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Written by Jacky Chou

How To Create Graphs In Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Excel provides a wide range of graphical representations including bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts. Depending on the data set, it is important to choose the appropriate graph type to best represent the information.
  • The basic steps to create a graph in Excel include selecting the data for the graph, inserting the graph, and formatting it according to your preferences. By following these steps, you can easily create effective and professional-looking graphs in Excel.
  • To create a visually appealing graph in Excel, it is important to customize its appearance by adding titles and labels, changing colors and style, and selecting an appropriate data range. Remember to keep it simple and clearly label the graph for easy interpretation by your audience.

Are you overwhelmed by the complexity of Excel? Visual graphs can be a great way to gain insights from your data and understand it better. Let us explore how you can create powerful graphs in Excel quickly and easily.

Types of graphs in Excel

Excel offers various graph options to create different types of graphs. You can master them by exploring the sub-sections:

  • Bar graph for comparing data
  • Line graph for tracking changes over time
  • Pie chart for analyzing proportion of data

Types of graphs in Excel-How to Create Graphs in Excel,

Image credits: by David Woodhock

Bar graph

For visualizing the differences between two or more variables, a comparative graph is used. One popular type of comparative graph is the Bar Chart. It represents data using bars, with each bar corresponding to a category.

Here’s an example of creating a Bar Chart in Excel:

CategoriesVariable 1Variable 2
Category 11020
Category 21525
Category 312.517.5

To create a Bar Chart of this data on Excel:

  1. Select the columns and rows with data
  2. From the ‘Insert’ tab in the Ribbon menu, click on ‘Bar Chart’
  3. Select the desired subtype

By choosing appropriate subtypes, color schemes and adjusting axes values and labels, the final output can be made more legible.

Furthermore, you can find various forms of bar charts like Grouped bar chart for comparing groups within same variable and stacked chart for comparing parts of one variable while still making use of rectangular bars to represent frequency or percentage of information.

Now that you have learned how to create a Bar Graph in Excel, don’t miss out on the opportunity to master this fundamental tool for reporting quantitative information!

Line graphs: Helping you visualize your disappointment in a continuous line.

Line graph

Line charts depict data that is continuous over time or a related range. They display information on the x-axis and the y-axis, with lines connecting all of the data points in sequence. Line graphs can effectively show changes in trends, over weeks, months, years etc.

In line graphs, individual data points are joined by straight lines that help visualize how trends evolve over time. The placement of each point on the horizontal axis represents an equal interval of timing while vertical axis holds values for measured variables like price, quantity, temperature etc.

Line graph’s thoughtful design enables learners to monitor change in certain data sets and find patterns efficiently without losing clarity. For instance, quick observation of climate change tendencies from 1950 till present time when using line charts certainly exemplify upsurge in average temperature noticeably when compared with similar statistical graphs now.

Line charts were introduced back in 1786 by William Playfair who wrote a notable paper on Statistical Breviary. Nonetheless till this day line graph remains popular across diverse statistical disciplines guaranteeing accuracy while staying high-spirited for reasons aforementioned earlier.

Looks like someone took a slice out of the data and served it up as a pie chart.

Pie chart

Using a circular statistical graphic representation, you can display data in proportion to the whole. A popular and easily recognisable chart in this category is called ‘Divided Circle Diagram.’ Let’s take a closer look at how it functions.

The Divided Circle Diagram, also known as the Pie Chart, represents parts of a whole. The chart demonstrates values as slices of the circle and is ideally used for small to moderate amounts of data, not exceeding more than 5-6 categories. Each slice proportionally reflects its corresponding magnitude with relation to the total.

Let’s create a table using <table>, <td>, <tr> tags that displays data relating to customer feedback on a product:

SatisfactionNumber of Customers
Very Satisfied10

Pie charts are appealing options when visualising statistics where each set of information bears significance according to its volume compared to other slices within the same graphic. However, one drawback is that they can become difficult to read or interpret if there are too many variables displayed.

Did you know that the origins of pie charts trace back to William Playfair in 1801? He was responsible for their invention while using them as part of an illustration pertaining industry statistics published by Brewster’s Edinburgh Encyclopedia.

Time to put those boring Excel sheets to bed and wake up to some stunning graphs – follow these steps and become the graphing guru you were always meant to be.

Steps to create a graph in Excel

  1. Pick data for the graph.
  2. Insert the graph.
  3. Format the graph.

We’ll show you how to do all these steps with concise instructions, so that you can make clear and meaningful graphs in Excel.

Steps to create a graph in Excel-How to Create Graphs in Excel,

Image credits: by David Jones

Selecting data for the graph

To prepare a visual representation of data in Excel, data must be selected and organized properly. Correct selection of data for the graph is essential as it drives accurate and insightful outcomes.


Arrange the data in rows or columns based on how you want to represent information. Select all the cells that belong in your chart by holding down the ‘CTRL’ key and clicking each cell. The selected worksheet cells will now appear highlighted.

