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  Waterfall chart with connector lines
Posted by Darryl Lyons on Oct-04-2023 10:15

Does anyone know if it possible to create a waterfall chart with connector lines between each of the boxes? It is a common practice to show a dashed line connecting start/end values of each box in the waterfall. I have attached an example of how I would like this to look.

Additionally, is it possible to overlay a condensed format data label, where the positive values are on the top and negative values on the bottom? I would be able to separately provide the custom formats of these data labels.


  Re: Waterfall chart with connector lines
Posted by Peter Kwan on Oct-04-2023 17:51
Hi Darryl,

Yes, you can definitely make the same chart with ChartDirector.

In the attached chart image, I started from the "Waterfall Chart" sample code included in ChartDirector. I used Layer.addCustomDataLabel to add the labels on top/bottom of the bars, and I use line layers to add the dash lines.

The exact code depends on which programming language you are using. The following is my test code in C#. If you need to translate the code to another programming language, please let me know.

// 4 data points to represent the cash flow for the 5 products
double[] data = { 230, 140, -600, 330, 150 };

// We want to plot a waterfall chart showing the 5 products as well as the total
string[] labels = {"Product 1", "Product 2", "Product 3", "Product 4", "Product 5",

// The top side of the bars in a waterfall chart is the accumulated data. We use the
// ChartDirector ArrayMath utility to accumulate the data. The "total" is handled by
// inserting a zero point at the end before accumulation (after accumulation it will
// become the total).
double[] boxTop = new ArrayMath(data).insert2(0, 1).acc().result();

// The botom side of the bars is just the top side of the previous bar. So we shifted
// the top side data to obtain the bottom side data.
double[] boxBottom = new ArrayMath(boxTop).shift(1, 0).result();

// The last point (total) is different. Its bottom side is always 0.
boxBottom[boxBottom.Length - 1] = 0;

// Create a XYChart object of size 500 x 280 pixels. Set background color to light blue
// (ccccff), with 1 pixel 3D border effect.
XYChart c = new XYChart(500, 290, 0xccccff, 0x000000, 1);

// Add a title to the chart using 13 points Arial Bold Itatic font, with white (ffffff)
// text on a deep blue (0x80) background
c.addTitle("Product Revenue - Year 2004", "Arial Bold Italic", 13, 0xffffff

// Set the plotarea at (55, 50) and of size 430 x 215 pixels. Use alternative white/grey
// background.
c.setPlotArea(55, 45, 430, 215, 0xffffff, 0xeeeeee);

// Set the labels on the x axis using Arial Bold font
c.xAxis().setLabels(labels).setFontStyle("Arial Bold");

// Set the x-axis ticks and grid lines to be between the bars

// Use Arial Bold as the y axis label font
c.yAxis().setLabelStyle("Arial Bold");

// Add a title to the y axis
c.yAxis().setTitle("USD (in millions)");

// Add the join lines
for (int i = 0; i < boxTop.Length - 1; ++i) {
LineLayer joinLine = c.addLineLayer(new double[] { boxTop[i], boxTop[i] }, c.dashLineColor(0xff6600));
joinLine.setXData(i, i + 1);

// Add a multi-color box-whisker layer to represent the waterfall bars
BoxWhiskerLayer layer = c.addBoxWhiskerLayer2(boxTop, boxBottom);

// Add the labels
for (int i = 0; i < boxTop.Length; ++i)
double datum = boxTop[i] - boxBottom[i];
string label = ((datum >= 0) ? "$" : "-$") + Math.Abs(datum);
int alignment = (datum >= 0) ? Chart.Bottom : Chart.Top;
layer.addCustomDataLabel(0, i, label, "Arial Bold", 8).setAlignment(alignment);

// Output the chart
viewer.Chart = c;

//include tool tip for the chart
viewer.ImageMap = c.getHTMLImageMap("clickable", "",
"title='{xLabel}: {={top}-{bottom}} millions'");

Peter Kwan

  Re: Waterfall chart with connector lines
Posted by Darryl Lyons on Oct-05-2023 07:44
You are a legend. That's exactly what we need. Thanks Peter!

  Re: Waterfall chart with connector lines
Posted by Darryl Lyons on Oct-05-2023 14:26
Hi Peter

Is there anyway that you can add a 1 or 2 pixel gap between the top/bottom of the box and the data label?

Many thanks


  Re: Waterfall chart with connector lines
Posted by Peter Kwan on Oct-06-2023 00:40
Hi Darryl,

One way to increase the gap is to set a bigger textbox margin for the labels. To do this, you may change the following line:

layer.addCustomDataLabel(0, i, label, "Arial Bold", 8).setAlignment(alignment);


ChartDirector.TextBox t = layer.addCustomDataLabel(0, i, label, "Arial Bold", 8);
t.setMargin(3);   // Set the margin to 3 pixels

Best Regards
Peter Kwan

  Re: Waterfall chart with connector lines
Posted by Darryl Lyons on Oct-06-2023 06:47
Hi Peter

That's exactly what we wanted. Again, thanks for your help.