What is an Excel chart sheet vs. an embedded chart?

With a project ending, interviewing for new jobs, vacation, traveling and taking a training class, it has been difficult to get back to making the Microsoft Excel world a better place.  But I am back and thanks for being a fan.  Now to more Excel learning.


Maybe I am wrong, but if I remember right, back in my original Excel days, Microsoft Excel defaulted the creation of a new chart to a “Chart Sheet”.  (Am I wrong?  Let me know in the comments Smile)

Now that is not the default in today’s Excel 2007 / Excel 2010 / Excel 2013 world.  So, given that, you may be asking yourself what is an Excel chart sheet?


What is an Excel Embedded Chart?

When you insert an chart in an Excel spreadsheet, Excel creates as a default an embedded chart.  Essentially, what it does is put your chart on top of another worksheet.  An Embedded worksheet would look like this:



What is an Excel Chart Sheet?

An Excel Chart Sheet is a worksheet tab that only contains the Excel chart.  Thus, it is called a Chart Sheet.  Excel names the worksheet as Chart 1 then the next one is named in sequential order of Chart 2, etc.  It looks something like this:



Video Demonstration


Also, check out this related posting on how to make an embedded chart or chart sheet:

The Absolute Quickest Ways to Make a New Chart in an Excel Spreadsheet


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Which do you prefer?  A chart sheet or embedded chart?  I suspect that those who are making Excel Dashboards prefer the Embedded Charts.  Let me know in the comments below.




  1. I have messed around with chart sheets in the past. I found that unless you are going to be printing the charts for hardcopies that an embedded chart is the way to go. Especially when creating a dashboard, and even more importantly when creating an interactive dashboard.

  2. I remember old Excel versions that had macros on sheets too, but I don’t want to go back to that. I look forward to seeing the what advantages chart sheets have in today’s Excel.

    • The macro sheet is still there if you want to use it 🙂 Hopefully you will like the post, up to you if you think it is an advantage 🙂 Thanks for the comment. Steve=True

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    I needed to create a chart sheet without first creating an embedded chart in the 2016 version of excel to make my Macro run properly. Your F11 tip worked great!

    For those who care to know…
    you can’t specify a location using an embedded chart (to the best of my knowledge) so when you want to create a macro that automatically plots multiple charts off of a spreadsheet full of data the insert chart sheet is a work around. This is VERY useful if you are trying to analyze multiple sets of data that are formatted identically but have different values, for example in the case of instrument readings being downloaded by an engineer!


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