Tag Archives: excel

Hash bars – simple ASCII-art charts in your console, database or Excel

When you have some data like this:

MONTH COUNT
2011-10
417
2011-09
903
2011-08
1051
2011-07
759
2011-06
835
2011-05
647
2011-04
393

it may be difficult to spot a trend in it. That’s why people use charts and other visualization tools and there’s a lot of them (you could use Excel, Google Charts, gnuplot, sparklines etc.).

However, sometimes it’s not possible or convenient to use any of this tools. In such cases, you can easily create a simple ASCII-art style chart. Doesn’t this look better?

MONTH COUNT  
2011-10
417
########
2011-09
903
##################
2011-08
1051
#####################
2011-07
759
###############
2011-06
835
################
2011-05
647
############
2011-04
393
#######

It’s actually so embarrassingly obvious I would not bother posting about but in the last couple of days several people told me that they think it’s a great idea that they wish they knew earlier. So here it is.
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