I received an e-mail request from a real doctor who wanted help
developing a chart to show the schedule for an operating room. The
doctor sent along this hand sketch. He wanted to be able to
show time of operation from 6:00 Am till 8:00 PM .
I was happy to develop an Excel chart to show the daily schedule
for an operating room.
I wanted the chart to have bars for the operation, showing the
start and end of the operation schedule.
I started with an XY chart. I figured that the Y Axis would be
the sequence number for the operation. Since we wouldn't need this
number, we could just turn off the Y axis labels.
The X axis had to show the time of day, from 6 Am to 8:00 PM.
The horizontal bars could be X error bars, starting at the start
time and ending at the start time + duration (hours, minutes).
Organizing the Data
The data for the chart is shown to the right. Column A contains
the Operation number, col. B contains the Start time and col. C
contains the Duration (hrs:min), col. D contains a description for
I used the Chart Wizard to make the chart. I selected XY chart as
my chart type. I specified the data range for my series, with B3:B7
for x data and A3:A7 for Y data.
My basic chart XY chart connected the start times. I cleaned up
the chart by removing the line and removing the background and
legend and subduing the grid lines.
My next step was to add the horizontal bars for the scheduled
period. To do this, I added X error bars
as shown below.
I added labels to the bars with J Walk's Chart Tools add-in,
available on his site http://j-walk.com/ss/excel/files/charttools.htm.
Here's the final chart after some clean up and fine tuning.
Here's a link to the Excel file if you'd like to check out this
example in more detail. file