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Tips on how to Make a Chart or Graph in Excel (With Video Tutorial)


Constructing charts and graphs are among the finest methods to visualize data in a transparent and understandable approach.

business presentation on how to make a chart or graph in excel tutorial

Nevertheless, it is no shock that some folks get somewhat intimidated by the prospect of poking round in Microsoft Excel.

Download Now: Free Excel Graph Generators

I assumed I would share a useful video tutorial in addition to some step-by-step directions for anybody on the market who cringes on the considered organizing a spreadsheet full of information right into a chart that really, you realize, means one thing.

However earlier than diving in, we should always go over the several types of charts you’ll be able to create within the software program.

What’s a chart or graph in Excel?

An Excel graph or chart is a visible illustration of a Microsoft Excel worksheet’s information. Excel graphs and charts help you see tendencies, make comparisons, pinpoint patterns, and glean insights past uncooked numbers. Excel contains numerous choices for graphs and charts, together with bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts.

Do you must visualize Excel information in a graph or chart? For those who’re working with a big information set, it’s a good suggestion to distill it right into a graph that you could perceive with no need to learn particular person numbers. It’s not essential should you’re working with a small information set that’s straightforward to see and perceive at a single look.

That mentioned, if you must perceive your information past uncooked numbers — reminiscent of make a comparability or see adjustments over time — you must use an Excel chart or graph. Listed here are a number of potential use circumstances:

Evaluating information over time with a line graph
Exhibiting proportions and share ratios with a pie chart
Evaluating values with a column and bar graph



Kinds of Charts in Excel

You can also make extra than simply bar or line charts in Microsoft Excel, and while you perceive the makes use of for every, you’ll be able to draw extra insightful info to your or your group’s initiatives. Listed here are a few of your greatest choices:

1. Space Chart

Excel graphs and charts: area chart

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Space charts in Excel help you see tendencies over time or over one other variable. It’s basically a line graph, however with colored-in sections that emphasize development and provides a way of quantity.

You may as well use stacked space charts. This kind means that you can evaluate a number of classes’ tendencies and adjustments throughout completely different variables.

2. Bar Graph

Excel graphs and charts: bar graph

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An Excel bar graph represents information horizontally, permitting you to check completely different information units and show tendencies over time. You may as well see the proportions between two classes or information parts.

You need to use a bar graph to check the gross sales of various merchandise, as an illustration, over months or quarters. This can help you perceive which merchandise you must push throughout one particular timeframe.


3. Column Chart

Excel graphs and charts: column chart

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Column charts are just like bar graphs, however they differ in a single crucial approach: They’re vertical, not horizontal, and help you rank completely different information parts. As an example, if you wish to rank the gross sales numbers for various states, you’ll be able to visualize them in a column chart and see which states lead and which lag behind.

Like a bar graph, you should utilize a column chart to check information, show tendencies, and see proportions.

4. Line Graph

Excel graphs and charts: line graph

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A line graph is a wonderful technique to see tendencies over time at a single look with out the frills of bars, columns, or further shading. You may as well evaluate a number of information sequence — as an illustration, the variety of natural visits from Google versus Bing over a 12-month interval.

You may as well see the speed or pace at which the information set adjustments; a steep incline means you had a sudden spike in natural site visitors, per our earlier instance, whereas a extra gradual decline implies that your site visitors is slowly reducing. Line graphs additionally help you pinpoint seasonal tendencies, reminiscent of spikes or drops attributable to holidays or climate.

5. Pie Chart

Excel graphs and charts: pie chart

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A pie chart is a useful approach of seeing how completely different information parts proportionally evaluate to 1 one other. If you wish to perceive what share of your natural site visitors is from Google versus Bing, or how a lot market share you could have in comparison with opponents, then a pie chart is a wonderful technique to visualize that info.

It’s additionally a superb technique to see your progress towards a selected aim. As an example, in case your aim is to promote a product every single day for 30 days in a row, then you definitely may create a pie chart that visualizes the variety of days you’ve bought over the entire of 30.

6. Radar Chart

Excel graphs and charts: radar chart

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A radar chart may look acquainted to you should you’ve ever taken a persona check, nevertheless it’s additionally helpful exterior of that area. Radar charts show information in a closed multi-pointed form, normally with a number of variables and information parts, whereas the dimensions of the form represents the entire “worth” of all of the accounted variables.

Any such chart is great for evaluating completely different information parts, reminiscent of attributes, entities, folks, strengths, or weaknesses. It additionally helps you see the distribution of your information and perceive if it is overly skewed to 1 aspect.

