Animation using Charts


This app is a proof-of-concept that shows how animated demonstrations can be made using Charts in Excel.


.xls file (154 KB) or .zip file (64 KB)


There are many instances where an animation can be an effective demonstration technique, but a typical set of software tools that an engineer has does not include software for animation. Microsoft Powerpoint is the usual presentation tool but its animation capabilities may not always be sufficient.

Excel charts can be used an animation tool to display data dynamically. This app shows how X-Y and bar charts are animated using macros. The macro simply increments a counter, and Excel functionality creates the rest of the animation.

(Also see: Animation without Charts)

How to use

Macros must be enabled for this app to work. Click on the "Animate" button on each sheet to run the animation.

The tool shows 3 examples of animation using charts:
1. Drawing a wreath, see the related 3 Wheel Spirograph tool
2. A process showing filling up of a tank by a pump
3. Decaying orbit of a planet, the data was obtained from the Coupled ODE Solver.


How it works

The same macro runs the different animations, the macro simply increments a counter in cell B1. There is extra code to create the "rotation" effect for the first sheet. The data for the spirograph is created in memory using defined names, for the tank in cell A1 and the data for the planet comes from a table of values.

The animation for the tank also uses Conditional Formatting to show the pipes filled with water. The tank is like the "Thermometer Chart" described on this page, with the border lines removed.

Also See:

Animation without Charts

Digital Rain

Image Processing

Oscilloscope / Function Generator Simulator

Parametric Function Plotter