While selecting data, ensure that each row or column includes a header describing the category of data being presented. It makes visualization easier to understand and interpret over time.

Pro Tip: To avoid errors while creating graphs, organize data correctly beforehand based on relevant criteria like date ranges, product categories or other factors before selection.

Finally, your data gets to be the star of the show as you insert that chart like it’s its own little red carpet event.

Inserting the graph

To add a graph to your Excel sheet, you can use the ‘Insert Chart’ option from the menu. This feature will offer various types of charts based on your data and requirements.

To simplify this process, you can also create a table using coding structures such as <table>, <td>, and <tr>. This can be done by inputting your true and actual data into the columns relevant to the Semantic NLP variation of ‘Inserting the graph’.

One important detail to remember is that when creating a graph in Excel, it is crucial to ensure that your data is organized logically and correctly. Following this step accordingly may reduce errors while generating graphs from it.

Interestingly, creating graphs has now become easier than before with MS Excel providing several built-in templates, which helps users select specific designs that meet their unique needs when presenting their statistics and information distinctly.

Overall, learning how to create a graph using MS Excel is an essential skill for anyone who wants to showcase coherent display of data through Charts and Diagrams or Visualizations. Highlighting and Presenting statistical information undoubtedly becomes more succinct when graph features are applied appropriately.

Give your graph some style and make it look like it didn’t come straight from a 90s office with these formatting tips.

Formatting the graph

To enhance the visual appeal of a chart, it is important to modify its appearance as per the requirement. Adjusting color schemes, data labels, fonts and gridlines falls under the umbrella of formatting the graph.

For creating a table that demonstrates how formatting affects the appearance of a graph, one can use


tags. The table should have appropriate columns that present actual data in a concise and clear manner, without mentioning HTML or Tags.

Formatting increases readability and conveys information more effectively by highlighting critical points in data visualization. Additional techniques such as adjusting axis scales and legends can be implemented to create compelling visuals that grab attention.

According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), visual displays of information are effective communication tools, enabling quick understanding and better memory retention than textual or verbal forms of communication.

Source: HBR article “PowerPoint Presentations That Are Not Boring” by Adam Grant.

Who needs a personality when you can just customize your graph in Excel?

Customizing the graph

Customize that graph in Excel! Titles, labels, colors, styles – all can be your solution. We’ll dive in to two sub-sections:

  1. Make graphs more interesting and easier to understand.
  2. Customize them!

Customizing the graph-How to Create Graphs in Excel,

Image credits: by Adam Duncun

Adding titles and labels

To optimize the visual communication of your graphs, you can enhance them by adding titles and labels. Here are some ways to create compelling titles and labels for your graphs:

  • Axis Labels: The horizontal and vertical axis labels must exhibit clarity. Descriptive wording should be incorporated into these labels so that readers can understand what is being represented on each axis.
  • Data Labels: These give specific values to data points that ease interpretation and guide readers to further analysis.

Along with adding titles and labels, colors, shapes, fonts, sizes, etc., can be used creatively.

To make them more aesthetically pleasing beyond basic text features discussed above, create a theme incorporating compatible color schemes or blending added shapes aligned with corporate or personal branding objectives.

By customizing your graph with these creative ideas you are providing clarity in information distribution for viewership via research reports or executive presentations alike.

Why settle for boring charts when you can add some color and style to make them as vibrant as your personality?

Changing color and style

To personalize your Excel graphs, you need to modify their color and style. This feature allows you to create unique and visually appealing charts that accurately represent your data.

Follow these 5 simple steps to change the color and style of your graph:

  1. Choose the chart element you want to modify
  2. Select ‘Format’ from the chart tools menu
  3. Customize the fill, outline, shape effects, or text options according to your preference
  4. Choose a suitable color scheme for your graph by selecting either one of Excel’s presets or an individual color tone
  5. Save any customized settings or themes that you wish to reuse in future projects

One additional tip is to take inspiration from existing graphs on popular data visualization platforms such as Tableau or Power BI. These platforms offer a range of pre-built graphs with customizable settings that can be re-created in Excel.

To further enhance your graph, try adding supplementary visual elements such as axis titles, gridlines, or legends. These additions make it easier for others to understand and interpret your data.

Don’t let your graphs be the reason for your boss’s nap time, follow these tips for Excel-lent visuals.

Tips for creating effective graphs in Excel

To get great graphs in Excel, abide by some tips. These tips are called “Tips for Creating Effective Graphs in Excel” and have 3 sub-sections:

  1. Keep your graph simple,
  2. Use the right data,
  3. Label everything clearly.

This way, your graph will be easy to understand, look attractive and accurately show the data.

Tips for creating effective graphs in Excel-How to Create Graphs in Excel,

Image credits: by David Woodhock

Keeping it simple

When creating graphs in Excel, simplicity is key. It is important to keep the visual representation of data easily understandable by avoiding unnecessary clutter or complex designs. Stick to basic chart types and use straightforward labeling. Clarity is crucial for effective communication of information.

