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How To Create A Chart In Excel: Step-By-Step Guide

Key Takeaway:

  • Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for creating charts that help visualize data trends and patterns. Creating a new spreadsheet and entering data accurately and clearly is the foundation for a successful chart.
  • Selecting the appropriate chart type is crucial for accurately representing the data. Customizing the chart’s appearance, including size, colors, and labels, is essential for its readability and visual appeal.
  • To finalize the chart design, adding titles, labels, and legends are important for clarity. Saving the chart as a graphic file for easy sharing is also recommended.

Are you struggling to make sense of your data? Creating a chart in Excel is the perfect way to easily and effectively visualize your data. With this step-by-step guide, you can quickly create stunning charts that will help you make the most of your data analysis.

How to Create a Chart in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

Excel is a revolutionary tool for pros, students, and casual users. Learning how to create charts from data is an essential skill to maximize its use. This guide explains how to create a chart in Excel. First, let’s introduce Microsoft Excel and its importance for data analysis. Then, we will begin the chart creation process. We’ll start by setting up a new spreadsheet for the data.

Introduction to Microsoft Excel

Are you new to Microsoft Excel? If so, you’re in the right spot! This program is great for managing data, drawing graphs and analyzing info in different ways. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make a chart in Excel.

First, let’s start with a quick intro to Microsoft Excel. There are several versions of Excel – you can get the desktop version or use the online version through Office 365. Each version has similar features.

Here’s a 4-step guide to get used to Excel:

  1. Open Excel: Look for the icon on your desktop or use your computer’s search function.
  2. Create a new spreadsheet: When you open Excel, you’ll see a blank workbook. That’s where your data will go.
  3. Enter data: Click on a cell and type in what you need. You can move around by pressing the arrow keys or clicking another cell.
  4. Save your work: Don’t forget to save your workbook! Go to “File” in the top left corner and select “Save As” to choose where to store it.

Now let’s look into using Microsoft Excel. One of its great features is creating charts and graphs from existing data sets (or from scratch). These visuals can help you understand trends and patterns that could be hard to spot with raw numbers.

Creating charts in Excel can be daunting at first. But with some practice and help, you’ll be a pro in no time.

Did you know that Microsoft Excel was released in 1985? Back then, it only worked on Macs. It wasn’t until 1990 that a version for Windows came out.

Now, let’s learn how to create a new spreadsheet for data entry.

Creating a new spreadsheet for data entry

Label columns and rows with headers that correspond to the data you want to input. For example, if tracking sales revenue by month, use “Month” and “Revenue” as column headers. Use the Home tab’s Merge & Center or Center Across Selection to center text.

Input the raw data into the cells below each header. Formatting must be consistent for accurate representation in the chart. For example, dates must be formatted as dates, not text.

Save your spreadsheet. Save frequently to prevent accidental deletion or loss of progress.

Create a template of a spreadsheet with pre-formatted headers and empty cells for future projects.

In the next section, learn how to create an Excel chart. Select the data range and choose the best chart type for your information.

Entering and Formatting Data

Creating charts in Excel requires data entry and formatting. Let’s explore these essentials. Firstly, we’ll discuss entering data correctly, including importing from outside sources. After that, we’ll cover formatting data. For instance, setting up the column headers and choosing the correct data type. By the end, you’ll be ready to make your chart in Excel!

Entering data into the spreadsheet

Five simple steps to help you enter data into Excel:

  1. Label/Headers for rows and columns. Helps identify and organize data. Easier to create charts.
  2. Enter numerical/text-based values. Depends on what chart displays.
  3. Use basic formatting options – bold, italicize, underline for emphasis.
  4. Copy & paste data from other sources – websites, reports, spreadsheets.
  5. Double-check all cells have correct data from external sources.

Data entry to spreadsheets can seem tough but with practice, it can become natural. Formatting options help make data easier to read and understand.

Use formulas or macros to automate repetitive tasks if entering data manually is a struggle.

I had trouble using Excel initially. But I practiced more and got proficient in entering & organizing data efficiently. This helped create effective charts for my work.

Format data for accuracy & readability when you become skilled in organizing chart material.

