How to Create a Range Bar Chart

Table of Contents

What is a Range Bar Chart

All vertical columns or horizontal bars in a standard Bar Charts always start from zero, or some relative point determined as the same for all bars, and go up to the Bar value. Range Bar Charts require two values for each bar: a start value and an end value. In our charts, the end value will still be given by a Bar chart selection. While start values require a new data column to be set as Bar Start.

With up/down negative colors, bars with start value greater or equal to the end value are displayed with the up color, and the other bars with the down color. Turn up/down off, and the multi-color setting determines how bars are colored.

Multi-series Range Bar charts are described separately. For single-series, we’ll have the following possible combinations:

  1. Bar Start alone – specific range chart, called Waterfall Range Bar chart, with start value determined by the end value of the previous bar.
  2. Bar Start + Bar – standard single-series Range Bar chart.
  3. Bar alone – standard single-series Bar chart (not a Range chart).

Steps to Create a Single-Series Range Bar 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. Set a data column as Bar ChartsBar Start chart, for a Waterfall Range Bar chart.
  3. Set another similar column as Bar, for custom end values and a full Range Bar chart.
  4. Add an optional Label.
  5. Switch rows with columns for horizontal bars instead.

Waterfall Range Bar Chart

First Bar Start alone you set for a data column returns you a specific Range Bar chart, with the start value automatically deducted from the end value of the previous bar. First bar starts always from zero.

Range Columns Start

The Waterfall Range Bars generated demo query is another ready-to-use example.

Range Bar Chart

Set now another similar numeric column as Bar, for a typical single-series Range Bar chart.

Range Columns Full

Grouped Overlapping Intervals

The Overlapping Range Bars demo query shows a specific Range Bar chart, with values for the same labels grouped together. It makes sense, for instance, to show all intervals spent on Research on one single line. Without grouping (by default) you will likely get multiple entries on the Y vertical axis for Research.

Remaining problem now is that some grouped intervals may overlap, and the bar on top may hide the bar behind. Use a semi-transparent drawing style instead. And prepare your data to avoid this kind of situation.

Overlapping Range Bar Chart

The chart also adds a Category column to the chart. This changes the legend items from the Activity names to the Employee names. In multi-color charts, each bar will also get an Employee color. This is also known as a Gantt chart.

You can now show and hide specific employees, instead of activities (Miller was hidden below). And you may also show as data labels Employee names, instead of the default start-to-end value duration.

Customize your Single-Series Range Bar Chart

  1. Show thin lollipop sticks with custom marker shapes.
  2. Make it single-color, to show all columns with the same color.
  3. Change the axis label orientation, make them staggered.
  4. Hide the data labels.
  5. You may also switch rows with columns, to display horizontal bars instead.
  6. Or switch to 3D, or hide bars with the legend items…

Custom Range Column Chart


  • Creating single-series Range Bar Charts in Data Xtractor or Visual Xtractor is fast and intuitive: set one numeric data column as Bar Start, and you already get a Waterfall Range Bar chart, with half of the range values automatically deducted.
  • Complete a full Range Bar chart with a Bar column selection, for the end values.
  • Group same label values together, but beware of the possible overlapping effect.
  • Add a Category column, for a Gantt chart.
  • Switch rows with columns, to display horizontal bars instead.