Tufte Charts in Excel

A reader wrote in to suggest a couple of useful blog topics. His first idea was for us to create...

A set of working examples in Excel of the graph types Edward Tufte recommends in “Visual Display of Quantitative Information"

The closest anyone has come in Excel, as far as I can make out is the tease that William Oswald left on http://www.compassgr.com/sites/mark/index.htm. Here he has included pictures of the output, but not the files themselves.

Here are a couple examples from Oswald’s site:

Column with Overlay
Dot Chart with Distribution

It’s hard to back down from a challenge like that—so we set about to create an Excel spreadsheet with working replicas of the Oswald replicas of Tufte charts. For the most part, the resulting charts are straightforward to manipulate and represent a massive leap forward from the Excel ordinary. Download the file, change the data and make them your own.


A couple of my favorites :

Multi-series Scatterplot
Line Chart with Period Shading