Add Target or Goal Lines to Control Charts

Use Goal or Spec Limit Lines to Compare to Targets

Control chart sigma lines and upper control and lower control limits are calculated from your data. However, many customers also want to show a show a target or spec limit line on their control chart.

control chart with target goal or spec limit

QI Macros allow you to add a target line in several ways:

Option 1 for QI Macros versions purchased after Oct 2011

Use the QI Macros Add Target Line to Chart tool on the Chart Menu (available October, 2011). It will prompt for a name for the line and a value and add the line to the chart. Add as many lines as needed. This will work on most charts, but not pie or radar charts:

add target line to control chart 

Option 2 - Use Excel's drawing tools to simply draw a target line on your existing control chart.

  1. To view Excel's drawing tool bar select View/Tool bars and check the box next to "Drawing."
  2. Next simply draw a line on your chart.
  3. You can use the text box feature on the drawing tool bar to add a label to the line.
  4. Note: If you add data to the chart you may need to re-sync up the line.

Option 3 - Add target line data to data sheet and cut and paste onto the chart

  1. Go to the intermediate spreadsheet created when you ran the control chart macro.
  2. Create a new column in your intermediate data sheet and label it "target" or "goal."
  3. Input your target value in every row that you have data. For example, if you have 25 data points on your control chart and your target value is .150, input ".150" in the first 25 rows of your column titled Target.

    add target line to control chart  
  4. Click and drag over the title and target data and select Edit/Copy. Then go to the chart and select Edit/Paste to add the target line to the chart.
  5. Since the target line data is linked to the chart, it will move with the chart if new data is added or if the x and y axis change.

Additional Step for Certain Charts

In the p, u, XbarR, XbarS charts, Excel may use the "no line" format of other lines on the chart as a basis for formatting the target line. To show the target line, click on the chart, Then Chart Tools-Layout-Chart Area pull down menu and select Target:

Select hidden Excel chart series

Then Click on Format Selection, then Line Color and select solid line and a color:

Format hidden Excel chart series

If you still can't see the target line, it may be because your X axis is a date or number. To reveal the line:

  1. Right click on the chart and choose Select Data:

  2. Select Target and Choose Edit:
  3. Clear the Series X values and Click OK:

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