Formatting data for accuracy and readability

  1. Step 1: Get rid of unnecessary columns or rows. Begin by deleting any columns or rows that do not help the data you want to display.
  2. Step 2: Utilize consistent formatting. Make certain all your data is presented the same way, using the same font, font size and color.
  3. Step 3: Put headings and labels. Make sure your data has clear headings and labels so that viewers can easily recognize what they are viewing.
  4. Step 4: Check for mistakes. Double-check your data for any discrepancies or issues, such as copied values or incorrectly entered numbers.

Organizing your data not only makes it more accurate, but also makes it easier to read. When you present orderly and labeled data, it’s simpler for viewers to comprehend the meaning of the info you are sharing. This can help avoid misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

By taking the time to format your data correctly, it can help save you time in the long run. It decreases the chance of having to go back and edit it later because of unclear labeling or wrong values.

In reality, proper formatting is nothing new. In ancient times when people would keep records with paper books and ink pens, they had a similar approach of neatness in their records as we do today in Excel sheets.

Next up is selecting and customizing chart types which is very important in bringing out graphical interpretations from raw numerical figures without losing vital information through confusing graphs.

Selecting and Customizing Chart Types

Presenting data? Charts in Excel are the way to go! With many options, it’s hard to pick the best one. That’s why in this guide, we’ll focus on selecting and customizing charts. We’ll show you how to choose the right chart for your data. Plus, you’ll learn how to personalize the appearance. By the end, you’ll be able to create dynamic and informative charts.

Choosing the appropriate chart type for your data

The text is generally about the importance of selecting an appropriate chart type to display data effectively. The text highlights the importance of considering the information being displayed, including the number of variables and categories and whether exact values or rough estimates are needed.

The text suggests that a bar graph may be best for comparison between data, while a pie chart may work better for displaying proportions/percentages.

The text provides a real-life example of choosing a multi-level bar graph to display ten years’ sales figures for a manufacturing company, with years side by side for each product category.

The text emphasizes the importance of selecting an appropriate chart type to effectively engage the target audience and clearly communicate the message with accuracy and precision. The text also mentions personalizing the chart’s appearance to suit the needs and preferences of the user.

Personalizing the chart’s appearance to fit your needs


Select the chart by clicking on it. Go to the Design tab on the ribbon. Pick a style from Chart Styles or select different colors with Change Colors. Add or remove elements like labels, titles, and data tables with Add Chart Element. Use Format tab for fonts, borders, and spacing.

Contrasting colors for data series makes them stand out. Adjust font size and styles for labels and titles. Remove or reduce unnecessary elements like grids or legend boxes.

These steps make a chart that shows data insights in a visually appealing way. Lastly, learn how to pick a chart type that fits your data set and edit the structure and content in Inserting and Adjusting Charts.

Inserting and Adjusting Charts

Inserting and adjusting charts is essential when creating Excel reports. Especially when the data set is enormous. Visualizing the information can make it easier to understand. In this article, we will explore how to insert charts, then adjust their size and placement. As you read, you will find useful tips to help you create professional-looking charts that effectively communicate the data.

Inserting the chart into the spreadsheet

Inserting a chart into an Excel spreadsheet is straightforward! First, select the data you want to include, then head to the ‘Insert’ tab. Choose the desired chart type, such as column, line, or pie. Your chart will appear in your worksheet. Adjust formatting and design elements as desired. Save your changes.

To make sure your chart looks great, adjust its size and placement. Click and drag it to the desired spot and size. A well-placed, properly-sized chart shows trends and insights more clearly. Ensure each element is clear and legible for easy interpretation.

Follow these steps and take time to consider the best presentation. Create professional-looking charts in no time!

Making adjustments to the chart’s size and placement

Select the chart you want to adjust. Then, drag its edge to resize it. Use the “Chart Layout” tab to change the chart’s placement. Click the “Align Chart Elements” button and pick if you want to center or align them. Further customize the charts’ dimensions through the “Format Chart Area” window under “Size”.

Polish your charts to make them look professional. Take time to make sure each chart is presentable. Group multiple charts in one sheet to keep them aligned. Finally, customize their colors, fonts and other presentation aspects.

Finalizing the Chart Design

We’re almost there! Let’s take a look at the last steps to make our Excel chart look amazing. Attention to detail is very important. I’m going to give you my tips on adding titles, labels, and legends for clarity. Plus, I’ll show you how to adjust the colors and design elements, and save the chart as a graphic file. By the time we’re done, your chart will be captivating and ready to be shared with everyone!

