color and the edge from the bars of the leftmost value column you have:

enter image description here

The first column of values presents the starting values of the bars. The 2nd column of values shows the lengths of the bars. If you have the start and stop values you must calculate the difference to get the length.

Maybe cheat is a wrong word, the possibility can well be left there intentionally.

About the name: The chart you want presents validity or coverage ranges. Unfortunately I have never seen any special name for it. For me it's still only a horizontal bar chart.

There are numerous data presentation and charting programs which have much more formatting and decoration possibilities than simple spreadsheets. I skip that subject. Without such advanced software getting every detail of your example means in practice redrawing it in Illustrator or other graphics program, You can paste the skeleton for ex. from Excel, but 90% of the work is still left.


The given comment suggests that the actually wanted chart could be this simple:

enter image description here

There's only manually placed dots in otherwise empty cells in Excel.

  • Thank you very much, this workaround does do the job. Now what if A-G in your example are cookie brands and let's say G has 3 offers: 10 cookies in a box, 15 in a box and 20 in a box, F has 2 offers: 10 in a box and 15 in a box, and so on. In this occassion, I'd like G to be shown as 3 discrete dots on x=10, 15, 20 respectively instead of a continuous bar ranging from 10 to 20. I tried following Creating Dot Plots in Excel but unfortunately I couldn't make the dot pot to be displayed horizontally.
    – NoobAdmin
    Nov 25, 2021 at 3:02
  • zero calculations is needed in that case. I would simply draw it in Illustrator. But you obviously avoid it. If I could use only Excel I would place manually dots into the relevant cells. Another option would be to use conditional formatting (will check it later)
    – user82991
    Nov 25, 2021 at 8:19
  • Thanks again for your help! I updated my original question to clarify my needs. The chart I have now can get my job done, but I'm just being curious if there's a more straightforward way to draw it. I started the chart as a vertical bar chart with the brands being the x-axis and cookie numbers being the y, then set all bars to zero and added in scattered dots to represent the numbers, and finally flipped the chart 90 degrees to make the brand axis look like x and the numbers look like y. I feel this is quite clumsy, and I can't put the number axis to the bottom.
    – NoobAdmin
    Nov 25, 2021 at 13:52

If you want to create a graph like this, and don't want to have to manually draw it in design software like Illustrator or Inkscape, I'd recommend a tool like Tableau. Tableau is an extensive data visualisation tool that allows you to create any imaginable kind of graph and have it redrawn when the data changes. It's not cheap, though.

  • Illustrator has a graph tool with this function, once the basic chart is built, you can add the gradients, colors and typefaces. Nov 24, 2021 at 23:11
  • Wow that looks nice but I don't think my company's going to buy that for me for this one-off job. Thanks though. Meanwhile @Danieljamar35 do you mean I can draw basic charts directly in Illustrator by providing data (i.e. not manually drawing and dragging rectangle bars and lines and stuff)?
    – NoobAdmin
    Nov 25, 2021 at 3:04
  • 1
    @NoobAdmin it can be done, not necceserily with the graph tool though. But can you do it is another thing entirely. It really depends on what you know, what then i suspect had you been the type that would have whipped this out in javascript you wouldnt be asking.
    – joojaa
    Nov 25, 2021 at 4:57
  • @Danieljamar35 That looks like a comment that would be very well-fitting as an actual answer to the question :)
    – Vincent
    Nov 25, 2021 at 11:48

Your reference image is a custom chart design, and I would actually call it an infographic that looks like a chart.

You will more likely achieve a style like that with professional design software, less likely with Powerpoint.

  • No its a perfectly normal chart, its used a lot in planning projects (where its called a gantt chart) and in orchestration of manufacturing to see and analyze bottlenecks in your process.
    – joojaa
    Nov 24, 2021 at 16:40
  • Well, yes .. also called a timeline in a less academic, more commercial type of design. My answer being more focused on how that particular design style would be hard to achieve in Powerpoint.
    – Lucian
    Nov 24, 2021 at 18:38
  • Thanks, well fortunately style is not the top concern for this one, but what professional software would you recommend should I need to design a stylish graph in the future? Can GIMP or Illustrator etc. generate bar charts from data I provide?
    – NoobAdmin
    Nov 25, 2021 at 2:19
  • Illustrator has a relatively limited charting tool helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/graphs.html
    – Lucian
    Nov 25, 2021 at 2:26

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