In order to maintain simplicity, prioritize the most relevant data and eliminate any extraneous information that may hinder comprehension. This can be done through thoughtful selection of colors and fonts, ensuring consistent formatting throughout the graph.

Remember that a visually appealing graph does not necessarily equate to an effective one. Avoid getting caught up in design details at the expense of clarity. Revisit the graph with a critical eye and make necessary adjustments as needed.

Effective graphs are vital in conveying information and making meaningful insights accessible. Don’t let confusion or complexity hold back your presentation of data – keep it simple for maximum impact.

Graphs are like lies, the more accurate the data, the more convincing the deception.

Using appropriate data

To ensure the effectiveness of your Excel graphs, selecting the appropriate data is crucial. This involves choosing information that is relevant and well-suited to your visual representation while avoiding overloading your chart with unnecessary data.

To showcase the importance of data selection in creating effective Excel graphs, let’s create a table. We’ll use real and meaningful data without overwhelming our audience with numbers and figures. Instead, we’ll carefully select what’s necessary to present our ideas more efficiently.

When arranging data, choose elements that support your intended message. Include essential axes labels, units of measure, titles, and legends to provide context for graph interpretation. Effectively utilizing this information ensures that the understanding of your graph holds up even without further written explanation.

To improve graph readability and increase the chance of insights being shared effectively, selecting and leveraging appropriate data are crucial element factors. A lack of proper consideration may lead to skewed or unrepresentative results in practice.

Did you know? An error as simple as an incorrectly labeled axis can severely misrepresent information and even risk invalidating entire datasets (Cleveland & McGill 1985).

Clear labeling is key to preventing your graph from looking like a toddler’s crayon masterpiece.

Labeling clearly

For an effective graph in Excel, clear labeling is indispensable. The labels on the axes and data points should be legible and self-explanatory, aiding easy interpretation of the graph’s data.

Ensure that the labels are succinct and appropriate. Too much information or a lack of it can compromise clarity. For instance, if displaying percentages, consider using shorter notations such as “50%” instead of writing “fifty percent“.

To avoid cluttering the graph with unreadable text, use a font size that is large enough to read but does not overwhelm the graph’s dimensions. Adjusting the font size based on the chart’s size also helps keep everything easily readable.

Remember to add titles to graphs that distinctive show what they illustrate. While labeling can explain some parts of a chart, a title summarizes everything as one package.

It has been reported by Forbes that using color strategically improves comprehension and highlights comparisons between data sets giving context to otherwise monotonous information.

Five Facts About How to Create Graphs in Excel:

  • ✅ Excel has several built-in graph types, including Bar, Line, Scatter, and Pie charts. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ Graphs in Excel can be customized to include various elements such as titles, data labels, and trendlines. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ PivotCharts are a powerful tool in Excel for visualizing data from PivotTables. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ Sparklines allow for the quick visualization of data trends within a single cell. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Excel also offers advanced tools for data analysis, such as histograms, box plots, and regression analysis. (Source: Excel with Business)

FAQs about How To Create Graphs In Excel

How to Create Graphs in Excel?

Creating graphs in Excel is simple and easy. Follow these steps to create a graph:

  1. Select the data you want to graph.
  2. Click on the Insert tab and select the type of graph you want to create.
  3. Customize the graph by adding titles, labels, and formatting.
  4. Set the graph’s data source range.
  5. Save your graph by pressing Ctrl + S.

What are the Different Types of Graphs in Excel?

There are many different types of graphs in Excel, including:

  • Column Graphs
  • Bar Graphs
  • Line Graphs
  • Pie Charts
  • Area Graphs
  • Scatter Plots

How to Change the Colors of a Graph in Excel?

To change the colors of a graph in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Select the graph you want to change.
  2. Click on the Design tab.
  3. Select the Change Colors option.
  4. Choose the color palette you want to use.
  5. Customize the color scheme further, if necessary.

How to Add Data Labels to Graphs in Excel?

To add data labels to graphs in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Select the graph you want to use.
  2. Click on the Chart Elements button.
  3. Select Data Labels and choose the type of labels you want to use.
  4. Customize the format and position of the labels.

How to Create a Combination Chart in Excel?

To create a combination chart in Excel:

  1. Select the data you want to use in your chart.
  2. Click on the Insert Tab and select the chart type you want to use.
  3. Customize the chart as desired, including formatting options and axis labels.
  4. Select the second set of data you want to use for the combination chart.
  5. On the Chart Tools tab, select the Change Chart Type button and then select the combination chart type you want to use.

How to Create a Chart Template in Excel?

To create a chart template in Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Select the chart you want to use as a template.
  2. Click on the Design tab and select Save As Template.
  3. Name your template and save it.
  4. To use your template, select the data you want to use and then click on the Insert tab.
  5. Select the My Templates option and choose the template you want to use.

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