Adding titles, labels, and legends for clarity

Here’s a guide to follow:

  1. Click your chart.
  2. Select the “Chart Elements” button from the menu.
  3. Choose elements for labeling.
  4. Customize labels with “More Options” if needed.
  5. Enter text into the HTML tags.

Use clear & concise labels & data titles for better readability & communication.

Add a legend to help identify multiple data series & categories in charts.

Include an overall title for several related charts, to help readers understand them better.

A pro tip: Choose legible font sizes & colors for labels, so they are readable at different screen sizes.

Lastly, we’ll adjust color schemes & design elements for visual appeal – a critical aspect in finalizing chart designs.

Adjusting color schemes and design elements for visual appeal

When it comes to creating charts in Excel, selecting the right color scheme is essential. Choose from pre-defined options or customize your own via the ‘Customize Colors’ option in the ‘Chart Design’ tab. Colors should be meaningful and consistent throughout the chart.

Fonts also play a key role. Adjust font type, size and style using the ‘Font’ option in the ‘Home’ tab. Make sure they are legible, consistent in size and spaced properly.

Chart elements like titles, legends, axis labels and gridlines can add context to your chart. This can be done via the ‘Chart Design’ tab > ‘Chart Elements.’ Make sure the elements are aligned correctly and are meaningful.

Adjusting color schemes and design elements can create visually appealing charts that make data interpretation easier. So keep these factors in mind when creating charts in Excel!

Saving the chart as a graphic file for easy sharing

To start, pick the chart you’d like to turn into a graphic file. Go to the “File” tab in the main menu, then select “Save As”. In the dropdown menu, choose either “PNG” or “JPG” as the file format.

Name the file and choose where to save it on your computer. Don’t forget where you saved it, so you can find it later if you need it.

Press the “Save” button. Excel will save your chart as an image. Voila! Your chart is now a graphic that can be shared with colleagues, clients or anyone who needs it.

Five Facts About How to Create a Chart in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide:

  • ✅ Excel offers various options for creating different types of charts, including line, bar, pie, and scatter charts. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ Charts can be created from existing data within an Excel worksheet or by importing data from an external source. (Source: ExcelEasy)
  • ✅ Excel allows for customization of charts, including the ability to change colors, add titles, and adjust axis labels and formatting. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ Charts in Excel can be easily manipulated, with the ability to resize, move, and edit data within the chart. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Excel also offers a range of advanced charting features, such as trend lines, data labels, and chart animations. (Source: ExcelJet)

FAQs about How To Create A Chart In Excel: Step-By-Step Guide

How do I create a chart in Excel?

To create a chart in Excel, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Select the data you want to use in your chart.
2. Click the Insert tab.
3. Click on the type of chart you want to create (e.g. column, line, or pie chart).
4. Customize your chart according to your preferences.
5. Save your chart and you’re done!

What types of charts can I create in Excel?

Excel offers several types of charts including column, bar, line, area, scatter, and pie charts. Each chart type is best suited for a different purpose, depending on the data you are trying to visualize.

How do I customize my Excel chart?

To customize your Excel chart, you can do the following:

1. Click on the chart to select it.
2. Click on the Design tab.
3. Use the Chart Styles and Chart Layouts buttons to change the look and feel of your chart.
4. Click on the Format tab to customize specific elements of your chart such as axis titles, chart title, legend, and data labels.

What are the best practices for creating a chart in Excel?

When creating a chart in Excel, it is important to remember the following best practices:

1. Choose the correct chart type for your data.
2. Keep your chart simple and easy to read.
3. Label your chart axes and title appropriately.
4. Choose appropriate colors that do not detract from the data.
5. Use consistent fonts and font sizes throughout the chart.
6. Use data labels and legend to provide context for the data.

How do I format the data in my Excel chart?

To format the data in your Excel chart, you can do the following:

1. Click on the chart to select it.
2. Click on the Design tab.
3. Click on the Select Data button to edit the data used in the chart.
4. Use the Edit Series and Edit Axis buttons to format specific elements of the chart such as data labels and axis titles.

Can I create a chart from multiple sheets in Excel?

Yes, you can create a chart from multiple sheets in Excel by doing the following:

1. Select the data you want to use in your chart from each of the sheets.
2. Click the Insert tab.
3. Click the type of chart you want to create.
4. Follow the steps to customize your chart and add data labels.