7. Scatter Plot

Excel graphs and charts: scatter plot

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Scatter plots look just like line graphs, besides that it has one crucial distinction: It evaluates the connection between two variables, proven respectively on the X- and Y-axes. You’ll be able to due to this fact establish correlations and patterns. As an example, you may evaluate natural site visitors with the variety of leads and signal ups.

For those who see an upward development, then you definitely’ll know that your efforts to extend natural site visitors are efficient. You’ll be able to take it a step additional after which evaluate the variety of leads and signups with each day gross sales or conversions.

Different sorts of Excel charts embody inventory charts, which let you see adjustments in inventory costs, and floor charts, which let you see information in a three-dimensional format.

Undecided which to make use of? We evaluate all of them under.

Kind of Chart



Space charts display the magnitude of a development between two or extra values over a given interval.


Bar charts evaluate the frequency of values throughout completely different ranges or variables.


Column charts show information adjustments or a time period.


Just like bar charts, they illustrate tendencies over time.


Pie charts present values as percentages of a complete.


Radar charts evaluate the combination of a number of information sequence.


Scatter charts present the optimistic or destructive relationship between two variables.


Inventory charts are used to report the fluctuation of inventory costs over given intervals.


Floor charts plot units of values within the type of a three-dimensional floor.

The steps to construct a chart or graph in Excel are comparatively easy. I encourage you to observe the written directions under (or obtain them as PDFs). A lot of the buttons and capabilities you will see and browse are very comparable throughout all variations of Excel.

Download Demo Data | Download Instructions (Mac) | Download Instructions (PC)

Tips on how to Make a Graph in Excel

Enter your information into Excel.
Select considered one of 9 graph and chart choices to make.
Spotlight your information and click on ‘Insert’ your required graph.
Swap the information on every axis, if essential.
Modify your information’s structure and colours.
Change the dimensions of your chart’s legend and axis labels.
Change the Y-axis measurement choices, if desired.
Reorder your information, if desired.
Title your graph.
Export your graph or chart.

Featured Resource: Free Excel Graph Templates


Why begin from scratch? Use these free Excel Graph Generators. simply enter your information and modify as wanted for an attractive information visualization. 

1. Enter your information into Excel.

First, you must enter your information into Excel. You may need exported the information from elsewhere, like a chunk of marketing software or a survey device. Or perhaps you are inputting it manually.

Within the instance under, in Column A, I’ve a listing of responses to the query, “Did inbound advertising and marketing display ROI?”, and in Columns B, C, and D, I’ve the responses to the query, “Does your organization have a proper sales-marketing settlement?” For instance, Column C, Row 2 illustrates that 49% of individuals with a service degree settlement (SLA) additionally say that inbound advertising and marketing demonstrated ROI.

How to enter data into an excel spreadsheet

2. Select from the graph and chart choices.

In Excel, your choices for charts and graphs embody column (or bar) graphs, line graphs, pie graphs, scatter plots, and extra. See how Excel identifies every one within the high navigation bar, as depicted under:

The types of graphs and charts in excel

To search out the chart and graph choices, choose Insert.

(For assist determining which sort of chart/graph is greatest for visualizing your information, try our free e-book, How to Use Data Visualization to Win Over Your Audience.)

3. Spotlight your information and insert your required graph into the spreadsheet.

On this instance, a bar graph presents the information visually. To make a bar graph, spotlight the information and embody the titles of the X and Y-axis. Then, go to the Insert tab and click on the column icon within the charts part. Select the graph you would like from the dropdown window that seems.

How to highlight your data and insert your desired graph into the spreadsheet

I picked the primary two dimensional column possibility as a result of I want the flat bar graphic over the three dimensional look. See the ensuing bar graph under.

A 2-dimensional chart of data in an excel spreadsheet

4. Swap the information on every axis, if essential.

If you wish to swap what seems on the X and Y axis, right-click on the bar graph, click on Choose Knowledge, and click on Swap Row/Column. This can rearrange which axes carry which items of information within the checklist proven under. When completed, click on OK on the backside.

how to make an excel graph steps: switch the data if necessary

The ensuing graph would seem like this:

A chart with swapped data on the x and y-axis

5. Modify your information’s structure and colours.

To alter the labeling structure and legend, click on on the bar graph, then click on the Chart Design tab. Right here, you’ll be able to select which structure you favor for the chart title, axis titles, and legend. In my instance under, I clicked on the choice that displayed softer bar colours and legends under the chart.

how to make an excel graph steps: adjust your data's layout and colors

To additional format the legend, click on on it to disclose the Format Legend Entry sidebar, as proven under. Right here, you’ll be able to change the fill coloration of the legend, which can change the colour of the columns themselves. To format different elements of your chart, click on on them individually to disclose a corresponding Format window.

