Contour Plots in Excel

What are Contour Plots / Surface Charts in Excel

The contour chart is part of the contour plot in excel that is used to display the set of three-dimensional data in the form of a Mesh surface. This chart can be used to find the optimum combination of two sets of data points. These charts can be constructed by using three kinds of variables i.e., “X, Y, and Z.” Out of these three variables, two are being independent, which are plotted on the horizontal axis, and the remaining variable is independent, which occupies the vertical axis. So this chart shows the relationship between data points.

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How to Create a Contour Plot / Surface Charts in Excel? (Step by Step)

Below are the examples to be considered.

You can download this Contour Plots Excel Template here – Contour Plots Excel Template

To create any chart, we need some kind of data. For this Contour plot example, I have created the below sample data.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1

Using this data, we will show you how to build a contour plot with excel. Follow the below steps to create a surface chart in excelCreate A Surface Chart In ExcelSurface Chart is a three-dimensional excel chart that plots the data points in three dimensions. You can see the mesh kind of surface which helps us to find the optimum combination between two kinds of data points.read more.

Step 1: Select the data in the excel worksheet.

Surface chart Example 1.1

Step 3: Go to Insert >>> Charts >>> Stock, Surface or Radar ChartRadar ChartIn Excel, a radar chart or spider chart displays data in two dimensions for two or more data series. The axes on the radar chart all start at the same point. As a result, it makes it easier to compare more than one or two variables.read more.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.2

Step 4: Once you click on Stock, Surface, or Radar Chart, we can see below the preview. Select the first chart under the surface chart.

Surface chart Example 1.4.1

Step 5: Now, we will have the below chart.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.5.0

Step 6: Now, we need to customize this chart. To customize the chart, we need to go to the Format Chart Area. This dialogue box will open if we press Ctrl + 1 by selecting the chart.

Once we press Ctrl + 1, we can see the format window opens up to the right end of the chart.

Surface chart Example 1.6.0

Not only through this, but we can also make quick customize by pressing the PLUS button, which appears on the selection of the chart.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.7.0

Step 7: One of the important formats we can do is to change the color of the chart. To change the color of the chart, we need to go to Design >>> Change Colors.

Surface chart Example 1.8

Step 8: Click on the drop-down list of change color to see all the available colors to this chart.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.9

Now we can see the different colors on the surface of the chart.

Surface chart Example 1.10

Based on the length of our numbers size, we can eliminate legends.

Step 9: Now, we can change the style of the chart. To change the style of the chart, go to Design and under Chart Styles, select the style you want to apply.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.11

I have selected  “Style 4,” and my chart looks like this.

Surface chart Example 1.12

Contour is Part of Surface Chart

The contour chart has always been part of the Surface chart only. We can also change the existing chart from 3D Surface Chart to Contour Chart.

To change the chart type, select the chart and go to Design >>> Change Chart type.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.13

Under this option, we can see many charts. Place a cursor on the third chart under “Surface”; that is what the contour chart is.

Surface chart Example 1.14

Apply this chart and click on OK; we will have the below chart.

Contour Plots in Excel Example 1.15

So, this is the basics of creating a contour plot with excel. Based on the different formatting and chart types, we can modify the chart.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Contour Plots in Excel. Here we discuss how to create a Contour plot/surface chart in excel with example and downloadable excel template. You can learn more about excel functions from the following articles –

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