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Build a Heat Map in Excel

In this article, you will learn how to build a heat map in Excel that looks like this!

What is a Heat Map?

A heat map is a data visualization technique that shows magnitude through color. And what does that mean?

It simply means that color is used to help the reader quickly identify large and small values at a distance based on the hue or intensity of the color.

Why Are Heat Maps Helpful?

Heat maps help the reader see the overall picture of the data. In other words, it makes it easier for the reader to quickly identify the large and small values at a glance without having to scan through the data and read each number.

On top of that, heat maps help draw the reader’s attention to specific spots in the data that require the most attention.

How to Create a Heat Map in Excel

To create a heat map in Excel, follow the four steps below.

  1. Highlight the data
  2. Select conditional formatting
  3. Select color scales
  4. Pick your color scheme

Once you pick your color scheme, Excel creates the heat map. Here are the four steps again with a little more detail.

Highlight the Data

The first step is to highlight the data that will make up your heat map.

Select Conditional Formatting

With your data selected, click on the Conditional Formatting button under the Home tab in the Excel Ribbon.

Select Color Scales

In the conditional formatting menu, select Color Scales.

Pick Your Color Scheme

The final step is to pick the color scheme that will make up your heat map. You have several different options. Simply pick the option that works best for you.

And that’s how to create a heat map in Microsoft Excel! If you have any questions or any other thoughts, feel free to leave a comment down below.

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