You can create small multiples in all sorts of software packages, including Stata (through the twoway scatter or graph combine commands), R (the lattice library), or SAS (the proc greplay procedure). Small multiples can also be created in Excel, though that's actually a little trickier, because you have to resize the charts and line them up manually. An external add-in like some of the ones Jon Peltier discusses on his website can make those tasks slightly easier.
There is another way to create small multiples in Excel without having to create and manage multiple graphics manually. Here, I'll walk you through that process with three-column charts. The method is an example of how to extend Excel's capabilities, especially by using scatterplots.
Click the image below for a step-by-step guide on how to change a standard column chart to one that looks as if you've created separate charts.
In some cases, encoding data to create specialized Excel charts is preferable to creating separate charts and piecing them together manually. Using data to encode labels, extra lines, spaces, or other features can produce more flexible charts that you can modify and update.
Of course, these extensions will only get you so far. Programming languages like SAS, Stata, and R will let you do much more. But the extensions are a good start.
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