Sparklines with FMP11 Charts – Updated

Reposted with updated file — Sparklines demo is more interactive, with informative dynamic tooltips.

Download link for the demo file:

Sparklines are “data-intense, design-simple, word-sized graphics,” as their inventor Edward Tufte describes them in his book Beautiful Evidence. Due to their form and format, sparklines are most appropriate on lists and subsummary reports, and are well suited to a section of a dashboard or performance scorecard.

Sparklines arose out of Tufte’s insistence to “show the data.” He systematically removed everything non-essential to a chart’s purpose, and sparklines is what was left.

Unsurprisingly, this is the same process to make sparklines with a FileMaker Pro chart object. Create a chart, then turn off and minimize everything possible. We would suppress grid lines, too, if that option were available.


Have any other chart ideas for this demo file? Let me know!


  1. Hi there! Excellent charts, thank you for sharing them with the rest of us.

    Any chance of updating your teaser file to 12 so that I can get Mr Tufte’s Sparklines to work properly?

    Thanks in advance, and greetings from a rainy London, England.


  2. Thanks for the comment! Sadly, changes in FileMaker Pro’s chart object make sparklines impossible, now. Before, we were able to minimize chart titles and “stack” graphs or even put them in-line. For reasons I still don’t comprehend, the FMP12 chart object forces you to have vertical space for a title that cannot be used otherwise.

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