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Create a Motion Chart in Xcelsius (in 3 steps!)

Motion charts are all the rage nowadays, ever since Hans Rosling’s 2007 Ted talk.  So let’s create one using Xcelsius.


1. Prepare The Spreadsheet

Let’s first prepare the spreadsheet, which will look like this:


There are 3 main sections to this spreadsheet:

  1. Left Block: this contains the raw data.  No formulas here.
  2. Middle Block: this contains the interpolated data, ensuring that your graph runs smoothly between your data points.  Use the following formulas

L4=MATCH(M4,$A$4:$A$7,1) (copied down)


M5=M4+0.1 (copied down)

N4=INDEX(B$4:B$7,$L4)+($M4-$L4)*(INDEX(B$4:B$7,$L4+1)-INDEX(B$4:B$7,$L4)) (copied down and across.

    3. Right Block: this contains the data at the ‘current time’ and will be plotted in the dashboard.  Leave it empty – the Play Selector component will handle it.

2. Add the play selector

Now we move on to the dashboard itself.  First we add the Play Selector, which will roll through all the rows in the Middle Block and insert each row into the Right Block one after the other, as time goes on.

          Source: M4:V33

          Destination: X4:AG4

          Play Time: 5s

          Rewind / Replay OFF

3. Add the bubble chart

Finally, we add the Bubble Chart to plot the Right Block from the spreadsheet.

          Green Series: Y4, Z4, AA4 (x, y, size)

          Blue Series: AB4, Ac4, AD4 (x, y, size)

          Red Series: AE4, AF4, AG4 (x, y, size)

          X axis scale: 0 – 5

          Y axis scale: 0 – 5

          Num Divisions: 5

And you’re already done!  Now wasn’t that easy?

Next Steps…

Of course, this is just the beginning; with Xcelsius, the sky’s the limit.

What other elements would you add to your motion chart?  Trails?  Shadows?  Tooltips?  Let me know in the comments below!

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Tobias,


      I'm not very familiar with Design Studio, but I tried searching and haven't found anything too promising.


      Here's a short tutorial to create a Bubble Chart, but I'm not sure if there's a way to emulate the functionality of the Play Selector.