How to use the format legend entry tool to format the legend of an excel chart or graph

6. Change the dimensions of your chart’s legend and axis labels.

Once you first make a graph in Excel, the dimensions of your axis and legend labels is perhaps small, relying on the graph or chart you select (bar, pie, line, and so forth.) As soon as you have created your chart, you will need to beef up these labels in order that they’re legible.

To extend the dimensions of your graph’s labels, click on on them individually and, as an alternative of showing a brand new Format window, click on again into the Dwelling tab within the high navigation bar of Excel. Then, use the font sort and dimension dropdown fields to develop or shrink your chart’s legend and axis labels to your liking.

how to make an excel graph steps: change the size of your chart's legend

7. Change the Y-axis measurement choices if desired.

To alter the kind of measurement proven on the Y axis, click on on the Y-axis percentages in your chart to disclose the Format Axis window. Right here, you’ll be able to determine if you wish to show items positioned on the Axis Choices tab, or if you wish to change whether or not the Y-axis reveals percentages to 2 decimal locations or no decimal locations.

how to make an excel graph steps: change the y axis measurement options

As a result of my graph robotically units the Y axis’s most share to 60%, you may need to change it manually to 100% to symbolize my information on a common scale. To take action, you’ll be able to choose the Most possibility — two fields down underneath Bounds within the Format Axis window — and alter the worth from 0.6 to 1.

The ensuing graph will seem like the one under (On this instance, the font dimension of the Y-axis has been elevated by way of the Dwelling tab with the intention to see the distinction):

How to change the Y-axis measurements in an excel spreadsheet in the minor field

8. Reorder your information, if desired.

To kind the information so the respondents’ solutions seem in reverse order, right-click in your graph and click on Choose Knowledge to disclose the identical choices window you known as up in Step 3 above. This time, arrow up and all the way down to reverse the order of your information on the chart.

how to make an excel graph steps: reorder your data

If in case you have greater than two strains of information to regulate, you too can rearrange them in ascending or descending order. To do that, spotlight your whole information within the cells above your chart, click on Knowledge and choose Type, as proven under. Relying in your desire, you’ll be able to select to kind primarily based on smallest to largest, or vice versa.

How to reorder data from smallest to largest for a chart or graph in an excel spreadsheet

The ensuing graph would seem like this:

how to make an excel graph steps: reordered data

9. Title your graph.

Now comes the enjoyable and simple half: naming your graph. By now, you may need already found out how to do that. This is a easy clarifier.

Proper after making your chart, the title that seems will probably be “Chart Title,” or one thing comparable relying on the model of Excel you are utilizing. To alter this label, click on on “Chart Title” to disclose a typing cursor. You’ll be able to then freely customise your chart’s title.

When you could have a title you want, click on Dwelling on the highest navigation bar, and use the font formatting choices to offer your title the emphasis it deserves. See these choices and my closing graph under:

how to make an excel graph steps: title your graph or chart

10. Export your graph or chart.

As soon as your chart or graph is precisely the way in which you need it, it can save you it as a picture with out screenshotting it within the spreadsheet. This technique will provide you with a clear picture of your chart that may be inserted right into a PowerPoint presentation, Canva doc, or another visible template.

To save lots of your Excel graph as a photograph, right-click on the graph and choose Save as Image.

how to make an excel graph steps: export your graph or chart

Within the dialogue field, identify the picture of your graph, select the place to reserve it in your laptop, and select the file sort you’d like to reserve it as. On this instance, it’s saved as a JPEG to a desktop folder. Lastly, click on Save.

How to name a graph or chart in excel using the dialogue box

You’ll have a transparent picture of your graph or chart that you could add to any visible design.

how to make an excel graph steps: add any additional visual design enhancements to finish

Visualize Knowledge Like A Professional

That was fairly straightforward, proper? With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be capable to rapidly create charts and graphs that visualize probably the most difficult information. Attempt utilizing this similar tutorial with completely different graph sorts like a pie chart or line graph to see what format tells the story of your information greatest.

Editor’s notice: This put up was initially revealed in June 2018 and has been up to date for comprehensiveness.

excel graph templates



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