“Birthday Cake” is a way of combining Stacked Column Chart, shapes and images to, with a little extra formatting, get a graphic report reminiscent of a birthday cake with candles. It can be used e.g. to show the growth of income or profit of the company over a period of several years. This kind of chart is very easy to make, so if you want to attract the attention of bosses and colleagues, pay attention and follow the steps shown.
Let’s say we want to show the company’s revenue growth over a period of 5 years. We will need a simple table with five columns (names of years) and revenue values for the given years. Select all the data in the table, go to the Insert ribbon and select the option that creates the Stacked Column Chart.
Delete title, legend and data on axes.
Go to the Insert ribbon, then select the option to add pictures from the Internet (Online Pictures). Find a picture of the cake you like and add it to the worksheet. Use the formatting options to move the cake behind the chart, and then make the background of the chart transparent. If you want, you can also change the color of the series („candles“). Add another series to the chart that contains fixed values.
Use the Insert/Shapes option to add a circle and a triangle, group them, and create an object that resembles a candle flame. Paint it orange. Copy this object, click on the series with fixed values, and select the Paste option. If you want a slightly higher flame just increase the values of the second series. If you want, you can add data labels that show categories and apply some additional formatting. Play until you get the chart you like.