Constructing charts and graphs are top-of-the-line methods to visualize data in a transparent and understandable means.

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

Nevertheless, it is no shock that some individuals get slightly 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 must always go over the various kinds of charts you possibly can create within the software program.

Do you want to visualise Excel knowledge in a graph or chart? For those who’re working with a big knowledge set, it’s a good suggestion to distill it right into a graph you could perceive without having to learn particular person numbers. It’s not obligatory in case you’re working with a small knowledge set that’s simple to see and perceive at a single look.

That stated, if it’s essential to perceive your knowledge past uncooked numbers — similar to make a comparability or see modifications over time — you need to use an Excel chart or graph. Listed here are just a few potential use instances:

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



Varieties of Charts in Excel

You may make extra than simply bar or line charts in Microsoft Excel, and if you perceive the makes use of for every, you possibly can draw extra insightful data to your or your staff’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 mean you can see tendencies 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.

You too can use stacked space charts. This sort lets you evaluate a number of classes’ tendencies and modifications throughout completely different variables.

2. Bar Graph

Excel graphs and charts: bar graph

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An Excel bar graph represents knowledge horizontally, permitting you to check completely different knowledge units and show tendencies over time. You too can see the proportions between two classes or knowledge components.

You need to use a bar graph to check the gross sales of various merchandise, for example, over months or quarters. This can mean you can perceive which merchandise you need to 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 important means: They’re vertical, not horizontal, and mean you can rank completely different knowledge components. For 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 need to use a column chart to check knowledge, show tendencies, and see proportions.

4. Line Graph

Excel graphs and charts: line graph

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A line graph is a wonderful solution to see tendencies over time at a single look with out the frills of bars, columns, or further shading. You too can evaluate a number of knowledge collection — for example, the variety of natural visits from Google versus Bing over a 12-month interval.

You too can see the speed or pace at which the information set modifications; 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 mean you can pinpoint seasonal tendencies, similar to spikes or drops as a result of holidays or climate.

5. Pie Chart

Excel graphs and charts: pie chart

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A pie chart is a useful means of seeing how completely different knowledge components proportionally evaluate to at least one one other. If you wish to perceive what proportion of your natural site visitors is from Google versus Bing, or how a lot market share you have got in comparison with opponents, then a pie chart is a wonderful solution to visualize that data.

It’s additionally a wonderful solution to see your progress towards a selected objective. For example, in case your objective is to promote a product every single day for 30 days in a row, then you definately would possibly create a pie chart that visualizes the variety of days you’ve offered over the full of 30.

6. Radar Chart

Excel graphs and charts: radar chart

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A radar chart would possibly look acquainted to you in case you’ve ever taken a persona check, but it surely’s additionally helpful exterior of that enviornment. Radar charts show knowledge in a closed multi-pointed form, often with a number of variables and knowledge components, whereas the scale of the form represents the full “worth” of all of the accounted variables.

Any such chart is superb for evaluating completely different knowledge components, similar to attributes, entities, individuals, strengths, or weaknesses. It additionally helps you see the distribution of your knowledge 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 just 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 possibly can subsequently establish correlations and patterns. For example, you would possibly evaluate natural site visitors with the variety of leads and signal ups.

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

Different forms of Excel charts embrace inventory charts, which let you see modifications in inventory costs, and floor charts, which let you see knowledge in a three-dimensional format.

Unsure 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 knowledge modifications or a time frame.


Much 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 knowledge collection.


Scatter charts present the optimistic or destructive 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 comply with the written directions under (or obtain them as PDFs). A lot of the buttons and features you will see and browse 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 knowledge and alter as wanted for a gorgeous knowledge visualization. 

1. Enter your knowledge into Excel.

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

Within the instance under, in Column A, I’ve an inventory of responses to the query, “Did inbound advertising 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 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 embrace 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 seek out the chart and graph choices, choose Insert.

(For assist determining which sort of chart/graph is greatest for visualizing your knowledge, take a look at our free book, How to Use Data Visualization to Win Over Your Audience.)

3. Spotlight your knowledge 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 embrace 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 want 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 choice as a result of I choose 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. Change the information on every axis, if obligatory.

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 Change Row/Column. This can rearrange which axes carry which items of information within the record 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. Regulate your knowledge’s format and colours.

To vary 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 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 possibly can change the fill shade 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 scale of your chart’s legend and axis labels.

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

To extend the scale 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 measurement dropdown fields to increase 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 vary 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 determine 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 robotically units the Y axis’s most proportion to 60%, you would possibly wish to change it manually to 100% to characterize my knowledge on a common scale. To take action, you possibly can choose the Most choice — two fields down underneath 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 under (On this instance, the font measurement of the Y-axis has been elevated through the Dwelling tab so as to see the distinction):

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

8. Reorder your knowledge, 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 knowledge 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 can even rearrange them in ascending or descending order. To do that, spotlight your whole knowledge within the cells above your chart, click on Knowledge and choose Type, as proven under. 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 possible be “Chart Title,” or one thing related relying on the model of Excel you are utilizing. To vary this label, click on on “Chart Title” to disclose a typing cursor. You possibly can then freely customise your chart’s title.

When you have got 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 gives you 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, title the picture of your graph, select the place to reserve it in your pc, 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 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 simple, proper? With this step-by-step tutorial, you’ll be capable of rapidly create charts and graphs that visualize probably the most sophisticated knowledge. Strive 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 knowledge greatest.

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

excel graph templates


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