How to Create a Dumbbell Chart

Table of Contents

What is a Dumbbell/DNA Chart

Dumbbell charts highlight from-to pairs with a pair of horizontal Dumbbells. They look like grouped lollipop Line charts. Extended Dumbbell charts can have more than two points/markers on each line.

DNA charts are vertical dumbbells, and in our Data Xtractor apps you may switch from one layout to another with a single toolbar button mouse click.

In multi-color charts, each series gets a different color and this leads to an interesting visual effect: you may easily detect which pairs are ordered or not.

Steps to Create a Dumbbell Chart

Start Visual Xtractor or Data Xtractor. Connect to a database. Create or design a SQL query. Run the query and check the results.

  1. Display and enable the Chart query builder.
  2. Select two or more numeric columns with the Line ChartsDumbbell Line chart type.
  3. Select an optional column as Label, whose values will appear as chart legend items.
  4. Switch Rows with Columns for a DNA chart (i.e. with vertical dumbbells).

Dumbbell Chart Demo Query

This is a great alternative to learn about and play with this type of chart, if you don’t want to create anything from scratch.

Look for this ready-to-use generated query under the Queries > Demo Queries > Charts > Cartesian Charts folder. Click on the “add demo queries” command link, if the Dumbbell Line Chart demo query is not already there.

Dumbbell Chart
Generated demo queries must work for any database, with no restriction. They use constant values generated on-the-fly and your database SQL engine, but do not depend on data from your tables, and never alter your database in any way.

DNA Chart (Vertical Dumbbells)

Click on the Switch Rows with Columns toolbar button to go back and forth from a horizontal Dumbbell chart layout to a vertical DNA chart layout.

DNA Chart

Customize your Dumbbell Chart

  1. Hide the data labels and show the X axis labels instead.
  2. Choose a different diamond marker symbol.
  3. Click on legend items to hide some dumbbells.
  4. Switch eventually to 3D.

Custom Dumbbell Chart


  • Creating horizontal Dumbbell charts and vertical DNA charts in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast, simple and trivial: declare two or more numeric columns from your result set as Dumbbell Line, one column as Label if you wish, and that’s it!
  • Switch Rows with Columns for the immediate vertical layout of the DNA chart.
  • All builtin powerful features of these chart type are common to most other charts: filtering series through the legend items, interactivity, monochrome or grayscale colors, rich axis and data label selections etc.
  • Switch to another builtin chart theme, or customize your own, for any possible color or other styles.