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Make Graphs / Charts in Excel
You know what visuals can easily convey the message that the table of numbers conveys. Charts & Graphs are the heart of any presentation. Nobody wants to read numbers in their presentation rather they convey the numbers through graphs & visuals.
It is very tough to scroll through a huge spreadsheet. Every key member of the company does not have enough time go through your numbers in reports rather they just want to see the numbers and identify the key differences from one to another. Building charts could be quite difficult at the initial stage but will be your best friend you can ever have in your workplace.
In today’s article, we will see how to build graphs in excel. Firstly we will see the types of graphs in excel.
Note: For this article, I am using Excel 2013 version.
If you notice there is something called Recommended Charts, this is available from Excel 2013 & later versions.
This will recommend the chart based on the data you have selected. This will show you all the relevant charts which are suitable for your selected data.
How to Make Charts or Graph in Excel?
Steps in Making Graphs in Excel
- Numerical Data: The very first thing required in your excel is numerical data. Charts or graphs can only be built using numerical data sets.
- Data Headings: This is often called as the data labels. Headings of each column should be understandable & readable.
- Data in Proper Order: it is very important how your data looks in excel. If the information to build a chart is bits & pieces then you might find it very difficult to build a chart. So arrange the data in a proper manner.
Below are some examples of how to make charts in excel.
Make Graphs in Excel – Example #1
Assume you have passed six years sales data and you want to show them in visuals or graphs.
Step 1: Select the data range you are using for a graph.
Step 2: Go to INSERT tab > under Chart section select the COLUMN chart. Under Column chart, you can see many other types but select the first one.
Step 3: As soon as you have selected the chart you will see this chart in your excel.
Step 4: This is not the finished product yet. We need to make some arrangements here. Select the blue colored bars and hit the delete button or right click on bars and select delete.
Step 5: Now we don’t know which bar representing which year. So right click on the chart & select, Select Data.
Step 6: In the below window click on EDIT which is there on the right-hand side.
Step 7: After you click on the EDIT option you will see below a small dialogue box, this will ask you to select the Horizontal Axis labels. So select Year column.
Step 8: Now we have the year name below each bar.
Step 9: Change the heading or title of the chart to as per your requirement by double-clicking on the existing title.
Step 10: Add Data Labels for each bar. Data labels are nothing but each bar’s numbers to convey the message perfectly.
Right click on the column bars and select Data Labels.
Step 11: Change the color of the column bars to different colors. Select the bars and press Ctrl + 1. You will see the format chart dialogue box on the right-hand side.
Step 12: Go to FILL option, Select the option Vary colors by Point.
Now we have neatly arranged chart in front of us.
Make Graphs in Excel – Example #2
We have seen how to create a chart with auto selection of data range. Now I will show you how to build a chart with manual selection of the data.
Step 1: Place the cursor in the empty cell and click on insert chart.
Step 2: After you click on Insert Chart you will see an empty chart.
Step 3: Now right click on the chart and chose Select Data option.
Step 4: In the below window click on Add.
Step 5: In the below window under Series Name select the heading of the data series and under Series Values select data series values.
Step 6: Now the default chart is ready.
Now apply the steps I have shown in the previous example to modify the chart. Refer steps from 5 to 12 to modify the chart.
Things to Remember About How to Make Chart in Excel
- For the same data we can insert all types of charts it is important to identify a suitable chart.
- If the data is smaller it is easy to plot a graph without any hurdles.
- In case of percentage data select PIE chart.
- Try using different charts for the same data to identify the best fit chart for the data set.
This has been a guide to Make Chart in Excel. Here we discuss how to Make Charts or Graphs in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –