Constructing charts and graphs are among the best 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 believed I might 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 knowledge right into a chart that truly, you already know, means one thing.

However earlier than diving in, we should always go over the various kinds of charts you possibly can create within the software program.

Do you want to visualise Excel information in a graph or chart? In the event you’re working with a big information set, it’s a good suggestion to distill it right into a graph you can perceive without having to learn particular person numbers. It’s not vital for those who’re working with a small information set that’s straightforward to see and perceive at a single look.

That stated, if you have to perceive your information past uncooked numbers — corresponding to make a comparability or see adjustments over time — it is best to use an Excel chart or graph. Listed below are just a few potential use circumstances:

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



Sorts of Charts in Excel

You may make extra than simply bar or line charts in Microsoft Excel, and while you perceive the makes use of for every, you possibly can draw extra insightful data to your or your staff’s initiatives. Listed below are a few of your finest choices:

1. Space Chart

Excel graphs and charts: area chart

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

It’s also possible to use stacked space charts. This kind permits you to evaluate a number of classes’ traits and adjustments throughout totally 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 totally different information units and show traits over time. It’s also possible to see the proportions between two classes or information components.

You should utilize a bar graph to check the gross sales of various merchandise, as an example, over months or quarters. This can help you perceive which merchandise it is best to push throughout one particular time-frame.


3. Column Chart

Excel graphs and charts: column chart

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Column charts are much like bar graphs, however they differ in a single important approach: They’re vertical, not horizontal, and help you rank totally different information components. As an example, if you wish to rank the gross sales numbers for various states, you possibly can visualize them in a column chart and see which states lead and which lag behind.

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

4. Line Graph

Excel graphs and charts: line graph

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A line graph is a superb technique to see traits over time at a single look with out the frills of bars, columns, or additional shading. It’s also possible to evaluate a number of information collection — as an example, the variety of natural visits from Google versus Bing over a 12-month interval.

It’s also possible to see the speed or velocity 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 signifies that your site visitors is slowly lowering. Line graphs additionally help you pinpoint seasonal traits, corresponding to spikes or drops on account of 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 totally different information components proportionally evaluate to at least one 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’ve in comparison with opponents, then a pie chart is a superb technique to visualize that data.

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

6. Radar Chart

Excel graphs and charts: radar chart

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A radar chart may look acquainted to you for those who’ve ever taken a character check, however it’s additionally helpful outdoors of that enviornment. Radar charts show information in a closed multi-pointed form, normally with a number of variables and information components, whereas the scale of the form represents the overall “worth” of all of the accounted variables.

This sort of chart is superb for evaluating totally different information components, corresponding to attributes, entities, folks, strengths, or weaknesses. It additionally helps you see the distribution of your information and perceive if it is overly skewed to at least one facet.

7. Scatter Plot

Excel graphs and charts: scatter plot

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Scatter plots look much like line graphs, besides that it has one important distinction: It evaluates the connection between two variables, proven respectively on the X- and Y-axes. You may subsequently establish correlations and patterns. As an example, you may evaluate natural site visitors with the variety of leads and signal ups.

In the event you see an upward development, then you definately’ll know that your efforts to extend natural site visitors are efficient. You may take it a step additional after which evaluate the variety of leads and signups with every 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 beneath.

Sort 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 totally different ranges or variables.


Column charts show information adjustments or a time period.


Just like bar charts, they illustrate traits over time.


Pie charts present values as percentages of a complete.


Radar charts evaluate the mixture of a number of information collection.


Scatter charts present the constructive or detrimental relationship between two variables.


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


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 beneath (or obtain them as PDFs). A lot of the buttons and capabilities you may see and skim are very related throughout all variations of Excel.

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

Featured Resource: Free Excel Graph Templates


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

1. Enter your information into Excel.

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

Within the instance beneath, in Column A, I’ve an inventory 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 level agreement (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 beneath:

The types of graphs and charts in excel

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

(For assist determining which kind of chart/graph is finest 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 beneath.

A 2-dimensional chart of data in an excel spreadsheet

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

If you wish to change 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 knowledge within the record proven beneath. 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. Alter your information’s format and colours.

To alter the labeling format and legend, click on on the bar graph, then click on the Chart Design tab. Right here, you possibly can select which format you favor for the chart title, axis titles, and legend. In my instance beneath, I clicked on the choice that displayed softer bar colours and legends beneath 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 beneath. Right here, you possibly can change the fill colour of the legend, which can change the colour of the columns themselves. To format different components 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 scale of your chart’s legend and axis labels.

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

To extend the scale of your graph’s labels, click on on them individually and, as a substitute of unveiling a brand new Format window, click on again into the House tab within the high navigation bar of Excel. Then, use the font kind and measurement 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 possibly can resolve if you wish to show models positioned on the Axis Choices tab, or if you wish to change whether or not the Y-axis exhibits 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 mechanically units the Y axis’s most share to 60%, you may wish to change it manually to 100% to characterize my information on a common scale. To take action, you possibly can choose the Most possibility — two fields down beneath Bounds within the Format Axis window — and alter the worth from 0.6 to at least one.

The ensuing graph will seem like the one beneath (On this instance, the font measurement of the Y-axis has been elevated by way of the House tab so 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 right down to reverse the order of your information on the chart.

how to make an excel graph steps: reorder your data

You probably have greater than two traces of knowledge to regulate, you can too rearrange them in ascending or descending order. To do that, spotlight all your information within the cells above your chart, click on Knowledge and choose Kind, as proven beneath. Relying in your choice, you possibly can 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 discovered how to do that. Here is a easy clarifier.

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

When you’ve a title you want, click on House on the highest navigation bar, and use the font formatting choices to provide your title the emphasis it deserves. See these choices and my ultimate graph beneath:

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 strictly the best way you need it, it can save you it as a picture with out screenshotting it within the spreadsheet. This technique offers you a clear picture of your chart that may be inserted right into a PowerPoint presentation, Canva doc, or another visible template.

To avoid wasting 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 photograph of your graph, select the place to reserve it in your laptop, and select the file kind 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 photograph of your graph or chart you can 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 identical tutorial with totally different graph sorts like a pie chart or line graph to see what format tells the story of your information finest.

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

excel graph templates



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