Unlocking Excel’s Potential: Creating Stunning Dashboards with Easy Steps and Pro Tips

So I know you want the pretty dashboards in Excel. It’s not as hard as you think. I’m gonna show you how you get the pretty effects, intermediate and even beginner Excel users can figure most this stuff out. So I just wanna get you started.

So of course, the insert tab is our best friend. And under the insert tab, we’re gonna be able to insert sheet. So rounded rectangles are what we’re going to use is our base. Okay? And here’s how we turn them into the pretty rounded rectangles that you see in these. So I’ve given this one a solid fill, and this is gonna be a slightly purple color, very dark purple. It’s gonna look nice on our dark back. And we don’t want it too bright. Then I’m gonna give it a line outside and the line’s gonna be two point width and the color is gonna be a nice bright pink like this or whatever other neon color you wanna use.

But then we’re gonna use FX. FX is the part that you probably don’t know about. We’re gonna go to glow and we’re gonna give a glow. The glow size is 27 point width and the transparency is at 79%. The color we’ve used is the same as our line color, but because we’ve made it super transparent, it’s gonna look more like a glow instead of a big blurry line. That basic principle is what we’ve done on the outlines of all of these.

Okay, next thing you need to know about our gradients. So I just copy pasted my shape and I’m just gonna add it in here. Okay, now for this shape, we wanna have a nice cool, awesome bright gradient color. So we’re gonna go no line, we’re gonna give it a solid fill. Actually, excuse me, we’re gonna give it a gradient fill. That gradient fill is gonna be a linear gradient. The angle is gonna be at 2:40. That just means it’s gonna be kind of like one side, do another on one side it’s gonna be pink. On the other side it’s gonna be like a nice darkish purple. And in this case, instead of a glow, we’re gonna make it have a shadow. And that’s just gonna make it kind of hover on the page.

Gradients, here’s a gradient on the yellow one. This gradient is from a yellow to just a transparent color or a black at the bottom so that it feeds out. And then this one here, same thing, just from a lighter green to a darker green on the other side.

In this example here, if we have a little space, we need to fill in on the bottom and we don’t want it to look too busy, we might just add in another rectangle. And this other rectangle, this is a nice little trick to use. Give it a solid fill that’s white, but make it 90% transparent. And that’s just gonna make it kind of match the background color, but create a little separation.

You can also insert text. One of the many tricks people forget about is the ability to drop in a text box. When you drop these text boxes in, don’t be scared to change your font. Don’t be scared to change the color of the font. And you can find all these controls under the home tab up here. You just change in the same way you would normally change font.

Now, if we want our text to actually update whenever data updates somewhere, all we have to do up here is just put equals and then reference Excel. If I go equal cell B2, anytime cell B2 updates, the value in this text box will update.

All right, next, let’s talk about how we make our charts pretty. All these charts are just standard charts. This is donut charts. This is standard line charts. Really the basic concept you need to know when you first drop charts in, they’re gonna look something like this one here, boring, not particularly great looking.

So first things first, you can select your whole chart and drop the background out. Go no fill and no line. And what that’s gonna do is make it a lot easier to fit it into your design. You can also update the font color on the whole thing, just like you’d update the font color anywhere else. And then you can customize almost every element of your chart.

This is something really cool about Excel that people don’t realize. I can click into individual lines and I can give them different fills. I can even put image fills in there if I want, but in this case, maybe a nice gradient fill that’s pink made this one in the front and get that one, a nice gradient film, but make that purple. You kind of get the picture here, right?

The other thing to keep in mind with your chart, there is a magical little button here when you click into your actual series, that’s gonna give you your series option. This little icon you see here will also show up when you click into other elements to. There are hidden features in here that people often don’t know about. Like in this case, series overlap, which is gonna make my bars over here overlap, or gap width, which is gonna let me adjust my bars to make them a little wider or thinner, like you see here.

Now you can also really fine tune stuff if you want. For example, if I want to get rid of these markers, I can delete them. If I want to take my legend and move it to a different position, I can go over here and move it to the right. If I wanna take that little line right there and make it less bright, I can go in here, increase the transparency or even make it dash and voila, we have something that looks a little bit better. Just explore those customization features. Obviously, not everyone’s gonna instantly become a graphic designer, but with just a little bit of understanding what’s there, you can really improve what you’re doing. And I use these same principles on each of these other examples as well. We just chose a different color palette for it and we used a slightly different layout, but all of the same core features. When it, I have full walkthroughs on all those other dashboards. If you want, it’s on the, I think it’s the full tutorials playlist on my profile. And if you want copies of the templates for these, I send them out for free on the newsletter. You can find that over on my profile. If you any questions, let me know. Thanks for tuning in, folks. Bye.